NAB 2024: Imagine to unveil major playout and automation advances

Imagine Communications will be introducing new products and features across its broad playout portfolio, focused on providing media companies with more flexibility, greater value, long-term sustainability and a lower carbon footprint.

Launching at the 2024 NAB Show in the West Hall, the latest advances include hybrid and multisite deployment options within the Imagine Aviator platform; a double-density version of Imagine’s Versio integrated playout platform; flexible, lower-cost configuration options for storage and control; and new, more energy-efficient platforms across the company’s entire playout, automation and routing control product range.

“The industry is facing continued cost pressure and looking for more efficient solutions — while simultaneously addressing channel expansion and more ways to watch content — so total cost of ownership is a key factor in developing our playout solutions,” said Brendon Mills, general manager, playout and networking, Imagine. “The latest additions to our portfolio address these market needs by providing more options for designers and builders looking at multisite solutions, redundancy models and disaster recovery planning.”

Visitors to Imagine’s NAB booth will get a first look at the recently launched Aviator Automation, which enables media companies to choose the best mix of on-prem and cloud-hosted channels for their business, while leveraging a common control system to ensure consistent and uninterrupted on-air operations. Whether customers are looking to grow channel count, consolidate facilities, or merge broadcast and digital workflows, Aviator Automation provides a unified solution that will help them achieve economies of scale and operational savings, while adapting to the changing needs of channel origination.

Imagine has also doubled the density of its Versio integrated playout solution to four channels per chassis, delivering quantifiable benefits in reduced power consumption and rack space per channel, while maintaining a strong blend of features and functionality needed for top-tier channels. With its support for SMPTE ST 2110, SDI, dual live inputs, dual DVEs, high-quality graphics, SCTE triggers and switching capabilities for each channel, Versio provides the key features needed for common playout workflows. When operating in conjunction with ADC or Aviator Automation, the result is a powerful blend of features and value that make Versio accessible and effective for a broad range of applications.

Platform updates for Imagine’s complete range of playout automation and routing control products, including Versio, ADC, Nexio media servers and Magellan routing control, will also be unveiled. This includes titanium-grade redundant power supplies rated at 96% efficiency and meeting the current European Union (EU) Commission regulation 2019/424 (EU Lot 9) and India’s BIS certification. The new hardware comes with redundant boot drives, support for internal Raid-6 protected storage with a usable capacity of up to 80TB, and options for 1Gb/s, 10Gb/s and 25Gb/s network interfaces, as well as broadcast I/O cards suitable for a host of applications. Customer benefits of the platform updates include better energy efficiency and increased density — improving total cost of ownership.

Also at NAB, Imagine is showcasing two new shared storage options for Nexio and Versio, available in 40TB and 80TB configurations with Raid-6 protection and plenty of sustained bandwidth for a mix of real-time I/O and file transfers, with redundant networking. These new storage options are said to offer value and performance for applications such as small broadcast facilities, remote (hub/spoke) locations or anywhere fully redundant storage is not needed.

“When managing resources on strained budgets, our customers need flexibility in the solutions they deploy,” said Mills. “These latest additions to our product lineup give our customers more choices than ever before to drive efficiency, find the right technical balance or fit, cost-effectively add more capacity and meet their current and future business goals.”

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