NAB Perspectives: Orad’s Benovici on PlayMaker Combox and the 4K ‘Channel in a Box’

As one of the major players in sports graphics, Orad is enjoying another successful year that has included work at the Sochi Olympics. At NAB 2014, the company offered a wide array of new products, including the PlayMaker Combox, what Orad is calling the world’s first integrated server and graphics solution.

During the show, SVG got the latest on the product and other ways Orad is approaching the sports market from VP, Marketing, Ofir Benovici.

Orad has plenty of new releases at this year’s show. What are some of the highlights for the sports-production community to take note of?
Well, there are few of those, actually.

On the replay and slo-mo side, we have PlayMaker Combox. It’s a combination of the PlayMaker replay server and Orad’s Graphics. Both are combined into the standard 3RU PlayMaker chassis.

There’s the FlexFX engine, which is built to provide real-time video effects and graphic transitions for replay and highlights. This simplifies the solution, reduces the costs and the footprint of the equipment, which is very important in the OB environment.

Also, we have Pivot, a Windows-based server controller that can work on the PlayMaker server in parallel to other PlayMaker controllers. Pivot provides a powerful set of tools, which can be operated by any member of the production team. Pivot can be used either for on-air playout or for different tasks of file logging and highlight preparations. Pivot is designed to provide a flexible GUI layout, which can provide an optimized environment for specific workflows.

Let’s discuss Blend 4K. What does this “4K channel in a box” mean for sports specifically, and what are the company’s goals for this product?
Well, Blend is the world’s first 4K channel-in-a-box solution. It offers an integrated solution for both video playback and real-time graphics in 4K from a single box.

We are seeing growing interest in 4K in particular in the sport domain, and it is fair to assume that the first 4K channels that will go on-air will be sport channels. The Blend 4K represents an attractive solution for playing 4K sports content to air and brand it with a 4K graphics in an easy manner.

After a successful showing at the Sochi Olympics, what can the sports world expect from Orad next?
Time will tell. Orad is in a unique position in the sport marketplace. We have a wide range of products ranging from real-time graphics, video and replay servers, sport enhancement, fast-turnaround MAM, and other content-production tools. Our goal now is integrating those into a turnkey solution, whether that would be in the truck or in the studio.

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