Pebble Beach Systems partners with EditShare showcasing shared storage

For Immediate Release
 IBC 2018 Preview
Stand number: 8.B68
14-18 September 2018
RAI, Amsterdam
Improved redundancy, flexibility for preview channels, fast turnaround of late arriving content
Weybridge, UK, August 31st, 2018 – At IBC 2018 on stand # 8.B68, Pebble Beach Systems will showcase integration between its Dolphin integrated channel device and XStream EFS shared storage options from storage and workflow experts EditShare.

“We are encountering use cases for shared storage more and more frequently as the user base for Dolphin continues to grow and broadcasters seek to add to the resilience and flexibility of their operations,” says Alison Pavitt, Marketing Manager at Pebble Beach Systems. “EditShare has a huge amount of experience in production and playout workflows, and they offer guaranteed stream performance for these mission-critical applications. This makes their flexible and robust shared storage options a great fit in the Dolphin deployments we design with our customers.”

Dolphin is a compact and cost-effective integrated channel device which, operating under the control of Pebble’s Marina automation, delivers highly automated integrated audio, video and graphics functionality for ingest, channel branding and frame-accurate multi-channel playout. The flexible pipeline design enables the virtual output chain to be customised for each channel, specifying the order in which functions including graphics, effects, and aspect ratio conversion are handled within the system.
Having access to external shared storage which has backups of all locally stored content is an effective solution in a number of key use cases. In so-called ‘N+m’ redundancy scenarios there may be a number of channels playing out on Dolphin devices, with an additional spare device in the system as a backup. If any one of the main channels fails, the spare would be deployed, but there would inevitably be a delay while the content is copied across to its local storage.
Similarly, it’s possible that the additional ‘spare’ device may be wanted for use as a preview channel, but impractical delays are incurred if, again, content has to first be copied to its local storage.
With EditShare XStream EFS shared storage in the system, any Dolphin device can instantly access the content it needs to either playout the channel or to view a preview. And for fast turnaround applications, late arriving content onto the shared storage – either by file delivery or completed edits – can be played out immediately on any channel.
Architecting a system to have both local and remote storage also gives additional operational flexibility, enabling playout to continue, for example, during maintenance periods.

“Mission critical broadcast environments require playout solutions with reliable bandwidth and throughput.  There can be no lag or downtime,” comments Lee Griffin, Head of Marketing, EditShare.  “Integrating EditShare XStream EFS shared storage with the Dolphin distribution workflow allows Pebble customers to further automate delivery workflows and play content direct from storage that is backed by fault tolerant, highly scalable node-based architecture. It’s simplifying workflows with peace of mind.”


The new Matrox X.mio5 Q25 SMPTE ST 2110 NIC card integrated by Pebble.

For Immediate Release

Adds more uncompressed IP inputs and outputs to Dolphin integrated channel device –  Enables destination time switching without glitches or delays – Avoids the need for additional switching hardware

Weybridge, UK, August 23rd, 2018 – On stand 8.B68 at IBC Pebble Beach Systems will be showcasing its Dolphin integrated channel device with enhanced uncompressed multi-channel 4K and 25GbE IP functionality, thanks to the integration of the award-winning Matrox X.mio5 Q25 SMPTE ST 2110 network interface controller (NIC) card
Daniel Robinson, Head of Product Development at Pebble explains why the integration of the new card is significant:

“Dolphin already offers multiple I/O options to cater for the diverse requirements of our growing user base. A wide range of standards and protocols are supported including SDI, uncompressed and compressed IP, and NDI. Integrating the new X.mio5 Q25 SMPTE 2110 NIC card now enables multiple SMPTE ST 2110 UHD streams for uncompressed IP whilst, crucially, not increasing the load on the CPU. This significantly enhances the flexibility of Dolphin for uncompressed IP playout architectures. When the number of inputs is limited, users can encounter glitches and delays when switching between incoming streams. Thanks to the increased number of inputs this NIC offers, multiple uncompressed IP transport streams can be fed to Dolphin concurrently so that when the input is switched, the stream is already running and ready for a seamless changeover. This destination time switching also means that the additional switching hardware is not required.”

Dolphin is a compact and cost-effective integrated channel device which, operating under the control of Pebble’s Marina automation, delivers highly automated integrated audio, video and graphics functionality for ingest, channel branding and frame-accurate multi-channel playout. The flexible pipeline design enables the virtual output chain to be customised for each channel, specifying the order in which functions including graphics, effects, aspect ratio conversion are handled within the system.
Equipped with 25GbE and 10GbE interfaces, Matrox X.mio5 Q25 features multi-channel IP video I/O from HD to 4K—with zero CPU usage—on-board multi-channel HDR conversions, along with motion adaptive de-interlacing, pristine scaling, and powerful compositing engines for high-density 4K video processing. Designed as a video-aware COTS SMPTE ST 2110 NIC card, X.mio5 Q25 delivers 24/7 reliability and interoperability required of broadcast equipment, while offering the flexibility and scalability expected of IP infrastructures including standard network stack functionality.


Assisted Broadcasters Migrating from Ageing (EOL) Automation Systems

For Immediate Release
Proven migration path and hybrid approach provides ultimate flexibility and confidence
Weybridge, UK, July 23rd, 2018Pebble Beach Systems, a leading automation, content management and integrated channel specialist, has further optimised its Marina playout system to ease the migration from legacy and EOL systems The company has successfully helped scores of customers worldwide transition from legacy and EOL systems to its state of the art Marina playout solution. Central to this success is Pebble’s managed approach and a plugin framework that ensures a seamless transition from legacy broadcast automation systems to the powerful Marina automation system without stress, compromise, and the need for a hard cut-over date. With Marina, the ability to create a hybrid, synchronised playout chain with any combination of hardware and software gives broadcasters and multi-channel originators ultimate flexibility to transition any part of that playout chain at a pace to suit their scheduling and operational requirements.
As legacy automation systems reach end-of-life, organisations want to take advantage of the flexibility and power of modern, centralized, software-based automation systems. However, many are concerned about migrating years of accumulated data from their legacy system database to a new automation system. For any business, having a hard cutover to an entirely new system comes with considerable risk. Are all staff adequately trained? Is it really necessary to change every component at once? Can we preserve our existing investment in channel technology? Is there a path to virtualisation and the cloud?
Pebble Beach Systems’ approach is enabling broadcasters to answer these questions in a way that mitigates risk and instils confidence.
Legacy broadcast automation databases often contain descriptive and timing metadata for hundreds of thousands of clips. Much of the descriptive data input by operators is considered critical to the successful use of the asset. Just as important is the metadata that describes the timing information. When an asset is ingested, an operator must determine the true start time, skipping any garbage frames, and the true end time for clean playback. Segment timings for breaks are also key. Both descriptive and timing metadata are stored in the legacy database, but if that data is lost during translation to the new automation system, control operators can’t guarantee a clean broadcast output. Having personnel re-analyse and re-mark all clips in the new database is unsustainable, but Marina’s existing integration with practically all the popular broadcast scheduling and traffic systems enables organisations to standardise their data exchange, while direct API integration with third-party MAM systems enables retention of existing workflows.
When migrating to Marina, not only is all metadata transferred, but an active database bridge is also created between both systems to keep the systems in sync and enable them to run in parallel.

“Having an engineer show up and run a one-time database conversion process is not a solution for most customers,” says Ian Cockett, CTO and one of the founders of Pebble Beach Systems. “We realize that hard cutovers are unrealistic and overly burdensome, so the method we provide keeps the legacy and the Marina databases constantly synchronised, running in parallel, ensuring operations can make a well-orchestrated and managed transition on their own terms, in their own time.”

Having a hybrid approach means not only running any legacy equipment in parallel, but also having the ability to run a mix of SDI and IP equipment. Pebble’s integrated channel technology device, Dolphin, allows SDI or IP playback so that operations can switch to an IP based infrastructure when they are ready, and everything is tested.

“It’s one thing to build a greenfield site from the ground up with the latest IP infrastructure,” says Cockett. “For everyone else, moving the entire playout chain to IP represents another potential point of failure that many broadcasters are rightly hesitant to undertake.”

Operator change management is a further key consideration during system migration. The Marina UI layout can be configured to closely mimic a legacy system UI which helps with initial training and uninterrupted operation. With time, additional data and augmented feature sets can be revealed to operators by the system’s administrators.
Virtualisation of playout is a hot topic, but not every channel is a good candidate for moving to a public or private data centre today. As technology and business models continue to evolve, it’s very important for any new playout system to have a path to virtualised deployment. Orca, Pebble’s virtualised playout solution is already providing cloud playout for multiple customers. So, whether a broadcaster needs a path to virtualisation today, or tomorrow, Orca and Marina provide a future-proof strategy with no need for staff to learn a new interface.


Globo TV Expands with Marina Automation Systems by pebble in Brazil.


Company migrates from legacy playout systems for 100% file-based workflow and increased content agility across regions

Weybridge, UK and Broomfield, CO., USA, July 12, 2018 – Leading automation and integrated playout specialist Pebble Beach Systems today announced that Brazil’s Globo TV, part of Grupo Globo, one of the largest media companies in the world, continues to migrate its legacy playout automation systems to Pebble Beach Marina. Already installed in the company’s Rio de Janeiro headquarters, generating Globo’s main feed along with Globo International, the newest Marina installations are located in São Paulo, Brasília, and Recife.
Mirroring the Rio infrastructure, the Marina system in São Paulo provides playout automation from three servers, with four ingest channels and 12 playout channels (four playouts per feed). The São Paulo facility generates the São Paulo state and capital feeds while another facility in São Paulo is currently being configured to provide DR (disaster recovery) for the Rio, Brasília, and Recife operations with real-time media and playlist synchronisation. The Brasília and Recife broadcasting operations each supply one channel to their respective local regions.

“After the successful installation of Marina in Rio last year, we decided to continue migrating the legacy automation systems in our other broadcast centers,” said Eduardo Ferreira, Director of Technology Distribution and Playout at Globo TV. “Our goal was to better integrate our sites with a common workflow for each. This gives us greater agility with content and metadata exchange while also optimising all our resources.”

Marina’s standardised automation platform provides powerful integration across Globo’s regional playout centers with real-time online updates from Globo corporate systems. Marina enhances operational efficiency with automated content exchange and strengthens disaster recovery readiness. Globo’s new file-based workflow eliminates all physical media for content delivery, confirmation and playout, while fully automating media transfers and replication across sites and devices, in accordance with Globo’s business rules.

“Several criteria were evaluated by the Globo team, including Marina’s ability to easily integrate with Globo’s proprietary grid planning system interface,” said Marcelo Blum, systems manager at Videodata, the systems integrator responsible for recommending and installing Marina. “Managing content throughout the process, a solid integration with tapeless systems and media, complete redundancy and resiliency, together with excellent performance were key requirements.”

Marina allows operators to view high-res media clips so they can preview, trim and approve media directly in the Marina user interface. It enables quick and reliable playlist changes and makes airing of breaking news at the same time fast and easy. Comprehensive timers facilitate continuous schedule adjustments to comply with strategic decisions. Globo also utilises Lighthouse, a Marina web client interface, for easy status monitoring and remote playlist control.
In addition to installing Pebble Beach System’s Marina, Videodata also integrated Telestream Vantage and Dolby VM-600 as part of Globo’s complete solution.


India’s State 24 Hour News Channel Chooses Pebble Beach Systems

Seamless transition from legacy to state-of-the-art automation with no service interruption
Weybridge, UK, June 11th, 2018 –  Pebble Beach Systems, a leading automation, content management and integrated channel specialist, today announced that India’s Public Service Broadcaster, Doordarshan, has selected the Pebble Beach Systems Marina automation system for its flagship 24-hour news channel, DD News.
With over 100 million viewers across the country, DD News is India’s main terrestrial/satellite news channel. The channel produces over 17 hours of live transmission and 30 news bulletins in Hindi, English, Urdu and Sanskrit. Additionally, DD’s regional news units produce four daily regional shows, and the channel broadcasts daily sports bulletins, a business show, current affairs programs and several special shows on health, youth issues, arts and culture, and international events.
The Marina system, which will be commissioned in the coming weeks, features a MOS interface and offers emergency ingest capability from a live feed. Supplied as a fully redundant system with automatic changeover, it is being installed to replace the Doordarshan’s ageing Omnibus playout automation, which is no longer supported.

“This contract represents an important milestone for our expansion into India. We’re honoured to have been chosen by Doordarshan for this project, and look forward to a long and successful working relationship with them,” said Samir Isbaih, Pebble’s Regional Manager for the Middle East and South Asia.
“As legacy automation systems reach end-of-life, broadcasters want to take advantage of the flexibility and power of centralized, software-based automation systems. With Pebble’s automation systems, we are enabling our customers to put in place a painless, phased transition strategy that allows them to import legacy databases into Marina to ease the migration. This makes us a strong candidate for the replacement of many vendors’ systems,” he added.

A powerful automation solution with embedded content management, Marina is unique in its ability to evolve any playout infrastructure from legacy device control to incorporate new and evolving technologies, with minimum disruption to processes and staff. With Marina, not only is all metadata crucial to the description and playback of assets transferred, but an active database bridge is also created between the legacy system and the new one to keep them in sync and enable them to run in parallel.

“In a time of tremendous change and consolidation, both at the supplier and end-user level in the broadcast and media industry, Pebble’s specialist focus and experience with high-end tier one broadcasters helps them to remain a trusted partner for broadcasters as they transition to newer technologies, including virtualization and the cloud,”

stated Pradeep Singh Kohli, Director at Shaf Broadcast, Pebble’s partner in India.
Ashok Kumar Pathak, Deputy Director of Engineering at Doordarshan News confirmed:

“We’re looking forward to working with Pebble and Marina as we migrate to this state of the art playout platform”.