Vice president, technology, Digital Media Centre (DMC)

Why are single-channel servers increasingly being used in broadcast playout platforms?
Over the last few years, a number of new single-channel playout servers have been used in broadcast applications, some of which are based on standard PC hardware and all have integrated playout automation. The footprint is smaller and the flexibility is a great advantage.

What are the advantages of single channel servers?
There are areas where these systems excel - they can be implemented quickly and at lower cost than a traditional server - but there are also limitations. Single-channel servers can be added as new channels are launched without the need for big investment, which is often speculative. Flexible pricing, together with the ability to add presentation effects via a licence, means channels can grow at their own pace. The challenge comes in integrating these servers into an existing playout environment, where workflow and form­ats have already been chosen.

Have you made use of this technology? What factors did you use to choose a platform?
We chose iTX from Omnibus - we recognised the product would need to grow to meet our needs. Our good working relationship with the development team gave us the comfort that this would
be achieved. Omnibus has worked with us to use our standard house format and connect into our existing archive as well as adding a number of new features. Companies like ours have made similar decisions to work with manufacturers in order to steer the development of their products with great success.