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Old December 5th, 2008, 09:48 PM   #1
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Playout servers

I'm looking into buying a playout server for my church. We deliver CCTV programming to roughly 800 apartment units in an old folks home, and we're looking to run programming on more than just Sunday morning. We need something thats relatively easy to use, and that will allow us to switch between the live broadcast and the prerecorded events. Any suggestions or things to watch out for?
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Old December 13th, 2008, 10:33 AM   #2
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Has anyone here heard of bug.tv? I hear they offer Mac based software for video playout, but I can't seem to get clear responses out of them. Has anyone used their system?
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Old December 24th, 2008, 12:06 PM   #3
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no one out there has experience with automated playback?
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Old December 24th, 2008, 01:33 PM   #4
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Matt,

Try this boys - Digital Signage, Isenzo Mediacaster digital signage software

They are busy implementing their playback "systems" @ Cape Town TV, South-Africa.

Greetings from the Third World.
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Old December 24th, 2008, 06:01 PM   #5
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Otav

I just did a bit of a survey for playout server software for Mac OS X for a satellite tv playout. We looked at FORK (Building4Media), OnTheAir Video (Softron Media Services), Sienna (Gallery UK) and Class-1 (bug.tv).

Ok, I guess I should say we WANTED to look at all of these; after sending several emails and leaving several voice mail messages that went unanswered, we closed the door on Bug TV. Another integrator in Holland that had used them once said that he's not sure what's happened, but they have been singularly unresponsive for several months.

The FORK solution is quite high-end with a price to match, but has nice features. Sienna has some great products (like VirtualVTR), and helped provide solutions for the recent Olympic games but has admitted they are currently a little weak on the scheduling part of their playout solution.

We haven't made the final decision, but we are leaning towards OnTheAir Video. It seems the most "Mac-like", and is scriptable and open (nothing proprietary), offers a complete ingest and automated playout solution with optional graphics overlays (on live streams as well), and is the most cost effective of the bunch. You can get a demo version from their site and play with their software to check it out.

Be advised these are not cheap pieces of software; the prices for even a one-channel playout solution from these companies range from around 1300 euros to around 7500 euros. You will also need to add at least one graphics card in your playout server, so add another 1000 (Blackmagic) to 2000+ (Kona).

Hope that helps.

Russ
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Old December 25th, 2008, 03:57 PM   #6
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I've had the same problem with BugTV...they never get back to you! Hmm...Okay. Those solutions may be a bit pricey in terms of having to buy the software and all the hardware. We're looking at a budget of around 4000 dollars for this project I would say. Perhaps we'll need to reconsider.

Last edited by Matt Ratelle; December 25th, 2008 at 04:00 PM. Reason: addition
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Old December 30th, 2008, 03:30 PM   #7
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Russ, I downloaded the OnTheAir demo, but I found myself wondering where the program was. Was I missing something? It seems like a very simple program, and I'm sure I'd be shocked by the pricetag if I found out. Scheduling seems weak at best. I don't relish the idea scripting the play times with iCal. Is there no better option at a reasonable budget?!
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Old January 16th, 2009, 02:19 PM   #8
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Just saw this on MacinTouch, maybe it's more to your liking: plyxim dot com - Exibia

Russ
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Old January 17th, 2009, 05:11 PM   #9
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Russ, thanks for the link! We've got a few programmers in the church(one of which works with video compression and playback in the medical field) and are now considering designing our own system. I'm still hesitant to do that because of obvious reasons, so maybe that suggestion will be what we're looking for!
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Old February 24th, 2009, 01:40 PM   #10
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New playout solution

Just to keep this all in the same thread in case anyone else is looking for similar info, I just found a newcomer for doing high-end playout (TV stations, etc.) on a Mac: ToolsOnAir Apple based broadcast solutions

They got a Pick Hit at IBC in 2008 for their "TV Station In a Mac" suite of products, and apparently are following in the lines of BUG.tv (except they answer the phone...). If you contact them there's a demo available, but right now it's still in beta, with a 1.0 expected in a month or so.

Russ
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Old April 12th, 2009, 10:22 PM   #11
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Anyone get a chance to try out Exhibia or Just:Play from ToolsOnAir? Also, any indication on pricing on the ToolsOnAir stuff? (I guess I could just call...)
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Old April 14th, 2009, 01:40 AM   #12
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Airbox from Playbox is a universal content playout and streaming server. 24/7 unattended operation.

Video Streaming PLAYBOX.TV
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Old April 15th, 2009, 02:03 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryan Douthit View Post
Anyone get a chance to try out Exhibia or Just:Play from ToolsOnAir? Also, any indication on pricing on the ToolsOnAir stuff? (I guess I could just call...)
Just ran a test of Exhibia and it's a very clever use of of a Mac Mini. For webcasting (our use) there is a small formatting issue, which I've contacted the developers about and am waiting to hear back on. Issue is that it outputs at screen resolution and mac widescreen isn't 16:9, so output is all letterboxed (even if native 16:9). I can compensate using Wirecast's crop feature, but I'd like the source to just be right.

For $500 it's actually a very cool little package. You can download a demo version from their site:

plyxim dot com - Exibia
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