In our last mini-blog, we looked at the management of resources, particularly glue products, when there’s a regular series of tasks that need to be completed. Broadcasters want to be able to set up systems so that they have multiple cards in a chain, all doing different things, with the correct card(s) automatically selected prior to ingest for the task appropriate to that content. In essence, automating an otherwise time-consuming set of tasks,
We are continuing that automation theme here and the relationship between automation – both in the widest sense and specifically in the sense of broadcast automation systems – and manual control.
Just before NAB we launched the new version of Mediant including the new Mediant Automation Module (Mediant-AM). Mediant is our manually controlled branding media management tool. Mediant-AM adds a sophisticated level of automation to the media management process, automatically syncing the media that’s on the device with what the automation playlist requires.
But there might be more to come. There’s a gap between what automation systems can do in terms of the media management of secondary events and what a MAM does in that environment. 99 per cent of the time neither is architected to handle secondary event media in an on-air environment.
What we are now exploring – and this is no small part based on conversations at NAB – is ways to increase Mediant’s capabilities to include not just branding media, but media more generally. Two examples: one, managing media on and off encoders, where fast turnaround and accuracy are key as well as automating the encoder itself and therefore the whole process. A second example: a broadcaster wants to use Harmonic Spectrum ChannelPortsfor disaster recovery but the primary automation is ADC 1000. How do the ChannelPorts read the ADC schedule and therefore know what primary and secondary media is required? Mediant-AM could solve this problem too by outputting that data in the required format for the ChannelPorts to read.
We are constantly looking at ways of providing greater efficiency and accuracy for broadcasters and playout providers and it’s the gaps between major technologies where there’s still much work to be done.