OMG’s Cubix Powers Edge Playout with PlayBox

  

IBC2015, Amsterdam, September 14: Ortana Media Group is pleased to be exhibiting for the first time as OMG at IBC with the latest version of its CUBIX Integration, Automation and Orchestration system. Integrated with many of the best of breed devices found both in the facility and the cloud, it is able to seamlessly drive devices for a wide range of uses from bulk ingest and transcoding to OTT fulfilment and playout.


One of these key new integrations launched at this show is with PlayBox Technology, a world leader in cost effective playout solutions. Deploying Cubix with the AirBox and CloudAir products creates a solution that natively supports highly scalable cloud playout and cloud-enabled edge playout platforms. With the ability to configure agile workflows that support every element of the transmission process, the solution allows for completely new approaches to providing efficient and scalable models for linear playout, OTT services and OVP distribution.
 

With native support for private, hybrid and public clouds, the Cubix platform enables the ingest, QC, storage and transmission elements to occur at disparate geographical locations, leveraging cloud resources for storage, transcoding and distribution. The platform offers a number of different portals for a variety of use cases whilst providing live seamless monitoring of the workflows and media therein.
 

Clients can also directly monitor, interact and control Playbox Technology AirBox devices on the edge via the secure web portal, with live control of the schedule and status of the channels. These are all fully integrated with the rest of the Cubix platform including our orchestration engines. Cubix also natively supports the new CloudAir solution from PlayBox Technology, providing true cloud playout from a fully virtualized environment.
 

“Cubix has always been a scalable agile product for clients within all sectors of the Media and Entertainment space,” says James Gibson, CEO of Ortana. “This new integration allows playout providers to offer a true seamless Cloud Playout solution to their clients. When you combine the native support offered by the platform for entire workflow – including ingest, quality control, transcoding, playout and OVP / OTT fulfilment – combined with the flexible capex and SaaS based licensing modules – it truly becomes a disruptive offering to this space”.
 

“Ortana’s choice of AirBox and CloudBox as integral elements of their cloud playout and cloud-enabled edge platforms demonstrates the power and versatility of our modular solutions,” comments PlayBox Technology (UK) Managing Director Don Ash. “We are seeing a very high level of interest in cloud-based services both from established broadcasters and potential new players. Operators of new channels in particular will appreciate the freedom they now have to focus their capital investment on the creation of good content rather than on technical infrastructure.”

 

Ortana founder James Gibson (on right) with Phillip Neighbour of PlayBox Technology
Ortana founder James Gibson (on right) with Phillip Neighbour of PlayBox Technology

OH-TV Expands Services with 10 New airboxes

See PlayBox Technology on stand 8.B70 at IBC2015, Amsterdam

 London, UK, August 17, 2015: Broadcaster and international TV network provider OH-TV has expanded with 10 additional AirBox playout channels from PlayBox Technology. This new investment allows the London-based company to offer playout services to other broadcasters in addition to producing and transmitting its own channels.
 

"We bought our first AirBox playout system in May 2008 following careful evaluation of the available systems," comments OH-TV CEO Akin Salami. "The service-provider we were working with at that time was itself a successful PlayBox Technology customer which certainly influenced our choice. We were impressed by the modular structure of the PlayBox Technology platform. It gave us the ability to choose the precise combination of features we needed for our combination of live and scheduled channels. A second PlayBox Technology AirBox system was added in 2009.
 

"We now have a total of 12 AirBox playout automation servers working in sync with network-attached-storage, fully integrated by PlayBox Technology. All 12 servers can be operated remotely or straight from our MCR. This solution is very robust, working continuously every day of the year. Its reliability allows us to get on with our core business of making and transmitting programmes.
 

"We transmit our own content to viewers in the UK and Europe via Sky satellite and Freeview. We also produce OH USA which is transmitted via the IP-based UN1TY platform.
 

“Other broadcasters have seen the efficiency of our operation and that makes our services attractive globally. Our current playout client base includes SMASH TV, TIWA TIWA, Hip TV Nigeria, Glitz, Views channel and VEATZ 24. They stay with us because they know we are easy to work with and, thanks to PlayBox Technology, highly reliable and efficient." 

OH Tv
OH Tv

PlayBox to Launch SocialMediaBox in full at IBC2015

See PlayBox Technology on stand 8.B70 at IBC2015, Amsterdam

 London, UK, July 27, 2015: PlayBox Technology has chosen IBC2015 as the launch venue for the full production version of SocialMediaBox. Available as a standalone solution or integrated with the TitleBox channel branding system, SocialMediaBox allows comments from multiple web sites or social networking feeds to be processed quickly and efficiently into a single ready-for-broadcast stream.
 

"Social media services have grown massively both in number and popularity since the early days of Facebook and Twitter," comments Don Ash, PlayBox Technology Managing Partner and Director, Sales. "SocialMediaBox gives broadcasters the ability to select and moderate comments and images from a variety of different internet sources, integrating these into a single feed to supplement a live programme. Data can be combined into an RSS feed and forwarded downstream to other devices or sent to a character generator such as TitleBox for viewing as an integral part of the programme output. This forms a highly efficient basis for the creation of auxiliary-screen pages for viewer feedback."
 

SocialMediaBox is controlled using a standard web browser. Operators can view preconfigured feeds from various sources and add the desired posts to a customised list using simple drag-and-drop. Comments in the customised feed can then be edited, checked against a profanity word list and published immediately or floated until approved for publishing.
 

SocialMediaBox is PlayBox Technology client/server application using SQL-based data storage and supporting multi-user access as well as multiple outputs. A single SocialMediaBox account can be deployed across several television shows and channels. Multiple user accounts can be assigned, each account then being able to create customised feeds. Access to each feed can also be configured as private, accessible by designated users or available to all users.

SocialMediaBox
SocialMediaBox

TBN Zambia Progresses to Digital Playout

See PlayBox Technology on stand 8.B70 at IBC2015, Amsterdam

  

PlayBox Technology announces the completion of a new broadcast playout system for TBN Zambia. Owned by the world's largest religious television broadcaster, Trinity Broadcasting Network, TBN Zambia produces and co-ordinates two programme channels at its studios in Lusaka.


"Having seen its successful operation at our sister network, Lighthouse Television, PlayBox Technology was the logical choice for this project," comments Dr Dan Pule, CEO of TBN Zambia. "Combined with new production infrastructure, it is enabling us to move forward from our former tape-based analog environment into fully digital operation. PlayBox Technology have provided a complete solution in a single rack. Structurally compact and very easy to drive, this provides all the tools our staff need to handle the entire process of content ingest, graphics generation and manipulation, scheduling and playout. Installation was followed by on-site training and the system is now on-air."


"We are very gratified that Trinity Broadcasting Network has the confidence to work with us across Africa," adds PlayBox Technology (UK) Sales Director Ben Gunkel. "This project gives TBN Zambia the ability to deliver consistently high quality digital signal streams free from the inherent limitations of analog production and playout. It follows the recent completion of a similar installation for Lighthouse Television, a TBN affiliate based in Uganda. The key difference is that Lighthouse Television is currently equipped as a single channel.


"The solution we have provided for TBN Zambia supports both its channels. These feed direct from the PlayBox Technology system to the transmission network run by Zambia's national public-service broadcaster, ZNBC.

"PlayBox Technology solutions continue to seen as aspirational products by many broadcasters, not least in Africa where our brand name is synonymous with affordability and efficiency. It is a reputation we have secured over many years and which has resulted in the delivery of over 15,000 successful playout and channel branding installations around the globe."


The PlayBox Technology solution provided for TBN Zambia includes a CaptureBox server, a network-attached storage server, a preparation station comprising ListBox, DataBox and TitleBox, plus dual RAID-protected AirBox playout servers with integral TitleBox. Rack-mounted video monitors, an SDI router, a master sync generator, primary/secondary smart switch and KVMs have also been integrated.

TBN Zambia team with the newly installed dual broadcast ingest, graphics, scheduling and playout
TBN Zambia team with the newly installed dual broadcast ingest, graphics, scheduling and playout

Eesti Telekom, Estonia, Chooses PlayBox

 Tallinn, Estonia, May 5, 2015: Eesti Telekom, one of the largest telecommunication companies in the Baltics, has purchased a PlayBox Technology system for the broadcast playout facility at its headquarters in the Estonian capital city, Tallinn. Installed and fully commissioned, it is being used to control the branding, scheduling and delivery of four new broadcast channels in three separate countries.
 

"Eesti Telekom chose this solution for several reasons," comments PlayBox Technology Executive Director Ivanka Vassileva. "Firstly, we are able to perform encoding and redundancy-routing within the system which keeps the infrastructure size down and allows easy future expansion to accommodate extra channels. Secondly, management of files in several languages is easy because we can multiplex several audio channels into one container using ISO-639 language codes. Each of the four channels consists of an AirBox playout server preloaded with TitleBox and CaptureBox plus a multilanguage subtitling server with a direct DVB output. All are configured with full primary and secondary redundancy. They are located in the company's central apparatus area and controlled from a master playout suite."
 

The PlayBox Technology AirBox is a content playout and streaming system capable of operating both in standard-definition and high-definition. Designed for 24/7 unattended operation, it can be connected easily to third-party devices. AirBox supports MPEG1/2/H.264, HDV and DV streams from practically any production platform capable of providing AVI, MPEG, MXF, QuickTime or WMV content. Files from third-party broadcast content servers are natively supported.
 

TitleBox delivers on-air graphics which can be controlled interactively. Multi-layered simultaneous crawls, rolls, animated logos, clocks and text templates can be activated by a mouse click. TitleBox provides total control during on-air session, including text selection, running speed and transitions.
 

CaptureBox allows high-definition or standard-definition content to be captured from SDI digital feeds, analogue sources and MPEG transport streams. Four video sources can be monitored on a single screen and controlled via a new streamlined user interface. Up to four video sources can be monitored on a single screen and controlled via a new streamlined user interface. Audio levels can be monitored as loudness/true-peak displays and adjusted when required. The ingested materials are available for playback seconds after ingest commences. The feature set also includes capture list import from third-party traffic systems.

 

PlayBox Technology Channel-in-a-Box server
PlayBox Technology Channel-in-a-Box server

TV Visjon Norge Expands into High Definition

 Dramen, Norway, April 27, 2015: TV Vision Norge has chosen a PlayBox Technology broadcast playout and channel branding system for installation at its headquarters in Drammen, southern Norway. The project was completed in partnership with Scandinavian systems integration specialist Engstroms AB.
 

"We have been using PlayBox Technology equipment for many years," says TV Visjon Norge Operations Manager John Sanjee. "Our creative team find it easy to operate and very versatile. Incoming content is stored as files on a shared central archive. Title graphics and scheduling are all performed within the PlayBox Technology system and then transmitted direct from one of our four AirBox playout servers. Our technical staff appreciate the inherent reliability of PlayBox Technology products and the fast support available if needed. The newly expanded system enables us to introduce high-definition and add more channels. We are keeping our existing software which helps make the whole exercise very cost-efficient. It also reduces the training time needed to get up to speed with the new infrastructure."
 

"Working with TV Visjon Norge and PlayBox Technology on this project was a great pleasure," adds Andreas Eliasson, Managing Director of Engstroms A.B. "The system was specified from a standard set of hardware and software modules. All elements of the PlayBox Technology system are field-proven and guaranteed to work effectively with each other. The solution provided for TV Visjon Norge includes an ingest server, a network-attached storage server, a preparation station and RAID-protected AirBox playout servers with integral graphics software."
 

"Our solutions are successfully in use by many of the world's major broadcasters as well as regional and special-interest television channels," adds PlayBox Technology Business Development Director Maurice de Jonghe. "TV Visjon Norge was the first Scandinavian Christian television network to air 24 hours a day. The network's programmes are very well produced and highly innovative, making full use of the facilities available within the PlayBox Technology digital workflow. We are pleased to see the network moving forward into high definition."
 

TV Visjon Norge presentation control room, Dramen, Norway
TV Visjon Norge presentation control room, Dramen, Norway

TBN Lighthouse Channel Goes Digital With PlayBox

See PlayBox Technology on booth N5512 at the 2015 NAB Show, Las Vegas Convention Center

 Lighthouse Television, a Trinity Broadcasting Network affiliate, has chosen a PlayBox Technology channel-in-a-box solution as the core of a major modernisation project at its studios in Kampala on the edge of Lake Victoria. The investment enables Lighthouse to advance from tape-based analog operation to much more efficient file-based digital workflow.
 

"Every broadcaster currently working in the analog domain aspires to a file-based workflow," comments Gary Everett Station Manager at Lighthouse Television. "PlayBox Technology has clearly demonstrated its ability to deliver products that are easy to install, easy to operate and easy to maintain. The solution we have chosen will greatly extend the channel's resources in terms of channel branding, including live control of animated graphics. It also provides a high degree of automation so we can operate confidently on a hands-off basis if required.
 

"Our creative staff find the PlayBox Technology user interface a pleasure to work with, all information relevant to each task being clearly displayed and easily adjusted. Archived programmes and interstitials can be located quickly and shared easily. The new workflow is high-definition compatible, giving us the ability to upgrade our transmissions from SD to HD at any point in the future."
 

"Lighthouse Television is the latest in a very large number of analog channels which have chosen our products as a basis for their advance to high-efficiency digital production, editing, titling and playout," adds PlayBox Technology Sales Director, Ben Gunkel. "That includes many African broadcasters for whom the very word 'PlayBox' has become a synonym for all playout solutions. At over 15,000, the number of successful PlayBox Technology playout and channel branding systems now in use around the world greatly exceeds that of our competitors.
 

"We have by far the best solutions for any organisation wanting to start a new television channel within a sensible budget or advance from analog to file-based digital operation. Through our global network of systems integration partners, we can also provide local support in practically any language.
 

"Lighthouse is now equipped with the full resources needed to provide sophisticated channel-branding across all its output. The station can operate with complete confidence both as a live broadcaster and on a fully automated hands-off basis, day or night."
 

The PlayBox Technology solution provided for Lighthouse Television includes a CaptureBox server, a 16 terabyte network-attached storage server, a preparation station comprising ListBox, DataBox and TitleBox, plus a RAID-protected AirBox playout server with integral TitleBox. Rack-mounted video monitors, an SDI router, a master sync generator, primary/secondary smart switch and KVMs have also been integrated.
 

PlayBox Technology CIAB solution official handover at Lighthouse Television in Kampala
PlayBox Technology CIAB solution official handover at Lighthouse Television in Kampala

PLAYBOX INTEGRATES SURCODE FOR DOLBY DIGITAL IN AIRBOX

  

London, December 10, 2014: PlayBox Technology announces a major expansion to the audio capabilities of its AirBox channel-in-a-box broadcast playout solution with the addition of SurCode for Dolby Digital Plus encoding and decoding. 


"Large screen television displays, typically 55 inches and above, are becoming increasingly popular among home television viewers which in turn is creating strong interest in high-quality television sound," comments Don Ash, PlayBox Technology Managing Partner and Director, Sales. "This demand will be further accelerated by the rapidly falling price of 4K home television receivers with high-quality internal upscalers.


AirBox with integral SurCode for Dolby Digital Plus encoding and decoding enables broadcasters and playout facilities to deliver high quality cinema-style 7.1-channel surround sound reliably and easily without the expense or rack-room clutter involved when using external hardware codecs. 


"SurCode for Dolby Digital Plus is very easy to configure within the AirBox operating environment. The data bit rate can be adjusted for a specific network channel. In addition, primary and secondary audio streams such as multiple language tracks are easily accommodated.


"The codec is fully integrated into AirBox and includes complete Dolby metadata support as well as backward compatibility with viewers' existing Dolby Digital audio equipment. Advanced services such as audio description are also supported."


Designed and produced by PlayBox Technology, AirBox is a content playout and streaming system capable of operating both in standard-definition and high-definition. Capable of manual or 24/7 unattended operation, it can be connected easily to third-party devices. AirBox supports MPEG1/2/H.264, HDV and DV streams from practically any production platform capable of providing AVI, MPEG, MXF, QuickTime or WMV content. Files from third-party servers such as Leitch or Seachange are natively supported.


Changes to the AirBox playlist can be made while on-air. Every listed clip except the one which is currently playing can be trimmed, edited or repositioned. Playlist order can be changed on-the-fly with commands such as skip-to-next or jump. Order changes are performed seamlessly without interrupting the current playout session. Live productions are controlled via a Live Show Clipboard which allows insertion and/or execution of various events or live streams.

AirBox
AirBox

RTI, Ivory Coast, Takes Delivery of New PlayBox CIAB

Additional Information

 Radiodiffusion-Télévision ivoirienne (RTI), state broadcaster for the Ivory Coast, has taken delivery of a new CG titling and television playout solution from PlayBox Technology, the world's leading manufacturer of television channel-in-a-box systems. This was installed by Brussels-based systems integrator Periactes Broadcast Solutions at RTI's production and transmission centre in Abidjan.
 

"We have been using PlayBox Technology equipment very successfully for many years," says Vénance Kouakou, Head of Operations – Digital Workflow and Maintenance, at RTI. "We transmit round the clock so reliability is obviously a major requirement. PlayBox Technology products integrate into a fully unified system which is highly stable and easy to control. This is naturally appreciated both by our production and our engineering staff. Switching between live and file-based feeds is seamless. Other very useful advantages include the system's ability to manage incomplete clips and to automate the management of logos. This latest installation comprises three AirBox servers, each equipped with TitleBox Interactive on-air graphics, SafeBox automated content management software and Multi Backup Manager. We have also invested in a fourth AirBox and TitleBox which are being used for content preview and system testing."
 

"PlayBox Technology equipment is ideally suited to the fully tapeless environment in which RTI and most other modern broadcast networks operate," adds Baptiste de Bemels, General Manager of Periactes Broadcast Solutions. "The new AirBox and TitleBox servers are housed in the central apparatus room and will provide fully redundant protection across RTI's two main channels, using PlayBox Multi Backup Manager and an auxiliary server with RAID5 storage. Triple hot-swappable power supplies are incorporated. These can be replaced while the channels are on air without any service interruption. We have also installed a smart video hub which can be used to switch between the two programme sources and the backup. The system is operated from the master control room."
 

AirBox is a universal SD/HD content playout and streaming server designed for continuous unattended operation. Every clip in the playlist, except the one which is currently playing, can be trimmed, edited or repositioned. Playlist order can be changed on-the-fly using commands such as skip-to-next or jump. Changes are performed seamlessly without stopping current playout session. Live productions are facilitated by a Live Show clipboard which allows insertion and/or execution of various events or live streams. AirBox accepts MPEG1/2/H.264, HDV and DV streams from practically every known production platform providing AVI, MPEG, WMV, Quick Time or MXF content. Files from third-party servers such as Leitch or Seachange are natively supported.
 

TitleBox delivers on-air graphics which can be controlled interactively. Multi-layered simultaneous crawls, rolls, animated logos, clocks and text templates can be activated by a mouse click. TitleBox provides total control during on-air session, including text selection, running speed and transitions.
 

SafeBox replicates remote content to local playout server folders for safe playback. It can gather content from a number of sources automatically, when new content is available at the remote locations. SafeBox can work in playlist-dependent or stand-alone mode. In playlist-dependent mode, all file operations are slaved to schedule contents. New daily schedules are transferred along with their associated content and file paths in the playlists are automatically updated according to the new local storage. Expired daily schedule content is automatically deleted or moved to a predefined purge folder for manual deletion or archiving. Deletion can be done automatically or with user approval of deletion lists.
 

new PlayBox Technology CG titling and TV playout system in use at RTI
new PlayBox Technology CG titling and TV playout system in use at RTI

PlayBox introduces enhanced AirBox playout

See PlayBox Technology on booth N5434, NAB 2014, Las Vegas Convention Center

 PlayBox Technology has chosen NAB 2014 as the launch venue for the latest version of its AirBox universal playout and streaming automation server.
 

AirBox provides automated content playout for satellite channels, cable head-ends, over-the-air broadcasters and corporate TV users. At a fraction of the price of any digital videotape player, a single AirBox server delivers the same high quality video and audio via its single or multi-channel SDI outputs. Integral features include multi-language audio, graphics and subtitle insertion, last-minute playlist changes and clip editing.
 

"AirBox forms the nucleus of every PlayBox Technology installation," states PlayBox Technology Chief Product Officer Plamen Georgiev. "It can be programmed locally or remotely to operate unattended every hour of the day, every day of the year. The new enhanced AirBox incorporates a GPU-enhanced graphics mixing engine which allows video rotation effects and depth-order laying effects to be performed in real time. Logo animation facilities are also added with a multiplicity of applications in titling, captioning or channel branding. The audio capabilities of AirBox are also expanded with support now provided for Dolby E and Dolby Digital Plus. Such capabilities facilitate proper content handling when audio channel re-mapping is needed. Handling Dolby encoded signals 'in the box' allows for flexibility and saves the need for expensive external equipment."
 

In its automated playout mode, AirBox allows fixed-time scheduling for weeks ahead. Gaps or time overlaps in a schedule are automatically resolved to ensure continuous operation even when conflicting timed events are present. AirBox also allows completely unattended remote operation. Playout sessions are logged for monitoring and control purposes. The log can be later used for extracting the actual playout sequence with precise timings, or to identify user intervention made during a playout session.
 

AirBox can be used for live production as well as automated playout. Every clip in the playlist, except the one currently playing, can be trimmed, edited or repositioned seamlessly without stopping current playout session. Playlist order can be changed on-the-fly with commands like skip to next or jump. Live productions are controlled via the AirBox Live Show Clipboard which allows insertion and/or execution of various events or live streams.
 

The new enhanced AirBox makes its first US exhibition appearance on booth N5434 at NAB 2014, Las Vegas Convention Center, April 7-10. 

AirBox
AirBox

PlayBox Announces TimeShiftBox Duo - Timezone Offs

See PlayBox Technology on booth N5434, NAB 2014, Las Vegas Convention Center

 London, UK, March 4, 2014: PlayBox Technology is expanding the range of models in its TimeShiftBox series of television playout delay servers. Previously available in SD and HD/SDI, the new TimeShiftBox Duo allows simultaneous programme delay for more than one SD/HD channel.
 

"We have developed TimeShiftBox Duo in response to demands from broadcasters who need to re-transmit television channels across multiple time zones," comments Stanislav Petkov, PlayBox Technology CTO. "Designed for easy integration into playout centres, DTH operators or for other applications where delay of SD/HD-SDI is required, TimeShiftBox Duo provides all the resources needed to perform accurate time offsets for any duration ranging from 10 seconds to more than one month."
 

TimeShiftBox accommodates 50 Mbit/s of MPEG2 encoded video in HD and 25 Mbit/s in SD, while protecting all horizontal and vertical ancillary data from SDI per channel. The server is 1 RU with RAID-protected storage, redundant power supply and hot-swappable hard drives.
 

TimeShiftBox Duo is equipped with SDI inputs and outputs and can be genlocked to station sync. It is easily expanded to accommodate additional storage or greater RAID protection. Timeshift delay can be adjusted via an intuitive menu. All other functions are fully automated and require no user intervention. High bit-rate MPEG-2 4:2:2 I-frame compression ensures the maintenance of optimal video quality. TimeShiftBox is fully transparent to audio and ancillary data carried in the SDI stream. Optional CG & Graphics facilities are available as well.
 

TimeShiftBox Duo makes its first exhibition appearance on booth N5434 at NAB 2014, Las Vegas Convention Center, April 7-10

TimeShiftBox
TimeShiftBox

15 Years, 14,000 TV Channels

by Ben Gunkel, Sales Director, PlayBox Technology UK

  

If I started this article along the traditional lines of 'BVE 2014 was a landmark exhibition for PlayBox Technology, coinciding with the 15th anniversary of the AirBox broadcast playout automation system' you would probably flip straight to the next page.


But stay your finger. Enlightenment is here. To experience it, first imagine you are heading along Las Vegas Boulevard to or from the NAB Convention. Then imagine the view minus all the hotels. What's left? Mostly sand.

Now imagine you are in the MCR of a reasonably large broadcast network or playout centre. Then imagine the view if all the PCs were stripped away. A lot of blank monitor screens and empty desks.

PCs have been used in broadcasting their original launch in 1981, initially in offline roles such as script preparation, timecode logging and image manipulation. They were an improvement on earlier platforms, not least because they introduced a degree of technical standardisation. 


CIAB

PlayBox Technology was one of the first companies to focus totally on the PC-based channel-in-a-box concept which can accommodate practically every element of a television channel onto a single AirBox server. Since the introduction of AirBox in 1999, PlayBox Technology has deployed no less than 14,000 playout and branding channels, making it by far the most successful CIAB automation system in the entire history of television broadcasting. 


Like any other broadcast installation, AirBox can be configured as a full n+1 system to ensure no single point of failure. As a typical AirBox occupies a single chassis, even an n+1 installation demands very little space.

The PlayBox Technology approach to CIAB eliminates practically all the integration complexities that can arise when a typical broadcast system is assembled from hardware and software developed by a variety of manufacturers. We write all our own software which means we can guarantee that an entire AirBox system is easy to operate and highly reliable. We also provide the PC platform and any attached servers to ensure that these are fully compatible and capable of continuous operation.


PlayBox Technology was established and is today still largely run by broadcasters who understand the need for flexible system design to meet a wide range of creative needs. Equally important is scalability to allow easy future expansion. The UK team includes our founder and Managing Director Don Ash, Ananth Sam, Alan Bunting, Maurice de Jonghe and Phillip Neighbour, all well-known figures with excellent broadcast industry credentials. 



Production AirBox 

BVE 2014 saw the launch of ProductionAirBox which offers the near-zero latency demanded for the fast-paced work environment of broadcast news, sports and live production. It complements our NewsRoomBox production system by allowing practically instant switchover from one clip to another. A wide range of file formats and resolutions can be imported into the playlist, with up to 16 digital audio channels to accommodate multi-channel multi-language programmes.


Based on multi-channel engine architecture, ProductionAirBox can deliver content rapidly in one-shot mode or from a playlist. Files with an alpha channel are output as independent fill and key sources. Supporting capabilities include clip timecode on the SDI output plus a clip trimmer with a dedicated SDI output. ProductionAirBox can be controlled via VDCP and Media Object Server (MOS) protocols.


Changes to the playlist can be made even while on-air. Every clip in the playlist can be trimmed or repositioned on-the-fly using commands such as next, jump or shuttle. All changes are performed seamlessly without interrupting the current playout session. Up to four independent players can be accommodated on a single server. Each player has separate playlist and playout control. Four SDI interfaces can be assigned as programme or preview outputs. Operation can be streamlined using single channel or multichannel user interfaces.


The ProductionAirBox feature-set also includes forward or reverse shuttle at up to 32x speed, mixing of different video resolutions and formats in a single playlist, logical content trimming, multi-channel audio output, plus support for a wide variety of compression standards and media containers.

In addition to its broadcast production applications, ProductionAirBox can be used wherever instant access to stored content is needed, including studio displays and presentation screens.


Dual Channel TimeShiftBox

Looking ahead to NAB 2014 in Las Vegas, PlayBox Technology is expanding the range of models in its TimeShiftBox series of television playout delay servers.


Previously available in standard or high definition versions, the new Dual Channel TimeShiftBox allows between one minute and one month of time delay on two simultaneous channels. It has been developed in response to demands from satellite broadcasters who need to transmit SD and HD variants of a television channel across multiple timezones. Dual Channel TimeShiftBox can be installed as a fully self-contained system or integrated with our wide range of channel-in-a-box solutions. Like all PlayBox Technology products, it has an IP-based interface to allow efficient and fully secure control from practically any location.


All three versions of TimeShiftBox are equipped with SDI inputs and outputs and can be genlocked to station sync. They can be expanded easily to accommodate additional storage or greater RAID protection. Timeshift delay can be set in multiples of 10 seconds via an intuitive menu. All other functions are fully automated and require no user intervention. High bit-rate MPEG-2 compression ensures the maintenance of optimal video quality. TimeShiftBox is fully transparent to audio and ancillary data carried in the SDI stream. Optional character generation facilities are available for three models.


Dual Channel TimeShiftBox will make its first exhibition appearance on booth N5434 in the North Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center.

Ben Gunkel
Ben Gunkel

Ibrarn Television Goes to Air with PlayBox CIAB

See PlayBox Technology on stand N05 at BVE 2014, London

 London, UK, January 27, 2014: Ibrarn Television has chosen a PlayBox Technology channel-in-a-box platform for its new broadcast service, transmitting via satellite from the Libyan capital city, Tripoli. The project was managed by system integration specialist Libirel Communications Limited.
 

"A PlayBox Technology CIAB installation was the obvious choice for this new network," comments Libirel Communications senior engineer Declan Goulding. "It enabled us to get Ibrarn to air quickly with a compact and fully self-contained solution.
 

"Ibrarn Television operates a 24/7 service so we have installed two complete systems in main and redundant configuration. Each includes a CaptureBox HD ingest module, TitleBox interactive graphics generator, ListBox offline programme scheduler and AirBox automated playout. Also incorporated is a SafeBox content replication module which manages content sharing across multiple devices. Content can be sourced as files from a 15 terabyte network-attached storage server or live from a three camera studio.
 

"The PlayBox Technology system occupies just six rack units of space, enabling us to accommodate the entire apparatus-room installation in a twin-column rack housing with plenty of room for expansion. Monitor outputs are connected via a router to multiscreen panels in the master control room. The transmission feed is then forward to an adjacent satellite uplink antenna. The entire project has proceeded very well with superb support from the PlayBox team."
 

Ibrarn TV's live studio and file-based playback launched on November 2013, via a Eutelsat link to Nile Sat at 7 degrees west (H 11525), with a variety of content primarily in the Tamazight language. The network's output to date has included live broadcast coverage from Paris of the International Conference on Libya.
 

Declan Goulding is one of Ireland’s leading video and audio solutions engineers. After graduating, he started his long television industry career with RTE, Ireland’s national broadcaster. A ten year spell followed at Windmill Lane Pictures, followed in turn by work on creation of the first all-digital facility, The Mill. After projects in Ireland, including the introduction of broadcasting facilities to the Irish parliament, work moved farther a field, to the Far East. In Hong Kong, work was carried out for Star TV and ABN among others. Subsequent projects have been carried out in Eastern Europe, Northern Africa and England.

PlayBox Master Control Room
PlayBox Master Control Room