The Paley Center for Media: Automating History

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

The Paley Center for Media in New York City has an international collection of nearly 150,000 programmes covering almost 100 years of television and radio history, including news, public affairs programs and documentaries, performing arts programs, children's programming, sports, comedy and variety shows and commercial advertising.

Not just a museum, the Paley Center (formerly The Museum of Television & Radio) draws on its curatorial expertise, an international collection, and close relationships with the leaders of the media community to examine and display the intersections between media and society.

When the Paley Center needed to upgrade its automated playout, they chose PlayBox Technology. This project is built around a two channel PlayBox Technology AirBox playout server, the same server used by broadcasters worldwide.

The two channel server is used to play back broadcast programming from the collection to multiple theatres. Using ListBox scheduling software, the theatres screen programs throughout the day.

Flexibility was one of the primary needs for the Paley Center. Much of its archive programing was native GXF format. New programming was recorded in Final Cut Pro editors, using uncompressed QuickTime (ProRes). A central storage system is used to provide easy access for the editors and the PlayBox Technology server, making the workflow simple and streamlined.

Each AirBox is paired with TitleBox graphics engines. Scheduling for the automation is created on ListBox, which also uses graphics rules in the TitleBox to fire off relays and control lighting in the theatres.

Why PlayBox Technology? “It was a combination of cost, the ability to use existing content and the integrated automation,” said Doug Warner, Director of Engineering. “PlayBox was one of the few systems that could do all of these.”