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Pixel Power StreamMaster

Pixel Power’s StreamMaster removes physical limitations of master control operations by virtualizing its operations from ingest to playout.

These days, anything that can be done in software can be virtualized and freed from hardware restrictions. That’s why Pixel Power demonstrated its StreamMaster virtualized playout platform at the NAB Show in New York earlier this month.

This lets the same software application modules, including master control playout, video server, or graphics engine, run on standard bare metal units, off-the-shelf IT hardware, a virtual environment, or in a public cloud like Amazon Web Services.

Pixel Power is releasing a baseband video card for StreamMaster for those not yet ready to move to an IP infrastructure. “This makes it ready for stations that want a baseband I/O master control,” O’Connell said, “but will save their investment when they migrate to a fully IP system in the future.”

Pixel Power’s Gallium automation system drives StreamMaster, interfacing with traffic schedules, asset management systems and archive systems.

“Gallium moves all that media around from nearline storage directly to the StreamMaster for playout,” O’Connell said. “It actually controls the StreamMaster workflow for the day, including programs, commercials, promos, etc.”

Also in the package is Promote, which automates the creation of dynamic branding either within a single channel or across multiple channels, allowing broadcasters to expedite simple or complex changes network-wide.

“We work with a station’s programming department to set up a list of rules that determine the ‘look’ they want for their promos and ID banners using templates, “O’Connell explained. “Then the versioning of these spots can be customized under control of Promote, even changing the audio V. O.’s., and Gallium will then automate their playout from the station’s playlist schedule.”

Promote can be purchased separately to work with third party automation systems.

“We see running a station in virtual environments becoming increasingly popular,” O’Connell said. “For those who want to retain the traditional look and feel of its operation, we also offer a hardware master control panel called the VSP. We’ve been demonstrating proof of performance of the virtualization of master control playout with StreamMaster at NAB and IBC and are convinced it is ready for prime time.”

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