Imagine Aviator streamlines premium-quality linear services with Essentials channel offering

Imagine Communications has added new functionality to its Aviator platform with the launch of the Essentials channel origination option for its Make TV cloud playout solution. Designed for channels that do not require high levels of interactivity or support for live workflows, the Essentials option is designed to make operating and monitoring simpler linear channels straightforward and more cost-effective.

The Essentials option rounds out the Make TV solution’s Standard and Premium channel offerings, which support high-end features and sophisticated workflows. Essentials channels deliver high video, audio and graphics quality, ensuring that the focus on premium-quality viewing experiences at the heart of Aviator is maintained in even the simplest channel origination applications.

As part of the Aviator platform – which combines scheduling, rights management, channel origination, VOD, ad sales, ad placement, ad serving, campaign management and more into a single cloud platform – Essentials channels integrate with the end-to-end plan, make and monetise capabilities in a cloud-native implementation that allows media companies to continue to successfully deliver and monetise content to meet changing consumer viewing habits.

“The Essentials offering allows our customers to quickly deploy new channels that leverage the power of the Aviator platform and deliver great value and the ease of use needed for thematic-style channels,” said Rob Malcolm, chief product officer at Imagine Communications. “As media companies of all types and sizes search for new ways to address how consumers want to watch, Essentials channels provide lower-cost options to stand up and operate channels that utilise the efficiencies of the public cloud – making it easier than ever to address broadening advertising opportunities and create highly impactful and dynamic channels with genuine appeal to viewers.”

The Essentials offering is designed for 24/7 scheduled channels such as movies and episodic content, FAST channels, and local and regional broadcast applications. It is also well suited to popup and occasional use channels, as well as business continuity/disaster recovery and evergreen use cases. Essential channels share the same user interface as the more sophisticated Standard and Premium channels, maintaining a uniform operating interface for all channel types in the system.

While the operation of Essentials channels is said to be simple, the underlying technology uses the latest container-based management and deployment connected to a full suite of monitoring and analytics tools. The playout engine that manages frame-accurate playout of video, audio, triggers and graphics runs on a Linux operating system, which drives down channel launch costs and reduces total cost of ownership.

The graphics engine uses HTML5 overlay graphics and supports real-time external dynamic data and playlist data insertion. SCTE trigger insertion supports broadcast and OTT ad insertion, including integration with Imagine’s SureFire broadcast-quality video ad server and other common dynamic ad insertion solutions.

As with the rest of the Aviator platform, Essentials channels run in the public cloud. Only a web browser and internet connection are needed to securely access and operate all aspects of each channel, placing control at the operators’ fingertips wherever they are based. It offers the flexibility of running in a media company’s own cloud account or in Imagine’s SaaS environment, where it is monitored, managed and maintained by Imagine.

“We continue to deliver functionality in the Aviator platform on our aggressive roadmap schedule,” Malcolm added. “The Essentials channel offering, as with other aspects of the Aviator solution, demonstrates how we are rapidly expanding the feature set and addressable market for the platform. This latest introduction fills out our full range of channel types, enabling Aviator to deliver the most diverse range of linear channel origination options from a single platform on the market today.”


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