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PLAYOUT System Architecture

Playout has grown to more than just switching feeds and running local commercials, IDs and news stingers. Today, your playout system — and its operators — have to contend with a variety of tasks from how a system is operated day-to-day, what assets need to be controlled and managed, and how much resilience your business needs require. Grass Valley understands each of these concepts and more, so you get the perfect playout architecture for your specific requirements.

System Architecture


UX is a completely reconfigurable web-based user interface available for Morpheus playout automation and ICE channel-in-a-box systems.

Morpheus UX delivers tremendous benefits by allowing operators to build precisely the type of user interface they need. In this way, operators can focus on the most significant events, such as live events or events with errors, rather than using up large amounts of screen real estate with "good" events that are guaranteed to go to air. Morpheus UX provides the tools to build user-defined panels which are exactly appropriate for differing styles of playout operation and to build screens made of as many of these panels as needed.

Using the UX interface, the master control features of ICE can be readily exploited. This brings the more traditional master control features to the fingertips of the operator from their ICE integrated playout solution.


Designing a resilient architecture is at the core of any Playout system. Service Level Agreements mean expensive penalties, maintaining on-air output is of paramount importance. Grass Valley can provide resilience topology's to suite different types of requirements. Choose the level of resilience that is applicable to the size of the revenue stream you are protecting.

For some channel types a cost effective N+1 topology might suffice. For the highest revenue generating channels then a dual-site high availability topology can be employed.


In order to air content, it has to assembled from video, audio and ancillary files, and placed in the correct location prior to its scheduled on-air time. Working in conjunction with the playout system, media management tools and applications ensure that all the ingredients required to air an event are retrieved from the various sources, including sources like deep digital archives, nearline NAS storage, file delivery bureaus and generic FTP servers/sites.

Grass Valley has a suite of media management applications that carry out this function. They are driven by the demands of the schedule so that all the various assets that are required are assembled in the correct time order. These media management applications also carry out housekeeping functions, such as automatic deletion of old content. Interfaces from these tools to external systems are provided by industry standard protocols such as BXF.

In addition, Grass Valley's Momentum media asset management and workflow automation system offers a rich set of processing and asset manipulation tools. Operations such as metadata entry, transcoding, quality control, proxy file playback and content re-versioning are built on top of a hugely flexible and simple to use workflow automation.


Grass Valley is the pioneer of integrated playout solutions — having introducing iTX in 2007 as the industry's first playout system to incorporate scheduling, video, audio and graphics in a COTS server platform. Shortly afterwards came ICE, offering a flexible routing core, advanced audio and graphics functions, and much more. Both solutions offer the same huge efficiencies: less power, less cooling, less real estate and higher channel density. All of these features were added to increase functionality, thus reducing integration or interoperability headaches to external equipment.

Grass Valley offers the best in breed of integrated playout solutions.


Grass Valley is the clear choice for deploying open-architecture IP production workflows. We ease your transition to an IP infrastructure by making the complex simple and more cost-effective with scalable, end-to-end solutions based on industry standards, proven production technologies and COTS IP fabric switches for core signal routing.