PlayBox Technology Reports its Most Successful Year to Date
PlayBox Technology reports 2016 as the most successful trading year in its history with strong demand for its wide range of television channel branding and playout solutions throughout the global broadcast market.
“At IBC 2016 in September we celebrated our 17,000th delivery of new or upgraded channels compared with the 15,000 total we reached two years before,” comments PlayBox Technology president Don Ash. “Upgrades from our AirBox product range to the Neo series are proving especially popular. We were also delighted to see our recently introduced CloudAir virtual playout software shortlisted for an IABM Design & Innovation Award.”
“Available on a software-as-a-service basis, CloudAir attracted a very high level of interest from visitors to the various broadcast industry exhibitions, not least during NAB in Las Vegas where delegates were queuing for PlayBox Technology demonstrations on all four days of the show. CloudAir allows extra channels, extra storage and extra facilities to be accommodated quickly and easily.”
“AirBox Neo and its supporting range of options have proved our most successful product launch ever. Neo is quite simply the most reliable, flexible and scalable television channel branding and playout system in the business. It can also be combined closely with CloudAir to create a hybrid system of unprecedented versatility, providing extended features such as cloud-based storage, asset management and disaster-recovery.”
“Integrating AirBox Neo servers and CloudAir gives broadcasters an operationally efficient and very cost-effective way to extend both the security and the scale of their operations,” adds PlayBox Technology chief executive officer Pavlin Rahnev. “Additional channels can be added at very short notice using CloudAir without adding to the equipment load in a station’s onsite technical area.”
On the management front, PlayBox Technology expanded its team with the return in January of Van Duke as USA sales manager. Following a highly successful first year, he has since been promoted to US director of operations. Van Duke commenced his broadcast industry career in 1978 as an engineer at WTVJ TV-6 Miami. Five years on, he progressed into sales engineering including roles at Midtown Video, On-Air Systems and Video Technics. He led PlayBox Technology USA from 2006 to 2009, building the business from a start-up to multi-million dollar sales.
In the APAC region, Stefanus Tandra was promoted to director of sales for Indonesia. Based in Jakarta, he is working with colleagues Desmon Goh and Iulian Ionescu to provide pre-sales and post-sales support for new and existing customers.
RTV-7, Netherlands: The RTV-7 television network, produced for expatriates from the Dutch Caribbean now living in the Netherlands, chose a PlayBox Technology broadcast playout solution as the core of a major infrastructure upgrade. This centres on an AirBox Neo compact 3U channel-in-a-box server with TitleBox Neo interactive on-air graphics. Video content is sourced from public-service and commercial broadcasters in the Netherlands Antilles to the AirBox server via secure IP links. It is then branded as RTV7 and played out to viewers across the Netherlands. “PlayBox Technology spearheaded with its AirBox platform the transition of broadcast playout from dedicated hardware to file-based systems running on enterprise PCs,” comments broadcast engineer and IT architect Harm Van Houten of YourSide. “In so doing, it made broadcast playout easier, more affordable, more reliable and more expandable.”
Echo Sports Network, Australia: Echo Sports Network (ESN) deployed AirBox Neo to power a new channel dedicated to promoting amateur sports. Based in Canberra, Australia, ESN offers sports teams and clubs the opportunity to promote themselves via innovative media streaming solutions. Making innovative use of internet based technology and PlayBox’s advanced IP playout server, ESN is providing a mechanism for amateur sports so fans can watch all the action on their platform of choice. “We needed a software solution we could use on our existing servers and something that was cost-effective to kick off,” said Lyle Cameron from ESN. “We have ambitious growth plans and PlayBox has CloudAir, the IP-based remote management system, that we plan to introduce in the future.”
Pursuit Channel, USA: Pursuit Channel, an Alabama-based television network geared to hunting, fishing and related outdoor activities, is the latest in a rapidly growing number of broadcasters playing to air with PlayBox Technology AirBox Neo. The new system is hosted by RR Media, a globally active division of Munich-based SES Platform Services. “We’ve been doing digital file-based playout for years and decided it was time to up our game,” says Alex Sanders, director of IT/creative media at Pursuit Channel. “We looked at everything when we were deciding what platform to use with our new origination from RRsat. We needed the 99.99% reliability that TV demands, a very specific set of features for our somewhat unorthodox way of doing things, a software solution so we could use it on our existing playout servers, and something that was cost-effective. When we laid out all the options, the choice was clear: Airbox Neo from Playbox Technology.”
Family Media TV, Kenya: Family Media TV, the largest independent Christian broadcasting network in east and central Africa, chose a broadcast playout solution based on the PlayBox Technology AirBox Neo. The new system has been installed as part of a major upgrade of the facilities at the network’s headquarters in Nairobi. “We have been aspiring to AirBox playout for several years,” states Leo Slingerland, founder and CEO of Family Media. “The system we have chosen allows us to advance our Family TV channel from standard-definition to high-definition. Our AirBox Neo configuration combines the efficiency of automated playout with the freedom to insert live content from our production studio into the schedule. Colleagues from other channels speak very highly of AirBox so it was a logical replacement for a legacy SD system.”
THVL, Vietnam: THVL, one of the largest television networks in Vietnam, joined the rapidly growing list of broadcasters upgrading to PlayBox Technology Neo. The newly purchased system was designed and commissioned in partnership with the PlayBox Technology official reseller for Vietnam, Mediatech. “THVL is the state-owned public-service television broadcaster for Vinh Long province,” details Mediatech Project Director Nguyen Tien Long. “The network has used PlayBox Technology AirBox successfully for many years on both its channels as the core of its channel branding, scheduling and playout infrastructure. This latest installation, at the network’s headquarters in Vinh Long City, enables THVL 1 and THVL 2 to advance from standard-definition into high-definition broadcasting. It includes two AirBox Neo servers, two TitleBox Neo channel branding modules and a ListBox Neo schedule creation and playlist editor.”
NTD TV, USA: New Tang Dynasty Television (NTD TV), a 24/7 Chinese language news broadcaster based in New York City, upgraded the PlayBox Technology AirBox playout system at its Houston channel to the latest-generation AirBox Neo. Based in New York, NTD TV produces a wide range of news and cultural programmes for Chinese viewers in Asia, Canada, Europe, Oceania and major cities of the USA. “We have been using PlayBox Technology AirBox very successfully for over eight years to broadcast five channels from New York,” says NTD TV chief engineer Russ Siew. “AirBox gives us the high reliability we need for round-the-clock operation. It is easy to drive and provides all the facilities we need both in our live and prescheduled modes.”
Tring TV, Albania: Tring TV, one of Albania’s leading broadcasters and IPTV service-providers, upgraded its playout infrastructure to a combination of PlayBox Technology Neo servers and CloudAir online services. The integrated system provides all the resources needed to deliver 27 television channels. “We have operated very successfully with PlayBox Technology channel-in-a-box servers for many years,” comments Tring TV technical manager Armand Selimaj. “This latest upgrade to AirBox Neo plus CloudAir allows us to deliver a full high-definition service via the Albanian national digital terrestrial network as well as via satellite and IP streaming. The AirBox Neo servers are all located at our new headquarters in Tirana. Supplementing these with CloudAir creates an extremely versatile ecosystem integrating virtual playout plus the best of both worlds in terms of SDI and IP workflow. CloudAir gives an easy to use interface which we can access from any location plus 24/7 transmission continuity and highly robust programme storage.”