News Production & Post

Advanced Broadcast advances to Asia

14 December 2006

Advanced Broadcast Services is increasing its investment in Pharos Playtime workflow control. This expansion equips the company to support its latest new client, Sony Asia.

The project includes an additional Playtime channel with interfacing hardware controlling newly-installed Omneon main and backup video servers. The Playtime system has also been expanded with an additional sequence import facility to receive programme schedule information direct from Sony Asia.

“We have expanded our investment in Pharos Playtime to a total of 32 channels from its original six,” explained Advanced Broadcast Services’ Operations Manager Rob Keith. “Playtime’s inherent control flexibility allowed the additional channel to be installed, configured and commissioned without any interruption to our normal activity. The live feed from Sony Asia’s studios in Singapore is captured onto both Omneon servers for resilience under the command of a record list.

“We then edit this material, insert new commercials and play the channel out via Sky to a predominantly UK audience, time-shifted five hours after the Singapore transmissions. The Sony Asia channel is also used for live cricket with server-stored commercials inserted between overs. Commercial breaks are triggered by cue tones. Playtime controls the whole process, all based around the existing Pharos architecture.”

“Pharos remains far ahead of its competitors in the way it handles automation,” added Sass Jahani, Advanced Broadcast Services’ managing director. “We have used Playtime successfully since 1998, expanding our channel count gradually in line with increasing business. Playtime now controls a combination of video servers and a Sony Flexicart digital video cassette ingest system plus a massive Sony PetaSite near-online data tape store. Pharos and Sony have provided an impressively high standard of post-sales support over the past eight years and we are particularly pleased now to have Sony as a client.”

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