A Look at 2019 Channel-In-A-Box Solutions

New TV Channel-in-a-Box (CiaB) solutions provide TV stations and web-streamers a high-quality output with the flexibility to add new channels using the same hardware.

Around the world right now, secret new TV broadcasting products are being built, tested, refined and tested again in preparation for 2019 NAB Show unveiling. Some will be show hits. Others with great promise today won't make it to the exhibit hall. In January it's too early to brag about anything not available in January. Mum's the word.

The best clues for what to expect in the 2019 CiaB market come from two growing trends. One trend is the number of sophisticated systems that run on commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) hardware or in the cloud. The other is more systems incorporating new SMPTE IP video standards. The following 2019 CiaB Baseline is an alphabetical list of CiaB solutions available in January 2019.

Anyware Video's OneGenie is a global ingest, playout,on-air branding and supervision system. It provides web client interfaces for editing and supervising multiple channels, up to 50 per server.

Anyware Video's OneGenie is a global ingest, playout,on-air branding and supervision system. It provides web client interfaces for editing and supervising multiple channels, up to 50 per server.

Anyware Video Channel-in-a-Box and flagship product OneGenie is available in a new 4K HDR configuration. Already in use around the world in SD, HD and UHD HDR in both SDI and IP, the solution is fully scalable and highly agile. It provides a centralized interface to edit and control on-air graphics and playlists from a single screen, showing timelines and list views. Users can configure external sources, supervise the media as it is transferred to graphics and broadcast systems, view alarms from the entire system, and remotely configure components through a web client on a laptop or smartphone.

Athensa CiaB solutions are among the most affordable available.

Athensa CiaB solutions are among the most affordable available.

Athensa ASTRA MCR system consists of an ASTRA server running all ASTRA applications on an industrial-grade COTS server. It includes the ability to control up to 48 devices under serial control. Up to eight playlists can be run on the entry-level system. Mirroring is an option for full redundancy. Standalone can be a channel-in-a-box or server control plus Aveco Redwood Lite graphics, or control of any piece of master control equipment.

ASTRA MCR specializes in multi-channel systems and automates all master control room functions. It controls ingest, QC, playout, routers, master control switchers, graphics and other devices. Single and multi-site operations are supported with full redundancy or selected redundancy and with implementation of various tools for the range of programs.

Aveco's Redwood BLACK videoserver was first lighted at IBC 2018.<br />

Aveco's Redwood BLACK videoserver was first lighted at IBC 2018.

Aveco provides automation for large multichannel facilities, centralized as well as distributed across multiple facilities. Aveco also provides automation for small regional broadcasters. Aveco's ASTRA MCR automates all master control room functions. It controls ingest, QC, playout, routers, master control switchers, graphics and other devices. Single and multi-site operations are supported with full redundancy or selected redundancy and with implementation of different tools for the range of programs.

Aveco's Redwood BLACK is a high-end multi-purpose video engine along with an advanced PCR-and-MCR automation, integrated into one space-efficient, cost-efficient system. The software-based integrated channel playout device and multipurpose video engine supports IP and SDI I/O, and UHD. It seamlessly integrates with Aveco’s automation to streamline playout and studio operations.

The Redwood BLACK PCR Automation component interfaces to six major newsroom computer systems (ENPS, iNews, Octopus, Annova etc.), supports edit-and-playout during ingest (growing file operations) and integrated MAM.

BroadStream's OASYS Supports playout of video files and live sources in a mix of resolutions and file formats.

BroadStream's OASYS Supports playout of video files and live sources in a mix of resolutions and file formats.

BroadStream Solutions OASYS Integrated Playout is a software platform designed specifically for TV stations. It delivers seamless, integrated playout from a single server, and it expands the capabilities of CiaB to provide an agile and scalable, network-independent solution. It simplifies operations by integrating playout, scheduling and graphics in one unique software architecture that runs on COTS hardware.

BroadStream’s BEACON is designed around the architectural elements of the OASYS platform. BEACON is a simplified playout solution designed for channels needing easy-to-use playout in a self-contained, broadcast quality, ECO system. 

Cinegy Air supports multiple channels with multiple features in a single box.

Cinegy Air supports multiple channels with multiple features in a single box.

Cinegy Air PRO provides a broadcast automation front-end and a real-time video server for SD, HD and/or Ultra HD (4K) playout, in an integrated software suite. Cinegy Air PRO can be used to control multiple channels playing to air or to plan schedules and building commercial blocks offline. Multiple remote or local users can control the schedule and playout operation. Simulcast output via SDI and/or IP streams for ATSC, DVB or web presence. It also delivers Dolby Digital encoding, EAS, Nielsen watermarking and Cinegy Titler channel branding in one integrated software solution.

coralbay's coralPlay playout software represents a new generation of TV channel playout software that has been designed from the outset to work in the cloud but that can also be run on standard PCs.

coralbay's coralPlay playout software represents a new generation of TV channel playout software that has been designed from the outset to work in the cloud but that can also be run on standard PCs.

coralbay.tv demonstrated coralPlay at IBC 2018. It is a new generation of playout software designed to work in the cloud and can also run on a COTS computer in a facility. It provides an automation control interface and a video pipeline, delivering video and audio in a variety of output formats. As well as delivering primary video, coralPlay provides secondary functions such as graphics and subtitling.

The system can scale from one to hundreds of channels. Channels can be launched within seconds and decommissioned easily after use. It's all in software, without the need for complex re-wiring or having to take the system down to perform software updates. coralPlay can control channels for both NTSC and PAL regions at the same time.

Cosmos Technology provides the next generation ecosystem for IP channel playout. The company provides software based playout engines for broadcasters, OTT service providers and broadcast services companies. The distributive virtualised architecture of the playout engine from Cosmos provides a fast and trusted cloud-based playout solution enabling broadcasters and service providers to spin up both OTT and traditional TV channels in minutes, which lowers the cost of ownership. Products include Cosmos Energy, Lite and Eclipse.

Channels can be hosted from data canters a station's own master control room over a private or public cloud. Cosmos solutions can playout both file based and live services and support a variety of standards including; AES67, SMPTE ST 2110, 2022-2 2022-6, 2022-7, 35 and 104.

Dayang Technology Development iChannel2 playout server.

Dayang Technology Development iChannel2 playout server.

Dayang Technology Development iChannel2 is a highly integrated, cost-effective, easy-to-operate automation system for small and mid-size broadcasters. It supports up to 3 HD/SD playout channels in one compact chassis. The system is based on a powerful video server platform, with features including ingest, playlist editing, multi-channel playout, CG, live signal pass-through, quality control, and loudness control.

iChannel2 can also be used in a distributed multi-channel playout network, ensuring system scalability. Connecting multiple iChannel2 servers together can support large number of playout channels. A centrally located software module handles automatic clip and playlist transfer. Separate workstations can be deployed for preparing playout schedules for multiple channels. Various backup schemes are available.

DVEO Channel Manager

DVEO Channel Manager

DVEO recently developed and introduced a file-oriented video segmenter, and a new IPTV or OTT dashboard application. The company also offers Channel Manager 1ch HD 3ch SD-SDI designed for broadcasters that distribute HD content on one primary channel and SD on sub channels, Channel Manager 1ch HD-SDI designed for broadcasters who lease out their sub channels but run HD-SDI infrastructure, and Channel Manager HD-SDI 4ch designed for broadcasters wanting to move to state-of-the-art playout servers with fully secure remote management of primary and secondary channels.

The GV SAM ICE is a future-ready CiaB for SDI, IP and virtualized playout.

The GV SAM ICE is a future-ready CiaB for SDI, IP and virtualized playout.

Grass Valley ICE range of CiaB systems combined with Morpheus playout automation is a comprehensive and reliable portfolio of CiaB solutions. ICE is an integrated IT-based system that delivers the operational, technical, regulatory and commercial functionality required for broadcast playout environments.

The ICE range includes the conventional ICE SDI CiaB, the IP-enabled ICE IP and fully virtualized playout with Software-Defined Channels (ICE SDC). It also offers a development path that lets the owner control the speed a broadcaster moves to IP and virtualized playout.

The Hardata SMARTSeries is a high-end CiaB for SDI/IP/4K.

The Hardata SMARTSeries is a high-end CiaB for SDI/IP/4K.

Hardata SMART+ servers can be configured as a 4 channel ingest, a 4 channel playout, a 2 channel production or a 1 channel 4K server.

The Playlist can be operated manually or automatically, with Live Event insertions and commands for Graphics, Picture in Picture, GPI, Social Networks and more. The Playlist order can be changed on-the-fly. Hardata Smart outputs video over IP with current IP infrastructure. It connects to NDI inputs and provides NDI outputs to networked equipment.

Versio, from Imagine Communications, is a software-only video-processing platform that performs all functions for traditional master control and linear distribution networks.

Versio, from Imagine Communications, is a software-only video-processing platform that performs all functions for traditional master control and linear distribution networks.

Imagine Communications Versio can run as a traditional integrated channel playout device with SDI I/O, in a hybrid SDI/IP deployment, or in a data center with IP I/O. In the data center, Versio runs on COTS hardware or, for increased flexibility, on virtual infrastructure running VMWare.

In the IP domain, Versio can receive and transmit MPEG-2 transport streams or SMPTE ST 2022-6 for applications requiring low latency.When paired with external J2K or TICO compression, SMPTE ST 2022-6 enables remote operations that can be managed across the world with very low latencies.

The Versio MCS, an optional intuitive, touchscreen-based master control surface, enables operators to manage advanced Versio switching, graphics and automation capabilities with a simple touch of the screen in a single- or multichannel environment.

Pace Media Development CUBA Playout 4K handles SD/HD/4K workflows and integrates live feeds from SDI or UDP and external triggers such as GPI events.

Pace Media Development CUBA Playout 4K handles SD/HD/4K workflows and integrates live feeds from SDI or UDP and external triggers such as GPI events.

Pace Media Development CUBA Playout 4K lets broadcasters schedule and manage playout and apply modifications while on the air. It has an easy-to-use, timeline-based, user interface enabling operators to schedule content days or weeks in advance while providing a traditional list view and full metadata support. CUBA Playout 4K supports all major broadcast video file containers and codecs.

Using the live input option, it processes input signals from SDI video or UDP stream sources. A live signal can be mixed or switched to the output manually or controlled by the playlist. An integrated DVE allows users to scale live or file streams and create picture in picture effects.

The Pebble Beach Stingray is based on 64-bit architecture, incorporates the flexibility of Pebble Beach Systems’ Marina enterprise automation, and the power and robustness of the Dolphin integrated channel device.

The Pebble Beach Stingray is based on 64-bit architecture, incorporates the flexibility of Pebble Beach Systems’ Marina enterprise automation, and the power and robustness of the Dolphin integrated channel device.

Pebble Beach Systems Stingray is based on proven 64-bit architecture. It incorporates the flexibility of Pebble Beach Systems’ Marina enterprise automation, and the power and robustness of Pebble Beach Systems’ Dolphin integrated channel device.

Stingray can host simple clip-based channels, and it is also capable of handling more complex, reactive channels which regularly feature late-breaking changes. Its intuitive user interface, coupled with powerful graphics and DVE functionality, deliver a premium solution at an affordable price.

PBT EU EXEcutor Broadcast Servers provide a complete TV channel-in-a-box solution, or be configured to provide any combination of component services

PBT EU EXEcutor Broadcast Servers provide a complete TV channel-in-a-box solution, or be configured to provide any combination of component services

PBT EU (PlayBox Technology Europe)

PBT EU, manufactures the EXEcutor broadcast servers in addition to a full line of broadcast and production automation solutions. Its line includes AirBox Neo, TitleBox Neo, and Channel in a Box. which is a turnkey playout solution for broadcasting a single TV channel. The company is a global systems integration specialist of broadcast, multimedia and production hardware and software solutions, and offers  bespoke services targeted to customers’ specific requirements.


PlayBox Neo AirBox Neo CiAB is a turnkey playout server solution for broadcasting a single TV channel in SD or HD and integrates all the elements needed to keep a channel on-air.

PlayBox Neo AirBox Neo CiAB is a turnkey playout server solution for broadcasting a single TV channel in SD or HD and integrates all the elements needed to keep a channel on-air.

PlayBox Neo products and solutions today power over 18,000 TV and branding channels in more than 120 countries. AirBox Neo provides automated content streaming and broadcast playout for any kind of TV channel – cloud based, satellite, cable head-ends, over-the-air broadcasters, corporate TV and internet-based TV. The uniquely powerful PlayBox Neo CloudAir solution can be configured for terrestrial, satellite or CDN-based playout under full IP control.

PlayBox Neo AirBox and CloudAir can deliver output in baseband SD, HD or UHD SDI, in DVB/ATSC-compliant streams and in web-based formats such as RTMP. Simulcasting of SDI and one or multiple streams is also possible.

Pixel Power's StreamMaster DELIVER is designed to support virtualisation – a channel-in-a-box system but without the limitations of the traditional proprietary box.

Pixel Power's StreamMaster DELIVER is designed to support virtualisation – a channel-in-a-box system but without the limitations of the traditional proprietary box.

Pixel Power was recently acquired by Rohde and Schwarz , expanding its broadcast and media division.

Pixel Power StreamMaster DELIVER is a software defined integrated playout engine designed for production of simple or complex linear TV channels in a wide variety of environments including dedicated server and virtualized in a private data center or in the public cloud.

The singular workflow StreamMaster DELIVER goes further than standard playout systems by enabling users to maximize their brand and grow revenues through the creation of dedicated content for multi-platform delivery.It runs on COTS hardware and offers master-control and branding applications on-premise, in a private data center or in the public cloud. It offers media playback, real-time master control of live feeds, real-time graphics and DVE over SDI and/or IP streams.

Rushworks A-LIST provides all the necessary features for 24/7 automation. It supports SD and HD on up to four independent channels. Drag and drop scheduling includes a bug, two independent crawls, a dedicated EAS crawl, a text layer, and animated snipes with audio. Traffic import and as-run output are fully supported.

SGT introduced the ELIA Unity and Elia Air channel in a box TV playout solutions at IBC 2018. ELIA Unity includes a COTS server, with RAID redundant storage and expandability capability, in a low cost IT standard environment. Combined with the power of new playout automation software PLAY along with FLOW software for acquisition and content preparation, makes it a powerful CiaB solution.

ELIA Air can be integrated either on virtualization socket or on a private or public cloud.

STRYME GENESIX video server.

STRYME GENESIX video server.

A single STRYME GENESIX videoserver is all it takes to encode, decode and upscale every format and every codec – as needed. To edit, store, plan, schedule & playout easily and quickly. Access, retrieve and control media assets reliably and safely. For instantaneous going on air.

Tightrope Cablecast 6.3 Flex channel branding server.

Tightrope Cablecast 6.3 Flex channel branding server.

Tightrope Media Systems, provides the new version 6.3 of its comprehensive Cablecast Broadcast Automation platform, which features two powerful new capabilities that simplify workflows, reduce equipment requirements and lower costs for community TV broadcasters. New IP input support for Cablecast Flex servers allows users to bring in live feeds from remote locations over cost-effective IP networks without requiring decoder hardware, while expanded channel branding abilities enable the keying of rich visual elements and messages over live video sources.

Vector 3 VectorBox playout solution.

Vector 3 VectorBox playout solution.

Vector 3 offers three versions of VectorBox. Each offers simultaneous ingest and playout with graphics from a single chassis and improves CiaB versatility and reliability.

VectorBox is designed for cost-effective playout. Besides automating continuity playout, VectorBox generates live graphics to enable channel branding. Integral use of XML for all metadata guarantees compatibility with any database or file system. The company also makes Drillarium multi-channel automation software, with more than 1000 installed around the world.

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