Imagine Communications has been selected by NPC Media Pty Ltd, a venture formed between Australia’s largest commercial broadcasters, Seven (ASX:SWM) and Nine (ASX:NEC), to provide an extensive infrastructure upgrade of the National Playout Centre (NPC) in Sydney, Australia.
The National Playout Centre was first established by Nine Network 10 years ago, and today provides playout facilities for more than 106 free-to-air broadcast channels. Already one of the largest and most innovative broadcast operations in the APAC region, the center relies on Imagine Communications’ market-leading Versio™ playout and master control, D-Series™ playout automation and Nexio®️ media servers and content management services to provide end-to-end media management for program integration, live sport and multimedia distribution.
“Central to the design of the expanded technology platform is the ability to adapt more seamlessly to changing market demands,” said Chris Howe, General Manager, Commercial and Technology at NPC Media. “Imagine Communications’ Versio product strategy allows us to confidently manage our current baseband/SDI infrastructure, and more swiftly and economically transition to a full range of software-defined, commercial off-the-shelf IP-based media services. This will benefit our NPC Media clients and the wider Australian viewing public.”
The first phase of the expansion of NPC Media has seen the incorporation of Seven’s key broadcast operations into the NPC facility, and the progressive transformation of the center from a single-station facility to a contemporary, IP-based, multi-tenanted managed media services provider to the broadcast industry. Seven’s channels went live from NPC Media on 21 August 2019.
The next phase will see the implementation of Southern Cross Austereo’s broadcast channels into NPC later this year. This phase will see the deployment of the Imagine Communications playout solutions across two sites — main at NPC, with protect located at Telstra Broadcast Services facility in Sydney — providing geo-diverse redundancy for NPC Media and its customers.
Combined, these exciting first phases of the launch will support more than 211 live terrestrial television channels managed by NPC Media, together with a further 392 passthrough multiplexed channels. This approach will deliver new levels of operational and cost efficiencies not previously achievable using traditional technology platforms.
To support this massive endeavor, NPC Media will implement an end-to-end broadcast playout chain from a common ingest platform through to software-based channel origination, which is based on Imagine Communications’ proven, award-winning Versio product suite. Versio was first deployed by the Nine Network to integrate NBN Television’s playout operations into the NPC in June 2018. Imagine Communications provided a full IP solution running under D-Series control and seamlessly integrated into the center’s existing baseband system, enabling Nine to manage the NBN Regional channels, as well as realize new advertising and revenue opportunities by breaking into a seventh regional market, in Northern New South Wales.
“As proven with NBN, the ability to progressively introduce our new IP-based Versio platform, whilst retaining the day-to-day operations under Imagine Communications’ D-Series automation platform, allows NPC Media to transition its customers to the new platform more easily and efficiently,” said Joe Khodeir, head of sales Australia and New Zealand at Imagine Communications.
Khodeir continued, “We have been working closely with NPC Media and its customers for over a decade. During that period, our platforms and services have helped them profitably address the dynamics of a constantly changing, multiplatform and ‘on-demand’ media business, and to implement new services to help reduce costs and deliver new offerings to market more quickly.”
Running as software instances on commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) hardware, the Versio solution delivers playout, master control and graphics in a single device all under the control of D-Series. Versio is based on Imagine Communications’ visionary Zenium™ microservices platform, which allows tight integration of third-party products; for example, NPC Media is running Vizrt graphics on Versio to support its premium channels, while Versio Graphics are used for channels with less complex graphics requirements.
The new implementation includes the Versio IOX NAS high-performance shared storage and Imagine’s EPIC™ MV hybrid IP multiviewer. Integration between baseband and IP systems is managed by the company’s Magellan™ SDN Orchestrator, which also supports seamless switching, whether through a baseband router or an IP switch.
Tom Cotney, CEO at Imagine Communications, added, “This is a remarkable project — one of the boldest in the world — and we are proud to have been chosen as technology partner by NPC Media. The Australian market is hugely important to us, and we look forward to future innovation with Australia’s largest managed media services provider.”
Imagine Communications Press
Imagine Communications has been selected by NPC Media Pty Ltd, a venture formed between Australia’s largest commercial broadcasters, Seven (ASX:SWM) and Nine (ASX:NEC), to provide an extensive infrastructure upgrade of the National Playout Centre (NPC) in Sydney, Australia.
In response to broadcast and media companies who need to maintain their existing assets while planning their move to a software-centric, IP future, Imagine Communications is working with Fortress Solutions to offer a whole-infrastructure care and maintenance package. The new offering, Imagine Service Fortress, provides multi-vendor hardware support and service for almost any vendor product, through a single point of contact. The programme is part of Imagine’s customer-centric approach, which looks at the benefits to be accrued from systems and services, beyond traditional product sales.
In this extended care programme, Imagine Communications will handle all repairs of its own equipment, with Fortress Solutions managing the service, repair and maintenance of third-party equipment. Fortress Solutions is one of the largest providers of telecom, mobile and video equipment repair services, with a global infrastructure for logistics, repair and distribution.
“We have launched successful projects with select marquee customers, and the feedback was that they see this care programme as a compelling proposition,” said Tom Cotney, CEO at Imagine Communications. “Since starting the software-centric revolution, we have always made the point that each broadcaster will make the transition in their own time, based on their chosen path and pace.”
Cotney added, “Imagine Service Fortress is a direct response to requests from our customers, who want a cost-effective and reliable way to maintain their existing hardware while planning for the IP future. They told us they needed a reliable, streamlined, professional, expeditious care service for their existing technology, and that is exactly what we are now offering with Imagine Service Fortress — it is a one-stop shop.”
This is the first such offering in the broadcast sector. As well as providing certainty around equipment performance, it also makes costs more predictable and avoids the need for emergency purchases of replacement equipment, which would not then have a full commercial life in service. Imagine Service Fortress is particularly appealing to organisations that see a large-scale redevelopment ahead but are keen to leverage their existing systems until they make that transition to an all IP, software-centric infrastructure.
“This is a great way for us to offer our support services to the broadcast industry, in conjunction with a market leader in Imagine,” said Dan Walsh, COO at Fortress Solutions. “We currently service the equipment from more than 480 manufacturers and 1,050 system platforms, and have engineering staff with 25+ years of R&D expertise — and we are constantly seeking to expand our skills and capacity. We know this sort of care programme is what a lot of media organisations are seeking, and we look forward to growing our service to the industry.”
MultiChoice, the largest satellite broadcaster in Africa, is responding to rapidly growing customer demand for superior content by building a new playout centre.
The new facility is the first stage of the broadcaster’s transformation from traditional video playout to leading-edge IP transport and modular playout technology, providing for greater business agility, technical and operational flexibility and a reduction in the total cost of ownership (TCO). This allows for an improved consumer experience and ensures faster speed to market with new broadcast offerings.
Currently broadcasting around 150 video and 180 audio channels across six platforms to over 14 million subscribers in 46 countries across Africa, the new facility, located at the company’s Randburg headquarters in a suburb of Johannesburg, is being implemented by Concilium Technologies, using Imagine Communications’ software-defined microservices products and IP interfacing technology.
“We recognised a strong consumer demand for pristine content, but need to also provide for that demand in the most cost-effective and efficient manner,” said Julian Ankiah, head of technology engineering at MultiChoice Support Services. “We needed to take advantage of the benefits of IP signal reticulation, while ensuring tight integration with our existing platforms, and particularly our business services. Imagine understood our commercial drivers, and showed how their technology could both deliver what we want now and reflect our chosen pace of transition to IP and software-centric platforms into the future.”
Ankiah continued, “By introducing a dynamic technology platform and assembling an excellent viewing bundle, built around compelling and premium entertainment and sports channels, we are adding significant value for subscribers and television consumers.”
“This is a great project, because it gives MultiChoice two big wins,” said Mathias Eckert, SVP & GM EMEA/APAC, Playout & Networking, at Imagine Communications. “First, and most obvious, it allows them to respond to consumer demand. Secondly, it provides a solid route to the future with a solution that offers a very low total cost of ownership.”
Eckert continued, “MultiChoice has a clear vision of delivering all its content across reticulated IP networks for high resilience and geo-diversity. They recognised that the Imagine microservices approach to software-defined functionality with inherent virtualisation is a good foundation on which to build future systems. We look forward to continuing to work closely with MultiChoice, as we move through the stages of this transition.”
The new playout centre provides complete playout functionality built around Versio™, a modular, microservices-based solution, hosted on the latest generation servers from HPE. It includes eight HD channels, with full redundancy on every channel. The architecture delivers the high performance and high-availability broadcast resilience MultiChoice demands with the bonus of added value functionality such as integrated graphics for channel branding. Also included in this project is the EPIC™ MV multiviewer, providing unrivalled monitoring power.
Versio modular playout and EPIC MV multiviewers are built on Imagine’s Zenium™ microservices platform, which provides an expansive library of services that run on COTS servers for a compact footprint and excellent energy performance. Microservices are not only cloud-native, but also allow users to quickly add new functionality. As an example, a request from MultiChoice to provide mirrored storage in a different location could be met quickly and simply by only adding the required microservices.
Within the centre, existing SDI signals are transported as uncompressed video-over-IP, via eight high-density, all-IP-capable Selenio™ Network Processors (SNP), providing SDI/IP encapsulation and processing for IP/IP, SDI/IP, IP/SDI for up to UHD-HDR resolution formats. As business needs evolve, the SNPs enable MultiChoice to seamlessly transform the centre from a hybrid to an all-IP architecture, while delivering cost-effective support for next-gen workflows. Imagine’s EPIC MV multiviewers provide MultiChoice with a highly scalable solution for probing IP streams and monitoring mixed signal types on a single canvas, while offering mission-critical system visibility across compressed and uncompressed IP workflows. IP signals are routed using Arista ethernet switches and management.
The new playout centre is closely integrated into MultiChoice’s existing infrastructure, which includes Imagine D-Series™ automation control, Selenio™ processing and Platinum™ IP3 routing. It is expected to go on air in late 2019.
Concilium Technologies (Pty) Ltd is the official distributor for Imagine Communications in Southern Africa.
A major step forward in the march toward IP connectivity in media technology was achieved last month with the debut of the JT-NM Tested program. The Joint Task Force on Networked Media (JT-NM) has set out the roadmap toward complete interoperability between IP-connected devices from different vendors, based on the principles of the SMPTE ST 2110 family of standards and drawing on the work of AIMS, the Alliance for IP Media Solutions.
Products badged with the JT-NM Tested mark will have passed a rigorous set of tests to align with SMPTE ST 2110 and SMPTE ST 2059 standards. The tests were conducted at Fox Networks’ Woodlands, Texas, facility, and administered by two leading European technical bodies, the EBU and IRT, who developed the test plan. Thirty-four companies presented more than 75 products at this first testing event. Among the products gaining the coveted badge were three from Imagine Communications: the EPIC™ MV multiviewer, the Selenio™ Network Processor (SNP) and the Versio™ modular playout system.
“The JT-NM tested program is a key achievement in the industry,” said John Mailhot, CTO of Networking at Imagine Communications, and document editor of the SMPTE ST 2110 suite of standards. “It allows customers to proceed with confidence in buying and implementing SMPTE ST 2110 systems from multiple vendors, with the expectation that they will work correctly together. This level of confidence in specifying and purchasing systems is a huge advance for forward-looking media companies.”
Imagine Communications has long recognised that standards for interworking are essential if media companies are to take full advantage of the move to IP and software-defined technology platforms. The company was one of the founders of AIMS, and Steve Reynolds, Imagine’s president of playout and networking, remains a board member.
The full catalogue of JT-NM Tested products from the March event will be published at the 2019 NAB Show. The program is one of the highlights of this year’s IP Showcase, which also features targeted demonstrations of underlying new technologies developed as part of the standards family and from the work still being carried out by JT-NM and AMWA. This includes the JT-NM Tech Stack series of protocols that simplify and streamline the installation of IP systems.
“The media industry clearly recognises the huge benefits in cost, operational agility and resilience that are won by moving to software applications running on COTS hardware, whether in-house or in the cloud,” said Reynolds. “But at the same time, they want to retain the functionality and operational practices that give them the production values and delivery opportunities that they already expect. In short, they need to build architectures from multiple vendors that bring precisely the tools they need.
“That can only be achieved by cross-industry cooperation,” he continued. “Exercises like the JT-NM Tested program are vital if we are going to be able to deliver to our customers the technology they seek.”
The IP Showcase at the 2019 NAB Show (Las Vegas Convention Center, April 8-11) can be found at booth C12634. Among the industry experts presenting in the IP Showcase Theatre are John Mailhot and Leigh Whitcomb from Imagine Communications. A comprehensive demonstration of Imagine’s software-defined vision of the media future, including presentations from four current customers — TV Azteca, Sinclair Broadcast Group, Nine Network and tpc — is taking place on the Imagine booth.
True Visions, a leading cable and satellite operator in Thailand, has extended its Imagine Communications playout solution to broadcast this year’s worldwide football championships in 4K Ultra HD. This is the first Ultra HD channel in South East Asia, and it was designed, built, tested, proven and put on air in just four weeks.
True Visions holds the broadcast rights to the football tournament, being held in Russia this month. To meet its audience expectations, it is offering a number of new services, as well as the Ultra HD channel. As the company already depends upon Imagine Communications technology for its transmission and newsroom infrastructure, it turned to Imagine and Thai systems integrator B.E.C. Co., Ltd. to extend the capacity.
True Visions’ enhanced playout solution features Imagine’s Nexio+™ AMP® software-defined media servers providing six HD ingest channels in both a main and a hot standby installation. Imagine’s microservices-based Versio™ integrated playout platform upconverts the HD clip for UHD playout, while redundant Versio™ IOX systems support the high-bandwidth storage needs of the UHD workflow. Rounding out the Imagine system, True Visions’ existing Platinum™ VX router is used to switch to the live UHD feed, and D-Series™ playout automation provides frame-accurate control of the high-capacity media environment.
“We have built a very strong business in Thailand by providing the best in sport, movies, entertainment and news, and our subscribers are extremely demanding,” said Roengrit Sereejumroenrojn, director of engineering at True Visions. “They expect to be immersed in the football, and Ultra HD is one of the ways we can bring the action to life for them.
“Imagine and BEC designed a solution that would enable us to leverage our existing automated playout environment to deliver the exceptional quality of Ultra HD,” he added. “More than that, they installed and tested it in time for our technical teams to rehearse before the opening ceremony on 14 June. Already the audience is loving what we are delivering.”
Mathias Eckert, SVP & GM EMEA/APAC, Playout & Networking Solutions at Imagine Communications, added “True Visions is leading the way, and there is no doubt that its pioneering Ultra HD coverage of the world’s most widely viewed sporting event will set the bar for many other broadcasters.
“We are delighted that we could provide True Visions with the core platform for this ground-breaking deployment,” Eckert added. “Our microservices-based technology running on commercial off-the-shelf hardware makes for fast rollouts of new services and enables media companies to add the latest functionality to existing installations without disrupting the existing signal paths and workflows. This is a great showcase project for us, and we hope that True Visions’ subscribers enjoy the football in the full glory of Ultra HD.”
Imagine Communications, empowering the media and entertainment industry through transformative innovation, has completed a major upgrade for Omantel, the national and leading telecoms company of Oman. These latest enhancements significantly boost the performance and resiliency of Omantel state-of-the-art contribution and distribution networks, which rely heavily on the Selenio™ Media Convergence Platform (MCP) from Imagine Communications.
Omantel was the launch customer for the Selenio MCP, which enables media companies to combine baseband digital audio and video and compressed and uncompressed IP media signals into common workflows. Omantel leverages the power and flexibility of the Selenio MCP to operate a highly agile network linking 55 sites over dedicated fibre providing high-quality HD contribution and distribution services to studios and transmission centres across the country. The same platform also supports backhaul operations for remote productions, including sports and national events.
The new project upgrades Omantel’s operations from outdated transmission technology to Synchronous Optical Networking (SONET) and Synchronous Digital Hierarchy (SDH) through the addition of networking modules to the Selenio MCP, which supports both digital video and long-distance connectivity over fibre in the same 3RU chassis. The result is mission-critical, real-time video transport based on open standards over both media and telecoms networks. The Selenio MCP solution’s support for baseband and IP protocols enables Omantel to use a single device for both SDI and MPEG-2 transport streams on the broadcaster side, significantly reducing operational complexity. Signals are encoded or transcoded as needed for cost-optimizing the Omantel fibre network, while helping to ensure resilience through redundant paths.
In addition to feeding all terrestrial transmitters in Oman, the telco’s network provides contribution circuits for live broadcasts, such as sports and major public events, to the broadcasting centre. This makes for an extremely reliable solution while reducing operational costs typical of traditional links vehicles from remote areas. Where live coverage is required from a location outside of Omantel’s extensive coverage area, Imagine Communications has provided portable kits to extend the network.
“Our goal in designing this network was to meet the quality and reliability requirements of our clients in a very cost-effective way, using open telecoms standards,” said Said Abdullah Al Ajmi, vice president of operations at Omantel. “Imagine Communications was our preferred partner as they possess the broadcast technology, the interfaces to telecoms standards, the vision to create the network we sought and the local support to work with us to deliver excellence consistently. The core platform has performed exactly as we had hoped, and we continue to work with Imagine to extend the capabilities to meet our clients’ demands.”
Anas Hantash, director of sales for MENA at Imagine Communications, added: “With this groundbreaking deployment, Omantel is seizing the opportunity that real-time IP connectivity offers, and they are building out a network that takes advantage of the latest in telecoms techniques to deliver very high standards of resilience and consistency. Our Selenio MCP provides the perfect bridge between SDI and IP, as well as telecom and broadcast, ensuring that Omantel’s broadcast customers get the quality and reliability they demand.
“We continue to work closely with Omantel,” Hantash added. “This year’s project to upgrade the network modules is just one way we are striving together to achieve ever better standards of performance.”
The upgrade was carried out in the third quarter of 2017.
Imagine Communications introduced xG Scorecard, a powerful analytics and business intelligence tool designed specifically for the media industry, at the 2018 NAB Show in Las Vegas. xG Scorecard provides media professionals with a comprehensive, holistic and highly visualised view of performance and audience data, empowering them to make smarter advertising sales and programming decisions.
The expansion of content distribution options has made it difficult for media companies to easily and accurately track consumption and demographic data, inhibiting their ability to maximise advertising revenue. xG Scorecard is a powerful analytics tool designed to enable media companies to concentrate all data relevant to optimising their business into a single view that can be customised to meet the needs of specific users and decision makers.
“The at-a-glance intelligence behind xG Scorecard greatly improves the ability of media professionals to draw real-time insights by allowing them to view all of the information that impacts their business at the same time,” said Sarah Foss, chief product officer of Imagine’s Advertising Management Systems. “Visualising all data in a single view and integrated field, as opposed to discrete and static sources, like spreadsheets, simplifies and greatly enhances the process of discovering trends and spotting correlations vital to growing your business.”
The multi-source capabilities of xG Scorecard make it possible to blend data from traditional sales and traffic systems, operational databases, ratings, clickstream and even social networks to build a holistic view of audiences with real-time insights. By bringing together data that is normally stored in silos, xG Scorecard offers a unique, powerful and highly visual way of evaluating and fine-tuning the performance of businesses.
xG Scorecard is so named for its ability to provide an interactive display that brings together information from across the business and enables ad-supported media companies to explore, interpret, customise and organise data. This all-new capability makes dissecting data easier than ever. The xG Scorecard visual filters allow anyone to navigate their data and collaboration tools that enable discussion and collective analysis.
As opposed to generic business intelligence tools, xG Scorecard has been customised and optimised for the media industry. Both powerful and easy-to-navigate, the new analytics engine enables media professionals to quickly pull together comprehensive reports that can be customised for executives or other decision makers in a matter of minutes, rather than hours. Reports can also be easily exported to pdf.
“Media companies are unable to capture the real value of their ad inventory without precise knowledge of how their spots drive sales for advertisers,” added Foss. “xG Scorecard is a first-of-its-kind reporting tool that delivers that capability and makes sales attribution table stakes for all your campaigns.”
Imagine Communication’s xG platform is a modular, next-generation advertising management solution that is designed to enable broadcasters and other media companies to maximise the value of commercial airtime and optimise the efficiency of their business to sell either by traditional unit-based models or impression-based models that can be effective across all delivery platforms, including linear, non-linear, on-demand and mobile. In addition to analytics and reporting, Imagine’s open, cloud-capable software platform provides a broad set of functionalities, including inventory and yield optimisation, inventory management and back-end business processing. The xG platform is designed to work across all types of media advertising and distribution.
Imagine Communications, a portfolio company of The Gores Group and a leader in empowering the media and entertainment industry through transformative technology innovation, has announced that Tom Cotney has been named CEO of the company, effective immediately. Current CEO, Charlie Vogt is joining The Gores Group as a senior advisor to continue to drive M&A and business development activities at Imagine. The two executives will work closely to continue the momentum and growth at Imagine Communications while also ensuring a seamless leadership transition.
“Over the past four years, Imagine has transformed the media industry by becoming the first company to deliver on its vision of an all IP/cloud network for playout and master control,” said Alec Gores, founder, chairman and CEO of The Gores Group. “I want to acknowledge and personally thank Charlie for his leadership in driving this massive transformation and placing Imagine’s technology at the forefront of the industry. Sharing our vision of where the industry is heading, Tom is uniquely qualified to build on this momentum and I welcome him in his new role.”
“I am excited about the opportunity to lead Imagine to the next level,” said Cotney. “Business models in transformation have become the norm in almost every company today. I can’t thank Charlie and the team enough for building Imagine into one of the market leading, long-term players in this industry.”
Cotney has spent 20 of his 30-year career partnering, selling to and competing in the telecommunications and mobile technology industries. He served as general manager of the Communications Sector at IBM Global Services and has been a CEO and board member for a number of privately held companies. Cotney will also join the board of directors of Imagine.
“Imagine Communications could not be better positioned than we are today to take market-share across the ad management, playout, networking and distribution markets, particularly as we continue to guide the industry transition to IP and the cloud,” said Vogt. “We are pacing to have our best quarter of the year, and Friday we signed a strategic Advertising Management System contract to accelerate the emerging ATSC 3.0 multi-services market. I look forward to supporting Tom Cotney is his new role in an advisory capacity at The Gores Group and believe he will be able to fuel Imagine’s continued expansion and innovation.”
Vogt has been a CEO and strategic leader in the telecommunications, broadcast and media sectors for 30 years – 16 years as a CEO. During that time, he has overseen the acquisition and integration of 15 companies.
“This transition underpins our long-term commitment to Imagine, and to the media and entertainment sector in general, as well as the confidence we have in Imagine to continue leading the industry in the transition to IP and cloud services from monetisation to content distribution,” said Gores.
Imagine Communications, empowering the media and entertainment industry through transformative innovation, is working closely with Huawei, a leading global information and communications technology solutions provider, to integrate Imagine’s Versio playout software with data center compute and networking equipment from Huawei.
The collaboration between Imagine and Huawei, headquartered in Shenzhen, China, is intended to provide media companies with an expansion of options for transitioning their playout operations to software-based, virtualised environments running on commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) hardware.
“This collaboration underscores our ongoing commitment to the evolution of the media industry to a technology foundation that injects new levels of agility, flexibility and responsiveness into traditional operations by moving them to pure software running on powerful COTS equipment,’ said Charlie Vogt, CEO of Imagine Communications. “The strategic partnership unites two of the most innovative players in the broadcast and IT industries to provide media companies in the Asia Pacific region — and around the world — with a greater palette of hardware choices for deploying origination and other playout operations in a datacenter environment.”
The collaboration will initially focus on Versio, Imagine Communications’ cloud-native, microservices-based playout solution designed for pure-IP, geo-dispersed environments. Versio, a 100 per cent software solution that supports both cloud and premises-based deployment models, enables media companies to build highly customised media workflows that evolve with market demand.
Imagine and Huawei are currently testing the integrated solution in a joint-lab facility and expect to initiate a commercial deployment before the end of the year. Additional solutions from the Imagine portfolio are scheduled for integration with Huawei equipment in the future.
“Huawei aspires to become an enabler and preferred partner of media digital
transformation,’ said Xu Huangcheng, CTO of Huawei media industry solutions. “By jointly innovating with Imagine, Huawei offers Media Cloud Solutions featuring an open, flexible and secure platform to enable a new ecosystem to empower our partners to be leading providers of new ICT technologies for the media industry.”
Imagine Communications, empowering the media and entertainment industry through
transformative innovation, will shine a spotlight at IBC2017 on how it is assisting all
segments of the media & entertainment ecosystem in the migration of workflows to a
more agile technology foundation through inventive-but-pragmatic practices and
solutions that significantly reduced the friction at the intersection of traditional and
Imagine Communications will use IBC2017, the media and entertainment industry’s
largest European tradeshow and exhibition, which begins on 14 September 2017 in
Amsterdam, to provide real-world proof points of how it is assisting several of its
customers — through unprecedented openness and the practical application of
innovation — to move mission-critical live, playout, distribution and business
operations to software-based, virtualised environments based on commercial off-the-
shelf (COTS) equipment.
“For the past several years, Imagine Communications has been leading the evolution
toward and embracing the power and efficiencies of IP, software and cloud, delivering
the agility, flexibility and responsiveness our clients require to compete in today’s
hyper-competitive market,’ said Imagine CEO Charlie Vogt. “Imagine’s bold vision
and direction, first articulated at IBC2014, has fully evolved into market-leading
advertising, playout and automation, networking and OTT solutions that are being
deployed around the world.’
Imagine Communications will once again present a series of knowledge-sharing
seminars featuring thought leaders from across the media and entertainment and IT
industries. In addition to showcasing commercial deployments of next-generation
solutions, the IBC2017 ImagineLIVE Power Sessions, as well as a series of Master
Classes, will explore critical and timely technology trends, including microservices,
cloud, all-IP production, the latest standards, next-gen advertising management and
inventory optimisation. Presentations and Master Classes will be conducted at the
Imagine Communications stand (Amtrium, 4.A01) throughout the event. A schedule
and full description of all presentations will be issued prior to the event.
An additional IBC2017 objective for Imagine Communications is to demonstrate how
the company is assisting broadcasters, distributors and other media companies in
stretching the boundaries of their businesses and generating new monetisation
opportunities through the creative integration of broadband networks into their
content distribution strategies. The ability of broadcasters to complement over-the-air
transmissions with the two-way capabilities of Internet-based distribution, for
example, holds the potential to redefine the competitive positioning of broadcasters in
the media & entertainment ecosystem.
Imagine Communications will also unveil additional details of its Open Zenium
programme, introduced at NAB in the spring. The Open Zenium programme is
designed to stimulate innovation through a commitment to collaboration and
transparency by sharing source code to the Zenium microservices library with a
community of Imagine customers and partners. Zenium is the company’s pure
microservices platform for building smarter, more efficient and future proof media
operations. Open Zenium provides media companies with the ability to customise,
optimise, modify, design and deploy next-generation workflows and services of
unparalleled efficiency, scalability and performance, as well as gain access to a vibrant
software community backed by teams of developers, architects and DevOps
IBC2017 will also mark the European debut of several product innovations from
Imagine Communications, including the Selenio Network Processor (SNP), an all-IP-
capable processing solution optimised for handling uncompressed UHD signals based
on the SMPTE ST-2110 specification for transporting media over IP networks. SNP is
designed to usher in a new era in live production, optimising both studio and mobile
facilities to take full advantage of the performance, agility and efficiency benefits of
IT-based infrastructures, while at the same time easing the upgrade of operations to
support UHD picture quality. The most recent enhancements to Versio, the company’s
integrated playout solution, will also be featured at IBC2017.
Imagine Communications is spearheading the gradual and managed transition to
next-generation architectures across four major pillars — live, playout, multiscreen
and advanced advertising management solutions — through the practical application
of innovation that oversees every step in the customer’s migration of their workflows
to more agile and flexible environments.
In addition to the Imagine SNP, featured live production solutions include the hybrid
SDI-IP Platinum IP3 router and UHD-ready EPIC MV multi-viewer. Imagine solutions
empower media companies to transform sports, in-venue and other live production
operations by leveraging standard IT equipment without squandering investments in
traditional broadcast technology or sacrificing performance. Imagine Communications’
production and contribution portfolio provides ultra-low latency encoding and decoding
and the delivery of standards-based uncompressed media over IP for HD and UHD, as
well as third-party lightweight compression technologies. Imagine’s live production
portfolio also supports the most recent UHD processing technologies, including
up/down conversion, high dynamic range (HDR) image quality and precision timing.
Imagine Communications will also participate in the IBC2017 IP Showcase, a
cooperation of multiple standards organisations and the Alliance for IP Media Solutions
(AIMS) dedicated to demonstrating the interoperability of the ST-2110 specification
(currently being drafted) and highlighting the creative and business-building benefits
of IP technology.
Imagine Communications’ Versio playout and graphic workflow solutions support
compressed or uncompressed IP-based playout, advanced multichannel and UHD
playback and branding. Also featured will be the latest interface and integration
advances available on the modular Cloud-Native and hybrid playout and master
control solutions, which seamlessly unify playout, automation and graphics and
support fully virtualised deployments, including cloud environments. Showcasing its
storage capabilities, Imagine will demonstrate the capabilities of Versio IOX, which
provides sharable and scalable storage — SAN and NAS — throughout the content
lifecycle while offering the highest levels of digital asset protection.
Imagine’s multiscreen delivery portfolio is among the most comprehensive available
and supports high-density and high video quality transcoding and delivery for OTT
linear and on-demand services, all supported by advanced dynamic ad insertion (DAI)
capabilities. An end-to-end OTT infrastructure solution, which includes transcoding,
middleware, packaging and client apps, will be showcased at IBC. The company’s
next-generation DAI and unified distribution portfolios have been designed to enable
content distributors to consolidate and simplify their infrastructures to reduce costs
and explore new monetisation opportunities.
Imagine’s end-to-end, multiplatform ad management portfolio features open, modular
systems that help manage, connect, deliver and optimise ad revenue. Highlighted
demonstrations include sales, scheduling and analytics for linear and nonlinear
monetisation, as well as ground-breaking inventory optimisation and other advanced
ad management capabilities enabled though Imagine’s next-generation and modular
xG solutions portfolio. The company will also demonstrate the first-of-its-kind
integration of playout and scheduling achieved through the unification of its Versio
and xG Schedule solutions, as well as hyper-localised monetisation models that
leverage IP-based delivery networks.
Visit Imagine Communications at IBC2017 at the Amtrium, Stand 4.A01. For more
information about Imagine Communications’ products and solutions, please visit their