CalaTelevision launches PlayBox Neo Cloud2TV
- 07 April, 2023
BGR: PlayBox Neo, a leading provider of media playout solutions, has announced that CalaTelevision, the largest independent broadcaster in the Caribbean and Central America, will launch a new cloud-based playout system for its CalaWeather channel - Cloud2TV from PlayBox Neo. The virtual channel playout system joins six channels of AirBox Neo-20 playout servers and TitleBox Neo-20 graphics that are used by the other CalaTelevision channels CalaAction, CalaWesterns, and CalaClassics. CalaWeather is the go-to source for up-to-the-minute weather reports in the Caribbean and Central America.
“This is our first foray into cloud servers from PlayBox Neo,” said Tony Marchand, President, CalaTelevision, a division of Lorac Communications Inc. “AirBox and TitleBox have been great for our other channels, but our weather channel has expanded to the point where we needed more functionality without incurring a steep increase in price. Given the prevalence of hurricanes in the regions, viewers rely on us to deliver timely information without fail, regardless of any extreme weather we’re facing.”
Cloud2TV provides broadcasters with a secure system through which to access their playout from practically any location via an easy-to-use interface.
“With Cloud2TV, we’re assured of 24/7 reliability and more - with much less maintenance on our part,” added Marchand. “No more concerns about software upgrades or redundancy. PlayBox Neo has taken care of all that for us. I’d rather have my staff dedicated to creative projects or anything that contributes to the quality of our programming, not maintaining servers. Cloud2TV is a true turnkey solution for us. We foresee migrating to cloud-based playout for our other channels as well.”
A private data center will handle all CDN responsibilities for CalaWeather. The Cloud2TV launch at CalaWeather is scheduled for mid-April.
“Given the critical nature of the programming on CalaWeather and the confidence the CalaTelevision team has shown in PlayBox Neo for the past ten years, we couldn’t be happier they’ve decided to deploy Cloud2TV for their weather channel,” said Van Duke, U.S. Director of Operations, PlayBox Neo. “We have other customers running Cloud2TV flawlessly for years, but now is really the time broadcasters are looking to virtual channel playout. Customers are much more open to discussing cloud-based operations now.”
The CalaTelevision broadcast headquarters are in Turks & Caicos, but a cloud-based server operation will make remote production far simpler. Currently CalaTelevision has staff in five different countries, handling roles from marketing to production. “One big advantage with Cloud2TV is the way we can handle remote inserts” explained Marchand. “With Cloud2TV, it’s plug-and-play, which will be a big time-saver for us.”
Marchand points to the flexibility of the Cloud2TV graphics engine as a very important point of consideration for the 24/7 weather channel: “A weather channel is incredibly complex. It’s far more complicated than an entertainment-only channel. There are multiple inputs, live feeds, and constantly changing graphics. Cloud2TV has a great graphics package, which is a must for CalaWeather.
We can make graphic changes on the fly. The L bar on the system is very flexible. This is essential for us. When hurricanes come through, the look of our whole screen completely changes.”
Cloud2TV provides operators with the freedom to make schedule alterations or insert live content between prescheduled content. Cloud2TV offers numerous advantages such as fast and on-demand channel launch, endless scalability, 24/7 reliability, web-based access and IP workflow. Cloud2TV is fully compatible with existing PlayBox Neo solutions and can be used to extend their capabilities and functionality.
Cloud2TV incorporates an intuitive web-based control interface with administrator-adjustable rights assignment, TV channel management, action-logging and notifications. Cloud2TV applications are its main components. Each application functions individually but in close co-ordination with the others to provide a full set of broadcast services supporting the workflow of an entire TV channel. Specific Cloud2TV applications are assigned to content ingest, graphic editing, media browsing with metadata handling and clip trimming, quality control and verification, transcoding, playlist management and audit logging.
Cloud2TV is available in three forms:
- Platform-as-a-Service deployed on a private cloud with CDN for global reach;
- Software-as-a-Service deployed on public clouds such as Amazon AWS, Microsoft Azure or Google;
- On-premises turnkey system for deployment by a broadcaster or service-provider.
PlayBox Neo solutions provide a seamless workflow to keep channels on-air by combining scheduling, ingest, playout, CG and interactive graphics within one box and remote tools to enhance QC checks, preparation and monitoring. The output can be SDI and/or IP streaming and is suitable for a variety of applications, including traditional broadcast TV, pay-TV, playout centers, satellite operators, etc.
Visit PlayBox Neo at NAB Show 2023 in the Central Hall, Booth C2427.