As a full service network programming origination and distribution company, AMC Networks was looking for an agile solution which could handle as wide a range of file formats and compression systems as possible. John Barbieri, SVP and GM of AMC Networks Broadcasting & Technology, explains:
Pebble Broadcast Systems offered a package which incorporated unique functionality and was cost-effective. We needed a solution that closely fit specific requirements, which made it important for the vendor to be flexible and resourceful in adapting their product to match those criteria. Pebble Broadcast Systems did just that.
The system installed consists of 4 SD channels hosted in 2 Dolphin integrated channel devices which serve as backup for AMC Network’s 4 SD network feeds, and 4 HD channels hosted in 4 Dolphins (plus 1 Dolphin as a “warm spare’) which serve as primary playout for AMC Network’s TV Everywhere (TVE) online delivery. These systems share a single database with full access to separate Front Porch Digital Diva HD and SD LTO tape archive libraries, from which all video content for playout is automatically transferred as required by each Marina playlist. The system is designed to handle a multitude of legacy and new formats, offering GXF and MPEG-4 in both HD and SD together with AVC Intra, all of which can be mixed in the same timeline and automatically be upscaled or downscaled as appropriate for the output format of the Dolphin decoder. AMC Network’s requirements also included V-Chip and CGMS XDS insertion, SCTE104 insertion, and CEA608 to CEA708 caption conversion, all of which has been developed for and implemented in the Dolphins.
The Marina automation system has been configured with a total of 9 clients controlling the Dolphin devices. The Dolphin channels utilize their integral graphics capability for content ratings bugs, while integrating direct control of Miranda Vertigo XG graphics for branding and DVE functions.