PC-based multi-device control specialist Rascular has expanded its flagship PC-based control and monitoring technology Helm with Clockwork, a new app allowing for the creation of simple or complex scheduled events.
Clockwork – via the creation of a simple Helm panel – allows broadcasters and playout providers to schedule a huge range of different events using Helm’s control of third-party hardware (branding devices, routers, video servers, VTRs, multi-image display processors and modular gear). These “events” could include switching a router, triggering a server to record an incoming feed, or the automated control of audio ingest – the list goes on.
For example, to record material at a pre-set time Clockwork could automatically switch the router source, configure any modular gear in the chain and put the server into record mode for the required length of time. Events may also be configured to repeat daily or weekly if required. This is ideal for international sports events or global election coverage, for example, and means operators are free to carry out other work. This all takes place without tying up the resources of an automation system or operator.
In addition, Clockwork can also control logo generators to put up promotional placeholders when a channel is off-air, informing viewers when the channel will be on-air again. This could be a carousel of images used to promote upcoming content.
Roddy Pratt, Technical Director with Rascular, said: “Helm is all about providing operators with a quick and easy way to set up complex workflows – for example for repeat ingest functionality – and Clockwork now allows time-of-day events to be scheduled on a set-and-forget basis. This is independent of an automation system and without ongoing operator intervention. Helm’s unique architecture – PC-based, with user-configured, soft panel operation – is key to this.”
Helm allows customers to pick best-of-breed systems – be that branding devices, routers, video servers, VTRs, multi-image display processors and modular gear, or any combination – from a range of different manufactures and provides a single, integrated, user-defined, PC-based control/monitoring surface for operators. This allows users to control channels, or pods of channels, from a single screen using bespoke, pre-defined buttons for complex workflows.