Knowledge Network Goes On Air With Imagine’s Versio Playout Platform

Canada’s Knowledge Network, the public educational broadcaster in British Columbia, has upgraded its playout facility near Vancouver with a future-proof, software-based channel creation solution based on Imagine Communications’ Versio integrated playout platform and ADC automation.

Publicly funded and commercial free, Knowledge Network broadcasts and streams local and international content 24/7, offering a mix of documentaries, arts and culture, prime-time dramas, and children’s programming watched by over a million viewers each week. When the broadcaster’s existing automation system reached end of life, Knowledge Network seized the opportunity to update its playout operations to a flexible, software-based solution that could meet current workflow requirements and easily add new functionality as their business evolves.

“We were looking to replace our aging playout system with a reliable solution that had a roadmap for continued development and a responsive support network,” said Oliver Eichel, director of broadcast technology and IT at Knowledge Network. “Imagine’s in-depth understanding of broadcast workflows and continuous development of their product lines, including special features that we requested, gave us confidence to make this transition. The Imagine team provided exceptional support throughout the entire implementation process ― from planning to commissioning, to go live.”

An important factor in the choice of the Imagine solution was the ability to easily integrate Versio and ADC with existing and newly implemented technologies, including Knowledge Network’s BroadView traffic software. Integrating with more devices and business systems than any other automation product, the widely used ADC system helped ensure a seamless workflow environment.

Because Knowledge Network uses interstitial programming such as promos and snipes to fill the gaps between most shows, dynamic graphics capabilities were another key consideration in the choice of a new playout system. Versio Graphics provides web-based tools to embed complex instructions into a graphics file, allowing operators to easily maintain the network’s strong identity through dynamic branding with no need for specialist staff and technology.

The new system needed to be fully redundant and incorporate local storage for up to seven days of programming content, graphics creation and channel branding. Again, Imagine solutions met the requirements, with Nexio Motion asset management software ensuring the correct content is loaded onto the Versio instances in plenty of time for scheduled playout.

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