Local TV infrastructure provider Comux has selected systems integrator TSL to manage the build of its Birmingham playout centre.
Comux was set up to provide technical services to support the 19 local TV licensees, with Grimsby expected to be the first to launch in November.
Chief executive Ed Hall (pictured) said Comux had planned to manage the build of the Birmingham operation centre in-house.
He said: “The original Ofcom timetable suggested the multiplex licence would be awarded in September last year, but the timetable changed and the licence was awarded at the end of January so we took a commercial decision to involve a systems integration team to make sure we hit our deadlines.
“There are costs related to [using a systems integrator], but there are saving as well because TSL is in a position to deliver on price in a way that can be difficult for a new company.”
Two weeks ago, Comux and the BBC completed a deal for £25m of licence-fee payers’ money to be used to fund the Birmingham facility.
“The conclusion of that agreement means that we have been able to press the green button on a lot of things that up until now have been happening in the background,” Hall said.
“We have been making decisions and running RFI, RFP and RFQ processes, but we didn’t feel it was appropriate to speak too much about our decisions until we were confident we had closed the BBC agreement.”
Warwicknet has been selected to provide network services to connect the Birmingham operations centre with the local TV stations. It will also link the Birmingham base with transmitter sites.
Hall also revealed that Comux has selected Evertz Mediator for its playout content management system.
It follows the April announcement that Nevion’s SI Manager would be used to enable local TV stations to integrate with Freeview and to cross-carry service information and EPG data.
Hall said: “Evertz Mediator delivers high-level functionality, and does things in addition to automation which are particularly useful in our situation such as the ability to view and identify errors from the point we receive content from the licensee all the way to the transmitter.”
Hall said the Evertz kit would allow local TV operators to run “comprehensive and complex” schedules comprised of live and pre-recorded programmes with GFX.