NBN Television, based in Newcastle, Australia, has purchased and installed nine Pixel Power BrandMasters, three of which are BrandMaster Clips versions.
Recently NBN, a Nine Network free-to-air affiliate, began a project to modernise and rethink its methods of programme playout. Its broadcast area – northern New South Wales and into the Queensland Gold Coast – is made up of six separate digital streams leaving the broadcast centre, each stream further subdivided into three.
NBN inserts local advertising and news in all of its outgoing services and markets. It had a number of requirements including: HD services for each area to be localised; add extra channels; update its channel branding and to be able to roll out new markets and/or services quickly and cost effectively. One sub market in a different summer time zone also had to be better catered for.
“We were looking for a cost-effective alternative to having discrete components in the playout area, with enough power to handle all our needs, from being able to run standalone or be a part of a larger master/slave breakaway switch,” explained Stephen Brown, digital services manager, NBN, adding, “the BrandMasters fulfil those needs and have enabled us to be flexible in our future plans. For example, adding a new service or new region becomes much simpler under the BrandMaster system plan.”
The BrandMasters handle all of NBNs services across all of its markets and this means that all of its streams have access to dynamic HD graphics as well as full HD switching. NBN also carries 5.1 audio within the BrandMasters across all services.
Brown added: “The BrandMasters quickly became a large part of this project as they provided us with a cost-effective way to add a service and provide a consistent on-air look. With new digital services being launched and analogue not completely switched off as yet, the cost benefits of using the BrandMasters allows us to start services where previously it would have been cost-prohibitive. They also enable us to be able to react to new television trends like 3D. We are very happy with the technology and with Pixel Power and the pro-active nature of the company’s business.”
James Gilbert, joint MD of Pixel Power, commented: “This is our second major BrandMaster installation in Australia and once again we are glad to be recognised for our innovation. Not only that, but our proactive approach and commitment to customer service has also come to the fore again and that is something that we pride ourselves on.”