MultiPlay is Vector 3’s IT-based, multi-channel playout solution. Designed to optimize redundancy management for multi-channel broadcasters, the innovative distributed MultiPlay architecture enables engineers to precisely target redundancy and backup priorities, reducing the need for costly server mirroring and improving performance of multi-channel playout.
Attendees to the IBC 2010 exhibition, held in Amsterdam from September 10–14, can visit Vector 3 and learn more about their support for the ProRes codec on stand 7.C01.
Vector 3 – A History of IT-based Broadcast
Thanks to its long experience working with both conventional broadcast playout solutions and IT-based technologies, Vector 3 was one of the first in the industry to correctly predict the inevitable technology revolution that would occur inside master control rooms. As a result, Vector 3 leads the market in the development of cutting-edge IT-based solutions for the master control room. With 1000 installations and a large number of channels controlled by their systems worldwide, Vector has also helped lead this change by educating the market regarding the reliability and benefits of IT-based solutions.
Vector 3 launched the first PC-based frame-accurate automated playout system on the market in 1988, going head to head with the proprietary systems prevalent at the time. After successes in Denmark, India, and Spain, Vector 3 continued to develop its IT-based solutions for the master control room and, in 1994, launched the first-ever video server with integrated graphics and transition capabilities.
In 2001, Vector 3 launched the first codec-agnostic player on the market — a video server capable of playing video files in any compression format, even in the same playlist. In 2003, after a long discussion amongst vendors about standards in video file “wrappers” or “containers,” Vector 3 once again led the market, being the first to offer a wrapper-agnostic video server capable of playing any file type available. Today, even SD files can be played in HD playlists and vice versa.
As Vector 3 expanded into Russia, Sweden, Holland, and Asian markets, broadcasters became aware of the multiple advantages of having a fully networked solution offering full connectivity over Ethernet or Fibre Channel, along with support for the SMB protocol. The large amounts of data required for branding can be easily received in real time and from a variety of different data sources, and operators also have full visibility of all devices on the network, unlike with proprietary systems.
Vector 3 customers were also quick to realize the significant benefits, in terms of redundancy options, of the IT-based master control room. The flexibility of the LAN, the modularity of the components, and the solution’s distributed architecture enable any piece of equipment to operate as a backup for another of its kind. With only two main types — video server and automation system — redundancy becomes both simple and affordable. With a range of options available, broadcasters can adopt the configuration that best suits their requirements.
The distributed philosophy of Vector 3’s MultiPlay product line enables the additional backup of automation processes with the added advantage of easy connectivity via the Internet for control and monitoring from remote locations.
In 2006, Vector 3’s sale to TSA (Europe’s largest communications provider) of a distributed multi-channel solution represented an important milestone — the consolidation of 24 different channels into three straightforward file-based workflows. This installation demonstrated the acceptance and maturity of Vector 3’s solutions, providing master control room, production, graphics, channel branding, and universal file format workflow capabilities within a distributed IT-based platform.
For more information about Vector 3, please visit: http://www.vector3.tv.
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