Business and finance news specialists CNBC International have a long history of working with Pebble Beach Systems, having deployed the company’s first generation Neptune automation system at the London-based CNBC facility over a decade ago and when the opportunity arose to streamline the technical operations across CNBC Europe and CNBC Asia, Pebble Beach Systems were approached to offer a solution.
The goal of the project was to implement a single operational structure across the sites in London and Singapore, enabling CNBC International to benefit from operational efficiencies. The solution had to enable them to operate both the London and Singapore sites using the same operators, but without compromising the on air appearance or presentation style of either region. Following an evaluation of the available technology, Pebble Beach Systems Dolphin integrated channel devices were selected for the project, under the control of the company’s flagship Marina automation solution. The Marina system in Singapore replaces the legacy Louth automation system, with the transition made easier thanks to Marina’s ability to import the database and playlists, and export As Run logs from this legacy system.
The Dolphin devices deliver highly automated integrated audio, video and graphics functionality for ingest, channel branding and frame-accurate multi-channel playout. The flexible pipeline design gives the user the ability to customise the virtual output chain for each channel, specifying the order in which functions including graphics, effects, aspect ratio conversion are handled within the system. Implementing the Dolphin integrated channel solution has enabled CNBC International to retain its bespoke graphics functionality, as Dolphin’s flexible pipeline is configured to incorporate this technology as part of its output chain. The channels carry a mix of live and clip-based content and various graphics elements including a ticker generated from CNBC International’s in-house system, and Dolphin provides flexible keying of the multiple elements that make up the CNBC International channel style including a 2D DVE, channel branding with static and animated logos, and 2D graphics.
The new multi-site installation went live in 2013, and incorporates two discrete systems that are able to run independently, one in Singapore and the other in London however standard operational procedure is for centralized operation from Singapore. The system features 2 operator positions in Singapore and 1 in London, and in addition to the Dolphins, each site controls a router and one Harmonic video server port.
The system in Singapore plays out 5 channels, whilst the system in London plays out 4, with all systems connected via a dedicated 24 MB link so that control of all (or some) channels can be managed from one or other location remotely for some parts of the day, and locally at other times of the day.
Future plans for the system include an upgrade to HD.