PlayBox Technology secures position in West African broadcast playout market


PlayBox Technology has secured a dominant position as a supplier of playout software and hardware to broadcasters in West Africa.

“At the AfriCast 2014 show in Nigeria during October, conference speakers consistently referred to ‘the playbox’ as an essential part of modern broadcast workflow,” comments PlayBox Technology Sales Director Ben Gunkel. “With up to 500 people attending each conference session, this reinforced the message we have been promoting that PlayBox Technology leads the field in terms of reliability, scalability, ease of operation, training, after-sale support and long-term cost-efficiency.’

“…Our products are now used by the vast majority of Nigerian broadcast and playout channels, including three of the four largest networks and nearly all the smaller ones. In addition, many channels subscribe to third-party playout services which use PlayBox Technology systems.’

“Africast 2014 was the busiest we have experienced since we first began exhibiting there eight years ago…We met almost all existing PlayBox Technology system users in the region and held useful discussions with many potential customers. Nigeria’s impending switchover from analogue to digital broadcasting is generating opportunities for new programme channels to be carried over terrestrial digital networks. This naturally brought a lot of people to our stand.’

“…A key element of our success in any region is our ability to supply online remote support reinforced, when needed, by a local broadcast engineering specialist. Several partner companies also demonstrated PlayBox Technology products as part of their exhibits.”

At AfriCast 2014 – which took place in Nigeria from 21 to 23 October – PlayBox Technology demonstrated a complete system centred on the AirBox automated playout server, TitleBox graphics manager and CaptureBox PRO multichannel ingest server.

AirBox provides automated content playout for satellite channels, cable head-ends, over-the-air broadcasters and corporate TV users. It can be programmed locally or remotely to operate unattended 24/7.

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 PRO allows multiple channels of 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.

Also promoted at AfriCast 2014 was EdgeBox which allows internet-based remote management of television playout, the AdBox programme and advertisement insert manager and the ScheduleBox which allows template-based management of single, or multiple television channels. Operators can select daily, weekly or monthly views and perform programme block management per television channel. Recent enhancements include nested blocks for easy ad placement and management.

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Chanelle Ellaya is the editor of Screen Africa. She completed her BA Journalism degree at the University of Johannesburg in 2011. While writing is her passion, she has a keen interest in the media in various capacities. Chanelle is an avid social media networker and a firm believer in the power of social and online networking. Between writing and tweeting, she finds time to feed her love for live music.


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