PlayBox Technology powers new broadcast channel in Ghana


PlayBox Technology announces the completion of a major project for Citi TV by systems integration partner TV & Communication Systems (TVC) in cooperation with Vision in Motion. The project encompasses the design and integration of two live production studios, programme storage and media asset management, fully tested and commissioned at the broadcaster’s headquarters in Accra. The core of the installation is a fully automated broadcast playout system centred on AirBox Neo.

“Key parameters for Citi TV were the need for reliability, operational efficiency and future-proof expandability,” says TVC’s television and communications systems manager Andrej Brickij. “PlayBox Technology’s Neo product family delivers on all three counts. Neo allows the channel’s staff to preschedule all content and interstitials for fully automated playout while retaining the freedom to switch into live broadcasting mode whenever they choose. Neo is also highly space-efficient and therefore easy to accommodate in often crowded apparatus rooms.”

“The system we have produced for Citi TV includes a PlayBox Technology DataBox Neo server with a 32 terabyte network-attached storage archive including RAID5 protection. This provides instant access to more than 20 000 records simultaneously. It is being used to hold media files ranging from stills and production clips to complete programmes. Each file can be classified by characteristics such as type, category, keyword, credit and format. This allows tasks such as logo overlay, content storage and retrieval and playlist construction to be simplified or completely automated. Archived content can be easily accessed using multi-profile search as well as by multi-criteria filtering.”

“Ingest to the archive is via a CaptureBox Neo which allows content to be captured from up to four video sources simultaneously. Incoming content is available for playback within seconds of ingest commencing. All four video sources can be monitored as a multi-view with audio levels displayed as loudness or true-peak bars. Capture lists can be imported from third-party traffic systems.”

“PlayBox continues to be an aspirational brand in Africa and indeed worldwide,” adds PlayBox Technology CEO Pavlin Rahnev. “African broadcasters are investing in high definition services with increasing confidence, reflecting very strong sales of HD displays for home television viewing as well as the popularity of latest generation mobile devices with HD-plus resolution. The AirBox Neo platform also gives channel managers the option to introduce terrestrial, satellite-based or online UHD services when they consider the market is ready.”

The playout engine at Citi TV is an AirBox Neo populated with a ListBox Neo playlist schedule editor which allows programme editors to create and edit schedules days or weeks in advance of transmission. Facilities include text searching, clip copy and paste, and schedule printing. An integral clip trimmer enables simple programme editing within ListBox Neo. No special hardware is required so scheduling can even be done on a notebook computer.

Also incorporated is TitleBox Neo which provides total control during on-air sessions, including text selection, running speed and transitions. The TitleBox feature set includes horizontal crawling text, vertically rolling credits and messages, still and animated logo graphics, analogue and digital clocks, banner slideshows and chat text with automated horizontal or vertical scrolling. Among the additional creative facilities are pre-constructed graphic components, video resizing (from a live source or file), window-style display and website content ingest.

AirBox Neo gives Citi TV the ability to handle video/audio formats from practically every known production platform or video server. Playlists can be scheduled week in advance to allow fully automated playout. Gaps or time overlaps are automatically resolved to ensure continuous operation even when conflicting timed events are present. Special facilities ensure uninterrupted operation if content files or even entire schedules are missing or misplaced. Changes to the playlist can be made at any time, even during an on-air session.


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