Every media operation has unique playout and distribution needs; from the ability to manually intervene an on-air schedule at a moment's notice, to how to handle multiple regions, multiple sites, multiple languages and OTT. Grass Valley has the playout solutions to handle any playout and distribution requirement, with more channels on air worldwide with every type of broadcaster and distributor than any other provider. With Grass Valley, your operation may be unique, but our experience assures your playout success.
In the world of live sports, managing the airing of high revenue commercial breaks is critical.
What was previously a manual, error-prone process is now fully automated using sophisticated playlist logic with different operating modes for different scenarios. Commercial breaks are taken to air by the operator at the most opportune time, leading to minimal interruption of game flow and maximum audience retention. The remaining schedule automatically re-times, ensuring that there is no possibility of missing any live footage no matter how frequently breaks are aired.
This means a commercial break is never missed! Advanced tools such as The Commercial Hotlist allow breaks to be quickly inserted across multiple regions simultaneously, ensuring the channel output runs error-free, maintaining maximum service level agreement compliance.
Applications: Manual Intervention – Re-join Paused Program or Join In Progress (JIP)
Being able to handle unscheduled situations has always been a challenge for operators how to elegantly merge back into the interrupted event with minimal on-air disruption. A prime example is re-joining a program at the exact point where it was interrupted.
When a breaking news event hits and demands air time, and then wanting to elegantly re-join the interrupted program at the exact frame where you left off is difficult. With Grass Valley playout, re-joining the program becomes a simple task carried out via a simple user interface. It allows the operator to resume normal service after the important breaking news event has finished, thus maintaining viewer interest.
There is also the join in progress (JIP) feature, where the interrupted program is "dead run" to maintain schedule timing and then picks up after the break.
Re-joining a program at the exact frame where interrupted can be enacted for both single channels and multiple channels, with multiple-channel re-join on a channel-by-channel basis. JIP can be enacted for both single-channel and multiple channels, with multiple channels initiating JIP simultaneously.
Applications: Manual Intervention – Master Control
In many playout situations, hands-on manual intervention is a must. When dealing with highly unpredictable and reactive scenarios such as breaking news, live sporting events, etc., operators need more than just the ability to quickly add events to a schedule using a keyboard and mouse. They need ultra-quick access to changing the on-air event and the associated graphic presentation. In these situations either a physical hardware master control system is required or, alternatively, a touchscreen control surface.
Grass Valley has offerings for these specific master control requirements:
Masterpiece: For the ultimate in hands-on tactile control, there is Masterpiece. A multiformat presentation switcher with DVEs, DSKs and audio processing. It's the perfect partner to a Grass Valley playout system where an operator requires that close level of control via a hardware control surface.
Morpheus UX: For other environments, where differing levels of master control might be needed for different types of channels, there is Morpheus UX. A web-based user-configurable interface. This interface can be configured/customized and then operated via touchscreen allowing the operator a tactile experience. Not only can Morpheus UX be configured to allow master control tasks, it can also be used to highlight errors and warnings as well as other channel playlist related statuses.
Broadcasting different commercials to different regions for targeted advertising can be a challenge, but not with a Grass Valley solution.
In a centralized regionalized playout configuration type, the main network TV channel coming from the central broadcasting facility is not only sent to the national audience but also to different regional audiences. However, the regional audience receives local advertisements for local businesses. These advertisements are managed and scheduled at the central facility.
Managing the advertising for the national and regional audience from the central facility ensures maximum operational efficiency as the operator can use one user interface to manage all channels. Advertising revenue is increased due to the ability to broadcast regional commercials.
Broadcasting both different programming content and advertisements to different regions can be a larger challenge than just regionalizing advertisements. And as stated, it's easy with a Grass Valley solution.
In hub-and-spoke deployments, a centrally located hub facility broadcasts a national feed to regionally located spoke facilities that require their own programming autonomy. The spoke facilities are spread over a wide geographical territory and need to broadcast locally produced programs and commercial content.
Grass Valley's solution allows the hub site to hand off programming to spoke sites that can perform cost-effective, regional playout with dedicated branding, including promos and commercials. When little or no local spoke content is planned such as during overnight "lights out" periods when the spoke has minimal staff - the hub can control dozens of spoke sites remotely ensuring continued regional playout with maximum cost efficiency.
There are many ingredients that make up the final broadcast asset, not just the primary video and audio. These ingredients have to be known, collected and assembled before air time. The secret to executing successfully is schedule-aware media management.
Grass Valley playout systems have a suite of media management applications that carry out this function. They are driven by the demands of the schedule so that all the elements required are assembled way ahead of the on-air time.
For many broadcasters, the need to be able to air different channels to a wide variety of different territories is a must. Each territory has its own set of characteristics. For example, there can be differences in audio language, regional closed caption/subtitle files and channel/country-specific graphics branding. All of these ancillary files need to be retrieved from various different repositories and then assembled on the playout device, all ahead of transmission time and as automatically as possible.
Interfaces into the Grass Valley media management system are made available to external systems such as electronic delivery bureaus, MAM systems and other business systems. Industry standard protocols, such as BXF, are the preferred method for information interchange with external systems.
Media organizations are increasingly looking to generate a contribution for OTT delivery from their linear channels, primarily to take advantage of personalized advertising monetization. Generating an OTT derivative of an existing channel can be a complicated process as it often involves third-party equipment. However, Grass Valley removes the need for additional third-party systems by providing an OTT friendly stream directly from your linear channel.
Grass Valley playout solutions support a wide variety of output streams, some for use as an OTT contribution stream. We automatically insert the triggers required to allow various big data services to insert personalized commercial content. This is the simplest and most cost-effective way to originate an OTT channel.