How to manage disconnections.
All Vector 3 products are able to be used in networked playout and specifically support the features required for syndication and local insertion. VectorBox as a channel-in-a-box solution is a preferred option for spokes while MultiPlay can both be deployed as a multichannel hub and/or to customize as many channels as needed by branding and inserting local material. For the latter specific purpose there is a dedicated tool that allows the monitoring and operation of any number of simultaneous multi-channel disconnections.
In a spoke, syndicated affiliate, local branch, etc... VectorBox performs the insertion and/or the branding in the most flexible and efficient way. From the cases in which the local playlist is just an appendix of the main one; to the cases where the main signal is used only occasionally; VectorBox controls the insertion and synchronizes it with the incoming feed. Not only video but also graphics can be used to rebrand the incoming signal, sponsoring, give service messages or simply add a clock with the local time.
The VectorBox playlist provides powerful and flexible tools for loops and springs to adjust emission time for the fixed programmes. It is also able to work in time delay mode for insertions covering several time zones. Management of time windows permits a sophisticated control of the blocks to be played out.
Various technical ways are supported to trigger disconnections, including cue tones, IP, VITC, ATC, LTC, etc... Because VectorBox is fully built on standard computer technology, it boasts a total connectivity that makes remote operation straightforward, as well as the added option of using the MCR Client over WAN.
Before and after receiving a trigger.
MULTICHANNEL AD INSERTION
For playout centres using MultiPlay to insert blocks, Ad Insertion gives the operator a unified and detailed picture of as many channels as are working at the same time, allowing him to interact with all of them from a single user interface.
With customisable colour coding that can be configured simply, Ad Insertion shows the status of each and every block that is going to be inserted into the various channels. Quick actions, such as add, change or removal of individual clips and attending to last minute orders from the commercial department can be performed swiftly and easily. Ad Insertion provides a powerful management tool to deal with all the operational complexities, allowing the operator to focus on the key activities.
An example an Ad Insertion Monitor layout with time running vertical and the blocks showing status color.
Last Updated on Thursday, 16 May 2013 18:04
An application to broadcast videos with delay.
Time-Delay is a Vector 3 application specifically designed for TV channels which must re-broadcast content with a delay. It runs in a server as an application with its own window and its function is to record the entering signal and play it with a configurable time of delay.
The possible values are the following: - Stopped (empty timeline (1)) - Paused (recording content paused in the time line, “normal status” (2)) - Playing (content displayed using the controls shown in (3) delayed by the desired time offset)
(1) Stopped (empty timeline)
(2) Paused (recording content paused in the time line, “normal status”
(3) Playing (content displayed using the controls shown in delayed by the desired time offset)
Last Updated on Thursday, 16 May 2013 17:45
Software for censorship and Ad Insertion.
In these turbulent times, broadcasters need a tool that enables them to easily and discreetly protect themselves against the risk of being sued by third parties for damages of any kind. Both direct broadcasts and programming received from other countries could include content that is distressing for the audience. Supervisor provides the broadcaster with just this kind of protection.
Therefore, it makes of Supervisor the perfect tool for broadcasters to easily remove inappropiate content on the fly, replace it with different images or modify the existing one. It can be very useful when the TV station needs to blur an image (p.e. minors or adults who haven’t given permission to be on TV) or silence sounds while the clip is running.
Supervisor is based on Vector 3’s renowned VServer technology, creating a time delay loop which the operator can work in. The interface is designed to be especially user-friendly.
Supervisor can also be used to insert local advertising or content.
Example of Supervisor layout, prepared to be modified by the operator with ‘Mosaic’ or ‘Beep’ effects (1) in the timeline (2).
The main advantage of using Supervisor is that it enables the user to implement censor-ship to a clip or modify it. In the following images we can see some examples of silence and add text (‘Beep’ effect and ‘censored’) on the left and a blur effect (‘Mosaic’ effect) on the right:
In the Effects bar of the timeline we see an insertion of the ‘Beep’ effect to mute the clip and text overlayed in the clip.
In the example on the left the effect chosen is ‘Mosaic’ to blur the image. With the timeline the user decides its duration with ‘in’ and ‘out’ marks.
Also, Supervisor can be used to insert commercials or live local content overlayed to the original clip. And that’s what we can see in the following image:
Last Updated on Thursday, 16 May 2013 17:24
Media Manager Suite
Workflow engine for playout and Master Control Rooms.
Media Manager Suite carries out the required tasks set out by the workflow and monitors them to allow operators to know if their intervention is required. With Media Manager Suite in place, workflow is managed automatically and exceptions brought to the operators’ attention well in advance, so that they can deal with in a timely manner. Media Manager Suite not only deals with video and audio files but also moves through the facility the rest of needed files such as playlists, preloading lists, logs, etc.
The applications that form the Media Manager Suite are FileIngestor, FileChecker, MediaLibrary, MediaCacher and MediaManagerMonitor:
This application takes care of fetching the video files from outside the playout master control room and/or from outside the playout facility. To pull the files that are needed, it works either using lists from a third party traffic system, using playlists of the following days, or downloading automatically all the material placed in delivery locations. As the media is ingested, metadata already included in the wrapper (MXF) or manually entered can be associated with the file. It can also work with third party re-encoders or re-wrappers in case the required functionality is not supported natively.
Full support for use over LAN, WAN or in the Internet by using FTP protocol. It can also send notices to third party applications to trigger the release or distribution of media to be brought into the facility. FileIngestor gives complete logs of its activity and real time warnings that can be monitored directly or through MediaManagerMonitor.
FileChecker is an application capable of playing the files at speeds many times faster than real time but in the very same way that are played in the playout servers. This allows it to certify that they are ready for emission and to do so very quickly. The process of testing also includes checking that they have all the tracks (audios, VITCs.... ) that they should have. Added to this, FileChecker performs, if required, the loudness check & correction. As with the rest of the modules of Media Manager, it can also operate using lists or processing files that arrive in a certain location and can be monitored individually or as part of the full work-flow engine.
MediaLibrary is the application that interfaces the rest of the Media Manager modules with the cart machine. It is integrated with the three main third party cart machine software controllers that are Front Porch Diva, XenData and SGI. It can work on demand from another module or perform batch tasks based on preloading or downloading lists coming from third party traffic systems or compiled playlists. MediaLibrary bridging between the NAS/SAN central storage and the cart machine takes care of the “backbone” of the workflow managed by Media Manager.
MediaCacher moves the files the last stage from the NAS/SAN central storage to the local discs inside the videoservers. It works with configurable horizons and selectable optimum levels of load of the local storage to adapt to the needs of the different channels. Some channels allow distant horizons because playlists are delivered well in advance, while others require more swift action.
Even in the worst case -channels that use big HD files and receive the play-lists or the files shortly before the time of playout, MediaCacher is able of finding the optimum solution. In case there is no time to copy, MediaCacher communicates to the MultiPlay MCR allowing the file to be played out directly from the NAS/SAN central storage.
MediaCacher is also central to the emergency management since it is able to force an MCR to playout using a blank VServer (playing out from central storage) while rapidly copies files to allow the playing out to switch to local as soon as possible.
Media Copier is one of the softwares in this suite of products of Media Manager that offers the three functions of hotfolder, mirror and manual copy.
All the processes that are carried out by the various modules of Media Manager can be simultaneously monitored from MediaManagerMonitor application. From a single user interface the operator can know if anything is going wrong in some corner of the workflow, long before this issue has the opportunity to affect the emission. To allow the operator to actively supervise, MediaManagerMonitor is constantly giving all the required information so that timely decisions can be made to avoid incidents and emergencies.
Media Manager Suite is the software used to send clips to VServer, which will talk with the MCR in order to run clips in a rundown. MediaManagerMonitor’s interface will show you the TV channels on the left side of the screen and when clicking on one of them it will show you different status from your File Ingestors and Media Cachers. Following, we can see the 4 possible status of MediaManagerMonitor of a real TV Channel that uses 2 File Ingestors and 1 Media Cacher because it gets clips from one place (A) to another (B):
- Green + Red + Red: File Ingestor A successfully copied a file to place B + File Ingestor B did not copy the file to NAS + Media Cacher could not move the file to VServer’s local discs
- Green + Green + Orange: File Ingestor A successfully copied a file to place B + File Ingestor B succesfully copied the file to NAS + Media Cacher could not move the file to VServer’s local discs but reproduces it from NAS
- Red + Red + Red: File Ingestor A did not copy a file to place B + File Ingestor B did not copy the file to NAS + Media Cacher could not move any file to VServer’s local discs
Last Updated on Monday, 26 May 2014 17:16
A timeline display that allows operator to monitor all channels with the glimpse of an eye and control them with the click of a finger.
MultiChannel Monitor is the central control of the system were all running playlists can be watched as time lines with easy reading of potential problems for future events. One single operator can supervise the whole playout of the facility and interact in the required way. Double clicking in any of the timelines MCR Client opens allowing the operator to change any event or subline of the corresponding channel.
Interface of MultiChannel Monitor: At a glance operators can monitor all the channels in a playout.
In the image above, you can see the 5 possible situations when using MultiChannel Monitor taking into account if the channel has a backup or not and if the playing clip being played from the Main Storage Server or from the Backup Server:
- 1) Green + Green: There are more backups available + Clip played from Main Server
- 2) Green + Orange: There are more backups available + Clip played from Backup Server
- 3) Orange + Green: There are not more backups available + Clip played from Main Server
- 4) Orange + Orange: There are not more backups available + Clip played from Backup Server
- 5) Red + Red: No signal and no clip is being played
Last Updated on Wednesday, 19 March 2014 18:04
Dynamic configuration and control of redundancy that allows each channel to be given the desired individual level of security.
In a playout facility not all the channels are the same. Some need more backup than others. Autovia is an intuitive tool that enables a playout supervisor to assign backup systems on a channel-by-channel basis, from 'mirror' to 'n+m'. Resources can be allocated either per channel or dependent on time of day, or 'on the fly'. Management of incidents is simple thanks to automatic routing of backup signals and easy reading of what channels are affected by the failing elements of the facility, which resources have been triggered and which are idle and ready to be used. Recovery procedures allow the system to operate constantly, delivering maximum return on investment in backup systems.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 21 January 2014 18:18
Imagena is the software used by graphic artists to create templates and pages for on-air graphics. To use Imagena in full performance you will only need a standard PC.
Imagena consists of a graphics template and a crawl editor. It includes all the tools you may need to easily create dynamic 32-bit graphic templates with text, animations and crawls. Imagena allows users to import images and animations from popular graphics applications, such as Photoshop, 3D Studio MAX or After Effects.
Texts can be included in the graphics templates or inserted in real-time for live-titling applications such as sports events or a news program. Moreover, text can also be imported as XML or text files.
Vector 3 has created Imagena in order to get the most from VectorBox and VectorMultiplay graphic capacity and offer the televisions a big range of possibilities in broadcasting. Imagena is the perfect tool for TV channels to highlight and differentiate to others because it allows to create your own channel look by creating your own backgrounds, TV programmes logos, colours and fonts, etc. Also, Imagena can be the key to achieve channel branding and generate revenue from publicity, SMS and other text insertions as part of daily broadcasting.
Following, we have a few examples of the possibilities Imagena gives to users:
Last Updated on Thursday, 30 June 2016 09:53
Vector MultiPlay CG
- RSS news tickers
- Audience SMS for chat and on-air polls
- Automatic titling, including music clips
- Ads for special offers on home shopping channels
- "Next Program" tags and "Tonight" screens
- Clocks, weather forecasts, etc.
Vector MultiPlay CG maintains the visual artistry without compromising the story… flawlessly. There are hundreds of stations that populate satellite, cable and digital TV. To visually rise above the fray, a channel needs an effective branding tool. With over 20 years of engineering expertise built-in, the Vector MultiPlay CG is the definitive IT-based solution offering the industry’s best on-air graphics management.
On-air graphics systems must balance the artistic aspect of graphic overlays with the need to communicate the right video, text and data at the right time. Vector MultiPlay CG fully respects the artistic integrity of the designs by supporting industry standard graphic design file formats with an overlay process that maintains full image quality. The Vector MultiPlay CG data acquisition system is based on XML both for structure and data, guaranteeing total compatibility with current methods of storing and sending information.
Last Updated on Monday, 29 April 2013 17:19
Vector MultiPlay VServer
- Extensive support for all codecs and compressions
- Full LAN connectivity
- Built-in graphics and effects
- Guaranteed support for future technologies and formats
Vector 3 was the first company to move away from proprietary file formats; the first to adopt Ethernet connections, the first to master transitions and graphics and the first video server to offer multi-format and multi-wrapper system. Today, nearly all video servers have these features, but the forward thinking Vector MultiPlay VServer development and exclusive software decoding system guarantees support for future technologies; supporting every new format and codec that is introduced into the market.
Supported compression formats include Mpeg2 IBP and I-Frame, DVCAM, DVCPRO25, DVCPRO50, MJPEG and IMX30/40/50. Supported file formats include QuickTime (Apple Final Cut Pro), MXF, raw DV and AVI. Media can be mixed and played on the same server. So simple to administer yet powerful mastery of media playout, the studio operator does not even need to know which format is being used.
With Vector MultiPlay VServer, operators can easily apply transitions between clips, such as fades, wipes, and fade-to-black, all with corresponding audio. The extensive range of integrated, realtime effects takes Vector MultiPlay VServer to a whole new dimension of playout.
Vector MultiPlay VServer also provides an IPTV output for broadcast over IP, as well as satellite and cable, or for monitoring channel output. Output can be in the form of a compressed Windows Media 9 or QuickTime file stream ready for broadcast or a file series for broadcast from an external ISP.
Last Updated on Friday, 20 October 2017 10:50
Multichannel playout automation software.
MCR Client is the new component of the Vector Multiplay set of building blocks for playout. It allows operators to control channels from any location in the world as if they were in the master control room. MCR Client gives total architectural flexibility to the broadcast engineers in the planning of playout facilities and workflows.
All the core functions of Multiplay can be combined in a never ending collection of different topologies. The MCR Client adds its own layer of variability in the configuration of playout centers with its two key features: the possibility of controlling the playout of channels simultaneously from different workstations and the fact that these workstations can be any anywhere around the planet. MCR Client breaks any geographical limitation of playout.
The MCR Client consists of a series of components used to manage broadcasting and operation of the playlist. Although each component performs a different function, they all share a series of common features. In the following list there are the components of MCR Client:
Switcher / Matrix / Mixer control window
CG Console window
Logo Insertion control window
Catalogue search window
Last Updated on Wednesday, 23 October 2013 18:11