London’s ABS Broadcast selects Grass Valley K2Edge for playout

London-based independent broadcast playout facility ABS Broadcast has designed its ABSolute Delivery Platform transmission service to offer new and innovative services to assist its customers to better monetise their content with the help of the Grass Valley K2Edge automated playout system.

ABS Broadcast, based in West London, handles channel management and playout for a number of broadcasters, transmitting to the UK and beyond, with an increasing number of channels going to India and South-East Asia. With more than 20 years’ experience servicing the broadcast industry ABS was the first server-based playout facility in the UK, and has a long history of early adoption of new technologies in the sector. It identified the need to drive efficiency but, more importantly, to also provide an enhanced service offering to its clients with access to stored content to help them better monetise their assets.

“We were already somewhat familiar with the Grass Valley K2 Edge, as we have a number of PubliTronic channels on-air,” says Sass Jahani, CEO of ABS Broadcast. “While there are a number of good channel-in-a-box solutions available, Grass Valley gave us more with the ability to create and manage the look and feel of each channel with specific branding, as well as an open asset management system allowing our customers to look into their media asset libraries from any web browser. Rather than a simple playout system, Grass Valley offered us a complete, integrated playout solution.”

The ABSolute Delivery Platform transmission service developed by Grass Valley in conjunction with ABS Broadcast uses K2 Edge playout servers and the Grass Valley K2 TX/MAM asset management system. The first phase of the project saw 10 channels go on-air with the new technology progressively between February and May.  The second phase, starting later this year, will add 10 additional channels. The K2 Edge system will support continuing expansion as ABS Broadcast’s business grows.

This flexibility is seen as an important benefit to ABS Broadcast: “We are in a highly competitive business, and the ability to get new channels on the air quickly gives us a significant competitive edge,” adds Jahani. “With our old technology it could take up to 12 weeks to add a channel. With K2 Edge, we can get a new channel on-air in as little as 24 hours.”

The agreement with ABS includes training and on-site commissioning, as well as continuing support. Central facilities include the Grass Valley Channel Composer on-air graphics manager, which creates on-screen graphics templates and manages automatic insertion, and Cobalt playout automation software which drives the playout workflow from externally created schedules.

“Our playout solution is proving to be remarkably popular with broadcasters who recognize that they need the affordability that a real, integrated system brings,” says Alan Wright, senior vice president of Europe, Middle East, Africa, for Grass Valley. “ABS Broadcast is typical of a new breed of broadcast playout facilities which succeed by being extremely agile, and exceeding the expectations of their broadcaster customers.”

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