Santosh Kumar Gupta, Manager-IT, Sri Adhikari Brothers Television Network Ltd
The television industry is by far one of the most dynamic sectors, with fast changing technology. Television is a huge industry with humungous number of people, processes, and technology working together for broadcasting a channel. Among the new technology trends in the sector, a turnkey playout server solution for broadcasting a single TV channel is at the forefront. It plays an important role in keeping the channel on air by having the major components of scheduling, ingest, playout, CG, and interactive graphics within one server, and is available in SD/HD/4K. It is a combination of software and hardware technologies. The output can be SDI or IP streaming, and suitable for applications including broadcast TV, internet TV, cable TV, etc.
Compared to a traditional architecture that requires multiple systems to do the equivalent functionality, channel-in-a-box is a single device with all the programs and news that integrate the necessary functionalities.
Let us now take a close look at the various elements.
Automated mixed playout of all supported compressions and containers in a single playlist; On-air burned-in subtitling; GPI I/O interface; Graphics automation control; SD/HD/Ultra HD/2K/4K live input stream; Switcher & matrix switcher control; Decoding for commercial insertion; and Multi-audio support.
High-quality capturing in variety of compressions like AVI/MOV/Mp4/Mpeg 2; Firewire VTR control; and Scheduled capturing like live event.
CG automation is an interactive graphics manager that creates, displays, and controls fascinating multi-zone screens with rolls, crawls, animations, clocks, station logos, and more. All running objects are mixed and blended with each other in real time, including animations. Each and every CG object can be edited while being transmitted on-air.
Scheduling is an offline video schedule creation and play list editor, perfect for schedule creation and schedule editing with a clip trimmer for simple video editing.
Basic Functions of Channel-in-a-Box
To capture the video; To interface the live video; To provide real-time video processing needed to implement animated video effects; To archive and store the content; To interface between the input and output to play out the final produced video; To handle all billing and business operations; and To schedule video.
It acts as a key to the interactive CG and graphics internally or optional external keying if you have a DSK. The output can be SDI or IP streaming and suitable for applications including broadcast TV, Internet TV, cable TV, etc.
Benefits of Channel-in-a-Box
Reduces the cost to a great extent; Acts as a catalyst for better on-air video quality; Reduces the time for integration set-up; Power saving model; Provides best backup solution for on-air channel; Employee cost reduction; Single-chip video server, switcher, channel branding, captioning, and subtitling solution; Feature-rich and efficient channel-in-a-box solution to lower costs for playout environments; A pure cloud playout to reduce capital expenditure through virtualization; Automation for playout in a compact solution with unrivaled resilience and reliability; Upgraded storage for ICE to improve bandwidth, resulting in instant access to media across connected ICE units; and A future-proof playout solution that is ready to use today
The channel-in-a-box will enable running all the channels through just one video server, considerably bringing down the cost. It will be a money saving system. This server can also be used for back-up purposes. It has the capacity for revolutionizing the broadcasting industry. In the months to come, we may see more and more TV houses will employ this. This will also be easy to operate, bringing down the cost particularly for small TV channels. An important point is that this technology does not need special training for its users. A computer professional who is conversant with TV technology can quickly learn to handle it.