PlayBox Technology Expands Noorsat’s Playout To 120 Channels

Thursday, April 26, 2012

PlayBox Technology has completed the supply and installation of 15 new playout channels for the fast growing satellite service provider, Noorsat. Noorsat is a long-term PlayBox customer and this latest phase of channel expansion takes its total number of PlayBox playout channels to 120. Other PlayBox equipment includes ingest, CG and storage taking the total number of servers installed in Noorsat’s technical operations centre at Manama, Bahrain, to 139.

“This ongoing successful partnership is based on the reliability, flexibility and cost-effectiveness of the PlayBox Technology playout solutions.” Pavlin Rahnev, Director, Solution Sales continues, “Noorsat choose to grow with us because of the technical support and our engineering team – also because of our great prices. When we arrive there are empty racks, when we leave there is a working teleport. This is the way we have worked with them from the start.”

PlayBox Technology provides complete system designs including multiviewers, routers, etc. Rahnev points out that, “They trust us to supply and build their complete playout infrastructure, except the antennae and compression systems. We deliver everything including third-party products, audio, video, IT, cabling, installation, commissioning and training. The channel-in-a-box package fits the requirements well. The ‘Live in’ feature is often used so that live events can be included in the playout package.”

Despite the scale of the business with Noorsat, the equipment supplied is always standard. The system design includes N:M redundancy but when all the channels are busy and there is an urgent requirement, there is the flexibility for a redundant channel to be pressed into live service. A recent addition is three QCBoxes that provide file checking and verification.

The equipment is used in two different ways. The majority of channels provide playout services for customers. In this case the channels receive their content, along with the playlist that may be delivered on paper or via email, and Noorsat performs the required operations including ingest, playout and transmission – in other words running the channel for the customer. For some other channels Noorsat provides remote connectivity to offer a service similar to the EdgeBox remote playout operation. In this case Noorsat owns and runs the playout channel and the customer remotely uploads material and playlists via FTP, and the customer himself controls it.

That Noorsat is able to offer very competitive prices for its playout services and this is due to PlayBox’s ability to supply playout channels that do the job at a cost-effective price. Despite the scale of the business all the equipment is standard, there has been no special development work and there is nothing unique in Noorsat’s workflow – all helping to keep costs down. As a result there are no special support requirements and so the normal general support is sufficient. All channels share approximately 256TB of central storage. In addition, each channel’s server also has its own media storage. Ten CaptureBox servers are available for ingest requirements and DataBox is used to manage the flow of media, making sure it is in the right server well before transmission time.