Remote Broadcasting for Fox
PlayBox Technology has supplied a two-channel redundant remote delivery and broadcasting solution to Fox International Channels. Christened ‘FoxBox’, this groundbreaking turnkey project enables Fox to deliver reliable, fully automated cost-effective playout solutions for smaller uplink, TV and IPTV markets.
The programme content is comprehensive and includes local advertising, branding, multilingual audio and subtitles, as required, as well as the programmes themselves. The first location to benefit from FoxBox is On Telecoms in Athens, Greece, where it has been delivering two channels, Fox Life and Fox Life +1 since 1 December 2008. The project allows the cost-effective delivery of programme content into what have traditionally been commercially non-viable markets; due to the cost of fibre or satellite content delivery links. The Athens ‘FoxBox’ includes PlayBox AirBox playout servers, with TitleBox for graphics and branding and SubtitleBox for subtitling of programmes.
Two vital efficiency targets required by Fox were the full integration with the existing Fox playout operations in Rome and the use of public internet for the delivery of all content, playlists and monitoring. The integration means that PlayBox accepts schedules from Fox’s traffic system, seeks the content files and automatically transcodes them to the delivery format ready for transfer via the internet for local transmission anywhere in the world.
Error-checking systems for file transfers are among the many precautions put in place to ensure the reliable delivery of content. The system is fully redundant with main and backup AirBox playout servers in Athens for both TV channels. These are loaded by sending the media files separately to each, so if there was an undetected problem in the transfer of one of the files, the other server would still playout. The remote site includes on-site monitoring and reporting and, if necessary, can be controlled and viewed from Rome or at Fox’s disaster recovery centre in Los Angeles.
Julio Sobral, Senior Vice President, Head of Technical Services and Business Operations Fox International Channels said, “We have been looking for a way to reach new remote markets in an economic way and FoxBox does just that. This is a model we can repeat anywhere around the world that has an internet connection. Don Ash, Sales Director PlayBox Technology comments, “The FoxBox project has involved PlayBox and Fox working closely together to make the solution that fits Fox’s needs. This called on a lot of broadcast and IT experience from both parties to produce this unique solution.