How Automation Can Improve Broadcasting

Media Entertainment Tech Outlook | Thursday, November 25, 2021

Today, most television organizations rely on ads as their primary source of revenue, even going so far as to auction commercial slots that became available during extended sports or breaking news programs.

FREMONT, CA: The biggest money-makers in broadcast will always be high-profile, prime-time shows with massive audiences. The vast majority of media organizations nowadays rely heavily on ads as their primary income source; some even go so far as to auction off available commercial slots during high-profile sporting events or breaking news segments as they become available.

In the past, putting extensive broadcast libraries' tapes into VTRs, where they could be cued up to the right spot and ready to play as planned, required a poor, under-pressure runner. However, all of this was time-consuming and rife with mistakes.

Robotic tape selection capabilities are added to cart machines over time, and then digital video emerged, allowing cart machines to be replaced by a video server. They now have better control and faster access to video on the server for broadcasters.

Continued technological improvements include "smart" metadata use, traffic management systems, changing video formats, and video over IP, all of which lower the number of resources required for playback and enhance the efficiency and accuracy of content being presented.

For programs that include breaking news or extended sports segments, where the goal is to insert as many advertisements as possible, those can now be pitched up to two or three minutes—or even seconds—before they appear to maximize revenue.

A broadcast operation can adjust more quickly to changing work schedules and production demands. Rather than requiring everyone to report to the central control room to verify work, all that is required now is a web browser to interface with the automation system and make schedule adjustments.

With the liberation of daily life and business from lockdown restrictions, flexible automation will continue to be a vital feature of broadcast operations. It is widely accepted that many habits acquired during COVID will persist in some form, quite possibly for an extended period.

This involves a remote, or at the very least hybrid, work schedule.

While on-site engineers will always be required, one purpose of automation is to promote remote monitoring. For instance, if a router fails to operate correctly for whatever reason, the user can remotely switch to a backup and identify another router, or at the very least another input, to send a signal over.

Pebble's web browser connects directly to automation system playlists, enabling remote users to operate concurrently with single or several playlists. Users can adapt to daily schedules or global time zones and monitor signals in any format from any location on the planet. If any materials or media assets are missing, it's simple to make modifications on the fly. Whatever adjustments are performed remotely, everything is always in sync with the primary facility.