Orange County Updates with PlayBox Technology

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

PlayBox Technology has supplied a complete new playout solution for the two TV channels operated by Orange County TV, Florida. The facility is state-of-the-art SDI and HD-ready with brand new studio and MCR. Beyond replacing the previous systems, PlayBox took a pivotal role in completing the tapeless file-based workflow required by this exceptionally productive Government TV station, as well as accommodating over a thousand hours of archive media.
There are two complete playout channels; one for Orange TV, a typical government channel and one for Vision TV that is an arts information and education channel that taps the exceptional local talent and is not dissimilar to a PBS station in output. These channels are supported by a PlayBox installation comprising of four all-in-one PlayBox servers complete with AirBox playout, ListBox scheduling, TitleBox graphics, and DataBox content management and providing full 1+1 redundancy for each of the two channels. There is also a CaptureBox for ingest and SafeBox for content management.
The PlayBox playout solution is extensively integrated both within itself and with the Orange County TV workflow. This includes AirBox controlling the 32 x 32 HD-SDI router from Network Electronics. Also all programming passes through the AirBox Servers sited in Master Control, allowing the addition of TitleBox graphic overlays, bugs, lower-thirds and text keyed over the live video as it goes out to the viewers. Live video is also captured on CaptureBox for archive and later replays. The set up allows quick and easy transitions between live government meetings of unknown duration and back to the normal scheduled programs.
ListBox and DataBox provide scheduling for playing back recorded programs. In addition to the usual previews of program footage, this also shows the graphic overlays selected from TitleBox, providing a full preview of the graphics over the video files as the lists are created.
PlayBox USA worked with Orange TV to ensure the playout could transform the station’s workflow that embraces production, broadcast and distribution. Van Duke, PlayBox USA Country Manager comments, “Orange County wanted to do more than playout. They wanted to ‘close the loop’ to complete a tapeless file-base workflow. The unique capabilities of PlayBox Technology file format handling was the key – along with some extra help from PlayBox Technology R&D.”
AirBox removed the burden of playing out and re-recording the 1500-hour five-terabyte archive stored from the station’s older NLEs as MPEG2 AVI files with split AVI video and .wav audio. Michael Seif Station Manager explains, “I was really stunned with the PlayBox. I researched for four-and-half years for a system that could play the archive, without success. Then PlayBox came in, set up the AirBox, attached to my NAS and it played out instantly. A weight was taken off my shoulders like you wouldn’t believe.” PlayBox also accepts file transfers from the ten new Final Cut Pro edit stations operating on an X-serve network that bridges to the PlayBox Master Control network, so serving playout and distribution (via DVD).
Tape continues in use for acquisition, and for ingest a CaptureBox server accepts DV25 over FireWire directly from DVCAM DSR-25 and DSR-45 decks and stores it as MPEG2. This allows operating a low cost tape solution that maintains the integrity of the digital DV25 files and uses two-thirds less storage.