Broadcasting, New launches, Production, Technology, Top

Pebble Beach Systems’ Orca virtualized channel-in-a-box

At NAB 2016, Pebble Beach Systems launched Orca, its software-defined virtualized IP channel solution suited to meet the needs of centralcast hubs, service providers, Multiple Channel Operators (MCOs), …


At NAB 2016, Pebble Beach Systems launched Orca, its software-defined virtualized IP channel solution suited to meet the needs of centralcast hubs, service providers, Multiple Channel Operators (MCOs), sports broadcasters, as well as corporates such as publishing companies seeking new ways to inform their audiences.

As a completely virtual channel-in-a-box, without the box, Orca channels run in a private cloud with IP inputs and outputs to deliver all the functionalities previously handled by discrete hardware video servers, graphics and captioning systems within a pure software environment. Completely unmanned operation is now possible for channels with remote administration available through secure, but standard browser interfaces.

Orca offers a software-only virtual implementation of Pebble Beach Systems’ Dolphin platform. As with Dolphin, Orca software-defined channels can be configured to meet the requirements of each service. Because both Dolphin and Orca share the same underlying architecture and control, the company claims that it is easy to mirror channel templates for simultaneous playout to traditional SDI as well as IP video distribution.

Orca can also reportedly create new IP channels from a series of templates at the touch of a button, and deploy them quickly into a running system without having to restart or make configuration changes. Channels can be launched and integrated into a running Marina automation system literally at the click of a button. The solution can also deploy grid-based GPU power for encoding and graphics, freeing up CPU power to enable Orca to increase channel counts more cost-effectively for the end user.
Ian Cockett, technical director of Pebble Beach Systems explained that while systems offering integrated software components running on off-the-shelf IT hardware have been gaining in popularity, pushing the infrastructure to the cloud is the next step, as broadcast businesses seek to evolve IP-based services alongside more traditional channel delivery methods. The flexibility to provision and tear down channels dynamically in an instant is a revolutionary concept for companies used to the old way of doing things. However, with today’s budgets and schedules, he claimed that Orca has arrived at exactly the right time for organizations seeking a pure IP video solution.

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