PlayBox Technology, the #1 international channel-in-a-box manufacturer, has worked with the UK-based Travel Channel International (TCI) to expand and streamline parts of its worldwide operations. This has involved the companies working together to achieve the required integration of EdgeBox remote playout servers from PlayBox Technology into TCI’s existing file-based workflow and Zeus trafficking system.
Richard Wolfe, TCI’s CEO describes the company’s position. “The Channel’s appeal is universal and its customers are global. This leads to complex playout needs that have to be dynamic, flexible and economic, and yet deliver a high quality reliable feed. EdgeBox was a remote playout solution that could fit into our operation and was robust and reliable enough to handle our channel.”
To date four EdgeBox servers have been supplied for TCI to support its services currently in Germany, Asia and New Zealand. Each server is located at the local transmission’s platform NOC (network operations centre) where it provides a complete channel as a high quality digital feed. The only connection between the EdgeBox and TCI headquarters in London is via the Internet. This transports all video material, subtitles, captions and graphics as well as playlists and monitoring data between the remote site and TCI Operations HQ in London, making the whole system schedule-driven.
Each EdgeBox is configured with full redundancy and includes AirBox playout servers, supplied complete with multi-channel audio and SafeBox content management. The workflow includes each receiving files, sent via the Internet and based on FTP, that include media and playlists from TCI HQ in London. It then checks it has all the media needed to fulfil the playlists, sending a list of any missing media items list back to HQ. PlayBox 24/7 Monitoring and Support service is used by TCI. This provides comprehensive round-the-clock technical support via phone, email and on-line along with system monitoring via SNMP and AV monitoring of live streams.
Ananth Sam, UK Systems Architect comments “It’s been a great experience for us to work closely with the forward-thinking imaginative team at Travel Channel. We had to seamlessly fit EdgeBox into its established file-based workflow and they had to be sure our systems would reliably perform unattended. Now there are HD and SD systems on air 24/7 around the world as planned and we look forward to continuing this successful relationship.”
“Our main motive for using EdgeBox was to provide customisation of our channel content to deliver augmented feeds for specific territories,” reports Steve Fright, TCI Director of Broadcasting. “We needed something that could slot into our current set-up and could easily be hosted at NOCs around the world.”
Matt Westrup, TCI Head of Operations adds, “EdgeBox gives us the flexibility to relocate, upgrade, innovate, customise and to have a much sharper response to the commercial realities that make Travel Channel a success. We are now far freer to sit down, have discussions and tune a service to exactly what the customers want.” He continues, “On the way we concluded a very successful industry first. Besides including subtitles and opt-outs we have also achieved integration between PlayBox Technology, ourselves and Screen Subtitling Systems.”
Travel Channel is the leading international travel broadcaster, transmitting 24 hours a day to 117 countries in 20 languages across Europe, the Middle East, Africa and the Asia Pacific region. It is operated by Travel Channel International Limited (TCI), an independent UK company headquartered in London. TCI uses 20 satellite feeds to reach over 800 cable, satellite and IPTV affiliates and has eight separate feeds. The company produces and commissions original programming across the world.