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Old October 18th, 2012, 01:49 PM   #1
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Play-to-air server alternatives?

I've been looking for options for a type of video broadcast server. I'd like something that can play videos from a playlist, log to a database, do an overlay or logo on screen, and so on...

Basically I'm looking for a play-to-air server. The only things I found were 360 Systems' MAXX servers, and similar hardware. These options are a little out of my price range right now. Anyone know of any options less expensive than these high-end hardware systems? A software option would be ideal.
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Old October 18th, 2012, 03:02 PM   #2
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Re: Play-to-air server alternatives?

This isn't really a product in the broadcast space; it's used for displays at complex stage shows, and for digital signage. But, it does do most that's on your list, and is a software solution.

Dataton | WATCHOUT | www.dataton.com

How are you going to distribute? Really broadcast OTA or cable? Internet? There are some great internet solutions out there....
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Old October 18th, 2012, 06:23 PM   #3
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Re: Play-to-air server alternatives?

Internet / IP will be the delivery method, but I need something that will function mostly as if OTA or cable. Running continuous videos and commercials, and logging for reports or running playlists from which i would otherwise use for reports.
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Old October 19th, 2012, 02:02 PM   #4
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Re: Play-to-air server alternatives?

Well, I'm not so familiar with OTA/Cable needs, but, I do a lot of work with internet distribution of live video content.

My encoder of choice is Telestream Wirecast. However, it's really more of a live switcher/encoder than it is a playlist manager. There have been many user requests to implement playlists, but there's no way of knowing exactly where that stacks up in the developer's priorities until they actually start work on it.

A competitor of Wirecast is VidBlaster. I understand VB has some level of playlist management, but I've not used it.

There are a couple other competing software solutions in that space, and that's where I'd want to research, live webcast encoders. If it were me developing a playlist for such, I'd want to store it in xml, which would then open up all sorts of possibilities for external management of the playlist.

Telestream has a Wirecast forum, in which many of these sorts of desired features get discussed, including references to other products.

Do post back if/when you find anything interesting... and although it's not a classic webcast product, I do think Watchout is really worth a look. Digital signage has extensive requirements for media management...
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Old November 26th, 2012, 12:59 PM   #5
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Re: Play-to-air server alternatives?

Well, I haven't found much. But Wowza just released their streaming server version 3.5. so hopeful the new title and animation overlay features will give me a way to get to where I'm going. This gives me a lot of new programming (Java) to learn how to do, but I think I can get it done. We'll see what happens.
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Old November 26th, 2012, 01:27 PM   #6
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Re: Play-to-air server alternatives?

I think Tools On Air Broadcast GmbH - TV Station in a Mac - Apple based broadcast solutions has something that might work. I remember them saying something at NAB that might work for you.
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Old December 4th, 2012, 10:44 AM   #7
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Re: Play-to-air server alternatives?

I gotta say, I'm gonna do some more research, but their xMac mini Server looks like EXACTLY what I'm looking for! Thank you very much for the tip!
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