Some of you may not realise that our technology is used by over 200 broadcasters globally, including the likes of Discovery Networks Europe (across 116 channels) and BSkyB (on 48 channels). We have lots of interesting conversations about manual master control issues and beyond into other control areas. Not just with existing customers but with potential customers and our sales and technology partners around the world. This is the first in a series of mini-blogs that reflect some of the subjects discussed, opinions voiced and general issues raised around the subject of manual control.
While the media furore around CiAB technologies has largely died down, in the world of deployment there are clearly still issues. It would be fair to say that the promised nirvana of a single box that does everything a thematic – and maybe more complex – channel requirements has so far seemed too tricky to reach. This is not to dismiss the significant performance of many of the solutions out there, but in the development gold rush some key functionality has not always been developed as it should.
How did you guess that one of those areas is manual control? While the very idea of CiAB solutions is to provide as integrated a solution as possible, the assumption for many has therefore been that automated capabilities are the be all and end all. But manual intervention is still an essential requirement, particularly in master control. Why? For the same reasons as in a traditional playout chain: things go wrong. Audio levels, logo in the wrong place, voiceover issues and so on. It’s a fact of life. Master control operators need to be able to step in quickly when things do go awry as in today’s hugely competitive video world, on-air errors equal lost revenue.
However leading vendors like our technology partner Harmonic have recognised this and worked to provide a comprehensive solution. As CiAB deployments grow, it will be interesting to see how the overall CiAB control landscape develops.
Feel free to message us if you have any questions or points to make.