Blade servers farm IP stream playout solution with remote management and monitoring
Workflow consists of 1 or more blade servers with 2 nodes per chassis. That configuration gives the opportunity to save rackspace and streamline your workflow.
Every node is one Channel- in- a- Box configuration, or it can be a playout and CG, it depends on clients needs.
Every playout receives IP stream input via IP Matrix switcher that is controllable through a playout application thus it is possible to choose which IP stream input will be used as a source signal.
Our playout server platform via its Multi Parallel Output (MPO) technology allows IP streams with different codecs (MPEG2, H.264), resolutions (HD, SD) and transports (UDP, RTP) to be outputted simultaneously. The playout audio can optionally be encoded into Dolby Digital (AC3) and inserted into the output UDP streams. The IP stream outputs are broadcasted to output IP matrix switcher, and this gives possibility to manage output streams according to workflow needs.
All media assets are stored on NAS and video files are moved and manipulated by a SafeBox application which main task is to take care all daily playlists and corresponding video files to be copied to each particular playout server.
In order to avoid broadcast downtimes, the system is configured to use N+M playout redundancy scheme with Multi Backup Manager application that gives full redundancy monitoring and live switching to backup servers if there is a problem with the main playout.
For the purpose of monitoring and remote management of playout servers we use our EXEcutor control panel. This application is capable to monitor and manage one or more playout servers remotely with full capability to modify playlists, upload video files and execute secondary events, same as a desktop playout application. EXEcutor control panel is a web based application.
In order to prepare daily playlists ScheduleBox is another web based application for creating complex playlists remotely.
It is always necessary to avoid any problems or downtimes in broadcast industry. You have to be sure that your video assets are in a good shape, there is no room for badly encoded video files. That is why we include our QC solution in the workflow. With QCBox all files are tested before they become available for making playlists and before they will be sent to the playout server. In this way our client can be sure that all files are good and that there will be no problems once video files are on-air.
Remote management and monitoring
If your broadcasting facility is in one building, town, country and your MCR and management staff is on a remote location, with this workflow all your broadcasting services are at your fingertips. Via KVM Network is possible to control all distance servers, as well as your Multi Backup and IP matrix switching. Also, EXEcutor control panel for playout monitoring and management, ScheduleBox for complex playlists, graphics preparation, IP stream monitoring are connected to the system.
Author: Bojan Markovic, Technical Director at PBTEU