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Playout system for state college TV station

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JimmyCarter
Playout system for state college TV station
on Apr 26, 2007 at 2:10:03 am

Okay, so I'm the newly-appointed Operations Manager for the student TV station here at UConn. They do a good job with what they have, but the biggest crunch point in our workflow is the ingest/playout system. We've got a Leightronix TCD I/P as a scheduler, and another Leightronix product, a TCD R/P as a playout/ingest device. The R/P is a piece of crap, to put it lightly. No ability to load files over the network, you have to play it back over a DV tape, through a composite connection, to load it in.

Oh, and the MPEG encoder is so lousy that the audio drifts over time, and you have to hit "reset" before you hit "record" or else you will have a 1+ second lag of the audio.

The I/P scheduler has a VDCP interface we can buy, which opens up a lot of options playout-wise. I looked at that 360systems Imageserver2000 (slightly too expensive, might be an option), the newest Leightronix recorder (their previous products give me no confidence), and a building4media setup (a bit TOO full-featured, requires ripping out some of our setup). I contacted Bug.TV, but for some reason it seems that sales people these days don't like answering emails about people wanting to buy their equipment.

All we need is 1 input and one output, and the ability for it to play out DV files (doesn't seem too hard). The 1 input is optional even, we've been looking at picking up another Mac Pro with an Aja card for capturing the SDI output of our switching board.

We're just in this annoying spot between something like a public-access station or generic educational channel and a small broadcaster. We have a decent chunk of money, but wouldn't like to go over $10,000 since if we do that we have to go out and get public bids from vendors (got to love state institutions), but that's not a hard limit. $15,000 is a fuzzy line that I'd like to not cross, but if its something that is designed so well you'd think that Apple designed it, I'd be willing to put down for it.


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Bouke Vahl
Re: Playout system for state college TV station
on Apr 26, 2007 at 12:13:36 pm

Did you have a look at Scala?

http://www.scala.com



Bouke

http://www.videoToolShed.com
smart tools for video pro's


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JimmyCarter
Re: Playout system for state college TV station
on Apr 26, 2007 at 12:26:56 pm

Not really what we're looking for. We're looking for a scheduler for a real TV station, not an info channel generator.


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Bouke Vahl
Re: Playout system for state college TV station
on Apr 26, 2007 at 3:58:01 pm

How real is your TV station?
Let me guess, you're playing out different clips.
This thingy can do that, and a zillion things more that you do not have to use if you don't want...

But hey, it's a free world. You wanted a cheap solution, i think this is dirt cheap for what it can do...

:-)



Bouke

http://www.videoToolShed.com
smart tools for video pro's


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JimmyCarter
Re: Playout system for state college TV station
on Apr 26, 2007 at 5:18:09 pm

'How real'?

Um, we produce 1-3 hours of live shows a day that need to be played out fairly quickly afterwards, along with another hour of produced content. We don't need infographics or the like, just a decent vdcp playout server that won't be too expensive.


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cowcowcowcow
Bouke Vahl
Re: Playout system for state college TV station
on Apr 26, 2007 at 5:53:07 pm

Exactly.
I rest my case, Scala is totally overpowered for your needs.
You need something that is capable of just a few percent of Scala but costs 40 times more...



Bouke

http://www.videoToolShed.com
smart tools for video pro's


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JimmyCarter
Re: Playout system for state college TV station
on Apr 26, 2007 at 7:07:14 pm

The system just isn't right. We're looking for a VDCP-controlled playout system, which this isn't. We don't need features, we need something that just plays video. While the Scala system may be good for some people, it just isn't us. The higher the number of features does not make a product good. This isn't an info channel, its an entertainment channel with real programing.


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Boyce Johnson
Re: Playout system for state college TV station
on Apr 26, 2007 at 8:38:36 pm

I recently installed a Playbox system.

http://www.playbox.tv/

We'll be going online with it in the next couple of weeks. I built it in February and we've been testing offline since. It works great and tech support has been excellent. We purchased the software only and built a rack mounted dual Xeon PC to their specs. They also sell turnkey systems.

We've been using a Matco 204b automation system with a dozen or so VTRs, various live feeds, and a Matco MA-600 server. We're switching to the Playbox because we'd rather play out DV25 files as they're more useful to us than the muxed MPEG2 files used by the Matco. Matco systems are pretty affordable and may work for you. We're switching to the Playbox for a couple of reasons. First, we're going to play out DV25 files rather than the muxed MPEG2s required by the Matco system. The files are more useful to us in other applications and we can kick them out of our FCP edit systems more quickly. Also, because the Matco system is a turnkey system, upgrades or repairs would have to happen at their shop in California. With the Playbox system, we can perform upgrades in-house and if a component fails I can replace it with an off-the-shelf part.

Our system is attached to a SAN (using Tiger Technologies MetaSan), but you could probably get by with locally attached storage if you don't need fast connections to edit suites, encoding systems, etc. The system controls a Kramer matrix switcher and two VTRs (for emergencies).

I don't know if this would work for you. I'm at a government station and we're also in that gap between access channels and broadcast. These guys provided a great solution for us.



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JimmyCarter
Re: Playout system for state college TV station
on Apr 26, 2007 at 9:11:36 pm

Interesting. The Matco system seems like it could be fairly good for us, but their manual is fairly devoid of VDCP references, with the exception of the fact that it states that "it supports it". Anyone here have experience with any BUG.tv products?


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rickster321
Re: Playout system for state college TV station
on Apr 28, 2007 at 8:47:30 pm

VDCP sucks - sorry. The ImageServer2000 on the other hand is a great piece of equipment - the newest is the ImageServerMaxx.

I have an ImageServer2000 for public access tv station and it is fantastic! Clips can be sent to it via FTP. You need a h/w firewall in front of it, then you can fully control the imageserver from HOME!

I can actually edit clips on my home TV screen - of course everybody in town can see it so I usually do this at night!

The reason VDCP sucks is that it forces black between clips! Tragic!

But if you use playlists on the IS2000 it is seamless. I can upload
clips from DVD in pure digital form (using WOMBLE) and upload DV25 clips in pure digital form! This all means that my ingest time is 2 minutes at the start, and 2 minutes at the end.

RickMerrill at comcast.net
Bolton Access TV Corp (MA)


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nightdesigns
Re: Playout system for state college TV station
on May 2, 2007 at 10:13:45 pm

I've used the Leightronix TCD/IP in several stations, it's an extremely powerful system, but the power depends on what you have it paired with.

Where I'm working now, we have it paired with a DoReMi V1MP2 which is a 1 channel record, 1 channel playback (can be done at the same time) and it is linked to a sierra router. It'll interface with almost any DoReMi system.

For our needs this works great, we broadcast about 15 shows per day and in between we show our bulletin board system. We also make an extensive use of GPI in and GPI out signals for automatically routing systems and 1-touch route/record/archive.

This system is running in a city television channel.


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fsavard
Re: Playout system for state college TV station
on Aug 23, 2007 at 11:22:07 am

Hello Jimmy,

I was really surprised, as anybody would, when reading your post.

You stated that " I contacted Bug.TV, but for some reason it seems that sales people these days don't like answering emails about people wanting to buy their equipment."

Just for your information. In 2004, we gave free licenses of our ListPlayer Express software to your student TV at UConn, as we do with any student operated TV Station in the world. We would have done the same thing for you this year.

By the way, we have no trace of e-mails from UConn this year.

We have a toll-free number listed on our website.

Best,

Fran


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360 Guy
Re: Playout system for state college TV station
on May 11, 2007 at 10:01:30 pm

Jimmy,

Call me up and I'll tell you how to get set up with a brand new Image Server for much less than $15,000.

Greg
Director of Sales
360 Systems
(818)735-8223

[JimmyCarter] "Name: JimmyCarter
Date: Apr 26, 2007 at 2:10:03 am
Subject: Playout system for state college TV station


Okay, so I'm the newly-appointed Operations Manager for the student TV station here at UConn. They do a good job with what they have, but the biggest crunch point in our workflow is the ingest/playout system. We've got a Leightronix TCD I/P as a scheduler, and another Leightronix product, a TCD R/P as a playout/ingest device. The R/P is a piece of crap, to put it lightly. No ability to load files over the network, you have to play it back over a DV tape, through a composite connection, to load it in.

Oh, and the MPEG encoder is so lousy that the audio drifts over time, and you have to hit "reset" before you hit "record" or else you will have a 1+ second lag of the audio.

The I/P scheduler has a VDCP interface we can buy, which opens up a lot of options playout-wise. I looked at that 360systems Imageserver2000 (slightly too expensive, might be an option), the newest Leightronix recorder (their previous products give me no confidence), and a building4media setup (a bit TOO full-featured, requires ripping out some of our setup). I contacted Bug.TV, but for some reason it seems that sales people these days don't like answering emails about people wanting to buy their equipment.

All we need is 1 input and one output, and the ability for it to play out DV files (doesn't seem too hard). The 1 input is optional even, we've been looking at picking up another Mac Pro with an Aja card for capturing the SDI output of our switching board.

We're just in this annoying spot between something like a public-access station or generic educational channel and a small broadcaster. We have a decent chunk of money, but wouldn't like to go over $10,000 since if we do that we have to go out and get public bids from vendors (got to love state institutions), but that's not a hard limit. $15,000 is a fuzzy line that I'd like to not cross, but if its something that is designed so well you'd think that Apple designed it, I'd be willing to put down for it."






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