Although the advance of non-linear platforms (OTT, VoD) seems unstoppable, linear channels -until not so long ago, the only option to enjoy our favorite content- continue to be relevant, whether in the form of news, live events or even integrated into the virtual platforms themselves. What are the necessary operations to set up a channel?
The ABCs of a linear channel
- Ingest: there can hardly be a broadcast without content, so the first logical step would be to ingest it, a term that in video production refers to nothing more than introducing new content into a studio or facility. Ingest can be in the form of conventional video, compressed data streams or data files, and the media is usually stored on a server.
- Transcoding: on more than one occasion, ingested content will not be in the ideal format for broadcasting, so it will be necessary to transcode it, in other words, convert it from one format to another in order to increase the number of compatible target devices on which it can be played.
- Planning: once all the content is available, we must arrange it according to the order in which we want it to be broadcasted, the best time to do it, the advertising breaks we want to introduce and every other variable we want to consider.
- Adding graphics: whether for programming announcements, a logo or advertising inserts, in many occasions we will need to overprint graphics on the contents.
- Broadcast: the transmission of the channel signal from its origin to the audience by means of different types of signals. Naturally, it is the most critical process of the operation.
- Monetization: although there are initiatives that do not seek economic profit, almost all linear channels are financed through advertising, mostly defined in the form of advertising spaces.
- Monitoring: if the above processes have been completed satisfactorily, all that remains is to ensure that they continue in this way by monitoring the channel’s broadcasting to guarantee good continuity and allow a rapid response to any unexpected eventuality.
Of course, there is no shortage of processes to be carried out. In fact, there are enough to make anyone dizzy just by thinking about it in logistical and technological terms: What means do we need, what hardware should I invest in, how many types of software are mandatory? At least in the latter case, from VSN we can offer a clear answer: you just need to choose the right box.
The power of the CiaB (Channel-in-a-Box)
What is a CiaB? It is a specialized software for Broadcast defined as an integrated playout system that covers all the basic functions to carry it out, and it is usually a practical and economical way to broadcast content without depending on third party systems. For years, VSN’s products and solutions have included VSNOne TV, a Channel-in-a-Box that can assist you with the aforementioned steps in the following ways:
- Ingest: the system allows manual or automated ingest of SDI, IPTS, DVB-ASI, NDI or webcast signals. It allows the ingest of a wide variety of SD, HD and UHD files and also supports P2 and SxS cards.
- Transcoding: our CiaB allows the creation of proxies and transcodes to a wide variety of formats and codecs, and includes an integrated rules-based file transfer system to multiple storages.
- Planning: VSNOne TV allows the creation of broadcast lists or file import and integrations with BMS (Broadcast Management System), and it is possible to make changes in the lists while they are being executed.
- Adding graphics: the software’s functionalities feature graphic compositions that can include multiple layers of text, logos, animations, video clips, chroma key and other elements.
- Broadcasting: the program manages from 1 to 6 SD/HD or 2 UHD broadcast channels, and allows simultaneous broadcasting via multiple signals and simulcast (multiple simultaneous broadcasts).
- Monetization: VSN’s CiaB allows local insertions in the video or IP signal from a central station following the SCTE-35/104 standards to, for example, dynamically insert commercials or regional news in a newscast.
- Monitoring: One TV is accessible from any web browser, and also includes a customizable Multi-Viewer for easy and convenient monitoring of all on-air signals.
It should be added that, like all VSN’s suite of solutions and products, VSNOne TV can be integrated with most systems and hardware, so shall you decide to -literally- think outside the box and expand your operation, our CiaB can also assist you and become the central hub of your channel.
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