Playout Server Software

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Imagine Communications is a leading provider of highly scalable, software-based playout solutions that speed channel deployment time and easily upgrade with no costly hardware replacement — ensuring today's investment fits an operation's requirements well into the future. Any broadcast automation software consists three work-flows first is Playout Automation and second one is On-Air Broadcast Graphics Automation and third is Live Broadcast Automation. UniplayCG is India's Most Advanced and Robust Broadcast Automation Software and Character Generator Automation with Playout Automation Software for satellite television channels or Cable TV Channel Broadcaster.

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  1. . this version is outdated email: to get the latest code Bug fixes, code optimization + compliance recorder, ingest recorders, stream renderer (udp, rtsp, hls) e.t.c. TV Station in a box server This is a TV Station scheduled playout video server with statics and animated graphics.
  2. AirServer Lite. Beside being able to play a large number of video formats, AirServer Lite allows Live input events on playlist and in combination with Windows Media and Flash streaming AirServer Lite is the most versatile playout automation software on the market.
Front and back views of a small IP video server with audio and composite video inputs (Sensoray 2453S)

A video server is a computer-based device that is dedicated to delivering video. Video servers are used in a number of applications, and often have additional functions and capabilities that address the needs of particular applications. For example, video servers used in security, surveillance and inspection applications typically are designed to capture video from one or more cameras and deliver the video via a computer network. In video production and broadcast applications, a video server may have the ability to record and play recorded video, and to deliver many video streams simultaneously.

  • 1Video broadcast and production

Video broadcast and production[edit]

A video replay server, commonly used to provide instant replay in broadcasts of sporting events (EVS XT2)
Large online providers of video on-demand employ clusters of servers such as this to simultaneously output multiple streams (Emulab)

In TV broadcast industries, a server is a device used to store broadcast quality images and allows several users to edit stories using the images they contain simultaneously.

The video server can be used in a number of contexts, some of which include:

  • News: providing short news video clips as part of a news broadcast as seen on networks (like CNN and Fox News).
  • Production: enhance live events with instant replays and slow motion and highlights (sport production) (see OB Vans)
  • Instruction: delivering course material in video format.
  • Public Access: delivering city specific information to residents over a cable system.
  • Surveillance: deliver real-time video images of protected site.
  • Entertainment: deliver anything used for entertainment. It can be gaming, news, movie trailers, or movies.

A professional-grade video server performs recording, storage, and playout of multiple video streams without any degradation of the video signal. Broadcast quality video servers often store hundreds of hours of compressed audio and video (in different codecs), play out multiple and synchronised simultaneous streams of video by, and offer quality interfaces such as SDI for digital video and XLR for balanced analog audio, AES/EBU digital audio and also Time Code. A genlock input is usually provided to provide a means of synchronizing with the house reference clock, thereby avoiding the need for timebase correction or frame synchronizers.

Video servers usually offer some type of control interface allowing them to be driven by broadcast automation systems that incorporate sophisticated broadcast programming applications. Popular protocols include VDCP and the 9-Pin Protocol.

They can optionally allow direct to disk recording using the same codec that is used in various post-productionvideo editing software packages to prevent any wasted time in transcoding.


Typically, a video server can do the following:

  • Ingest of different sources : video cameras (multiple angles), satellitedata feeds, disk drives and other video servers. This can be done in different codecs.
  • Temporary or definitive storage of these video feeds.
  • Maintain a clear structure of all stored media with appropriate metadata to allow fast search : name, remarks, rating, date, time code, etc.
  • video editing of the different clips
  • Transfer those clips to other video servers or playout directly (via IP interface or SDI)

Generally, they have several bi directional channels (record and ingest) for video and audio. A perfect synchronisation is necessary between those channels to manage the feeds.

Video surveillance and inspection[edit]

In some surveillance and inspection applications, IP video servers are employed which convert analog video signals into IP video streams. These IP video servers can stream digitized video over IP networks in the same way that an IP Camera can. Because an IP Video server uses IP protocols, it can stream video over any IP-compatible network, including via a modem for access over a phone or ISDN connection. With the use of a video server attached to an analog camera, the video from an existing surveillance system can be converted and networked into a new IP surveillance system.

In the video security industry a video server is a device to which one or more video sources can be attached. Video servers are used to give existing analog systems network connectivity. Video servers are essentially transmission/ telemetry / monitoring devices. Viewing is done using a web browser or in some cases supplied software. These products also allow the upload of images to the internet or direct viewing from the internet. In order to upload to the internet an account with an ISP (internet service provider) may be required.

Phone apps that send direct security video feed to smartphones from security video servers are another recent security video server application innovation. This allows smartphone users to view security video server feed from anywhere they can use their smartphone.[1]

See also[edit]

  • Broadcast automation and playout
  • Media server (Consumer)


  1. ^Viewing Your Security Camera on Your Android Smartphone with MPRMS
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In broadcasting, playout is a term for the transmission of radio or TV channels from the broadcaster into terrestrial networks that delivers the content to the audience. Those networks can consist of terrestrial transmitters for analogue or digital radio and TV, cable networks or satellites (either for direct reception, DTH, or intended for cable television headends).

The playout happens in master control in a playout area, which can be either situated in the central apparatus room or in purposely built playout centres, which can be owned by a broadcaster or run by an independent specialist company that has been contracted to handle the playout for a number of channels from different broadcasters.

Some of the larger playout centres in Europe, Southeast Asia and the United States handle well in excess of 50 radio and TV 'feeds'. Feeds would often consist of several different versions of a core service, often different language versions or with separately scheduled content, such as local opt outs for news or promotions.

Playout systems[edit]

Centralcasting is multi-channel playout that generally uses broadcast automation systems with broadcast programming applications. These systems generally work in a similar way, controlling video servers, video tape recorder (VTR) devices, Flexicarts, audio mixing consoles, vision mixers and video routers, and other devices using a serial communications9-Pin Protocol (RS-232 or RS-422). This provides deterministic control, enabling frame accurate playback, Instant replay or video switching. Many systems consist of a front end operator interface on a separate platform to the controllers – e.g. a Windows GUI will present a friendly easy to use method of editing a playlist, but actually control would be done on a platform with a 'real time' operating system such that any large scale playlist amendments do not cause any delays to device control.

Most broadcast automation systems will have a series of common device drivers built in, for example Sony VTR control (aka Sony Serial), Louth Video Disk Control Protocol (VDCP, a proprietary communications protocol), General Purpose Interface (GPI), or Grass Valley Group M21 Master Control. This ensures that a broadcast automation system bought 'off the shelf' will at least be able to ingest and playout content, although may not be able to take advantage of more efficient methods of control. Most server, and especially most digital on-screen graphic and character generator (CG) manufacturers will have a specific device driver for their device, with increasing degrees of complexity, and different automation companies will include these drivers to enhance their product or to fit a customers need.

This is the 'traditional' method of Playout Automation, where there are multiple devices. Modern automation systems use the Automated Playout method, which is where the broadcast server fulfills the functions of the multiple devices, and is a self-contained system (example PlayBox Technology's integrated playout 'Channel in a Box').

Playout devices[edit]

Playout will usually involve an airchain of devices which begin with content, typically stored on video servers, and ultimately an output, either as an (Asynchronous serial interface) (ASI) / IP or (Serial Digital Interface) (SDI) for on pass to a distribution company.

The devices in the chain depend on the service required under the contract with the Channel. Typically a standard television channel would require a Master ControlVideo switcher, and/or a Video router to allow switching of live sources. This video switcher may include other functions such as keying (graphics) (also known as Down Stream Keyers), Audio Overs for mixing in voice overs (VO) or announcements, and facilitate transitions between events, such as a fade through black or crossfade (also known as mix).

Other devices include:

Graphics inserters – At least one Graphics inserter, or one with several layers. This allows for Station identification/Logo/Digital on-screen graphic (Dog or Bug) insertion, and can also be used for end credits sequences, coming next graphics or programme information straps

Subtitling inserters – This can be either closed or open – i.e. in vision as a graphic for all to see, or closed either as an MPEG stream item, Closed Captioning or World System Teletext.

Audio servers – An audio playout system would provide scheduled voiceovers

Aspect Ratio Converters – These alter the picture shape or send an embedded signal to allow the material format to be displayed correctly on a particular feed (e.g. Widescreen on a standard non-widescreen Analogue terrestrial feed)

Some of these more advanced devices require information from the playlist, and so do not tend to use an RS422/232 driver, but a complex XML based system which allows for more complex metadata to be passed, e.g. a 'Now' or 'Next' Graphic can be created from a template using text information from the playlist.

In recent years there has been a move to replicate all of these functions in a single system, often called a integrated playout or 'channel in a box' solution, pioneered by PlayBox Technology. These are often cheaper to introduce and allow for a more scalable Playout system.

Playout Centers[edit]

Playout is one of the basic infrastructure of a playout center. Mostly called as channel in a box server, but basically composed of playout servers with integrated graphics and IP or ASI output. Aim of playout centers is mostly to serve customers a simple file based television facility. Up-link and TV Channel in a box servers simply provide the facility.

Video Playout Automation Software Free


Playout Server Software Free

A common workflow is for the broadcast automation system to have a recording schedule to ingest material from a satellite or line feed source and then time-shift that material based on a playlist or schedule.

The playout schedule will have been created in the customer's broadcast programming scheduling system and exported into a format suitable to be used in the Playout system. There is a move to SMPTE-22, known as Broadcast Exchange Format (BXF) to try to standardise the messaging involved in this interaction.

The resulting playlist is 'loaded' into the appropriate channel of the broadcast automation system in advance of the transmission time. Various processes will take place to ensure the content is available on the correct servers for playout at the right time, typically this involves advance requests to move material from deep storage such as Tape Archives or FTP Clusters to Broadcast Video servers, often using FTP.

On playing out the material, the audio and video signals are usually transported from the playout area to the network via a studio/transmitter link (STL), which may be fibre backlink, microwave or satellite uplink.

Playout is often referred to as Presentation or Transmission (TX), and is under control of an automatic transmission system.

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Playout Server Software Download

See also[edit]

Playout Server Software Free


Playout Server Software Windows 10

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