UK broadcaster Channel 4 has acquired new automation and switching technology from Pro-Bel for its recently launched adult-oriented digital channel, More4. The broadcaster is utilising Pro-Bel’s Morpheus automation technology and a TX500 series master control switcher.
Chief technology officer of Channel 4 Kevin Burrows said that More4’s transmission schedule was comparable in its core structure to Channel 4’s digital youth channel, E4. “It is designed to be a similar, live and dynamic channel like E4. We opted to use the same basic specification but with the addition of Morpheus technology.”
The channel relies on server playout with the ability to handle live programming and late delivery by tape. Burrows explained that the ultimate aim was to automate playout as much as possible while retaining an element of dynamic control.
“This we have achieved with Morpheus and the TX500,” he claimed. “We were looking for closer integration and more complex control of third party devices such as graphics systems. We were also interested to see how Morpheus coped with opt-out regions and its ability to handle many secondary events including subtitles, audio description, downstream logos and voiceovers.”
Channel 4 has also installed a Morpheus and TX500 system at its disaster recovery site as well as Aurora router control. The site is designed for emergency use and replicates the key aspects of channel playout to ensure business continuity in a crisis.