Date posted: November 11, 2013

CBS joins Harris Broadcast to discuss improvements in studio productions operations and more efficient studio workflow in “Is Studio Production Keeping You Up Late?” session

Harris Broadcast, a market-share leader of content management and network infrastructure solutions serving the global broadcast, communication service provider, government and enterprise markets, today announced it will demonstrate advanced technologies that help broadcasters transition to IP networks and file-based infrastructure at Content and Communications World (CCW), Nov. 13-14 (Javits Center, New York, booth 901).

Leading the CCW display is North America’s official introduction to the Selenio™ MCP1, an extension of the award-winning Selenio IP media convergence platform that broke barriers as an all-in-one, 3RU signal compression, networking and processing solution – addressing baseband video, audio and IP-based content. Selenio MCP1 delivers the same capabilities in a compact 1RU package, affording the user a more than 50 percent reduction in rack space. It provides video processing, advanced audio processing, compression and multiplexing in a single, flexible platform with intuitive graphical management tools, simplifying workflows and reducing operational costs.

“CCW provides a unique opportunity to share our broad portfolio and the latest in IP convergence technologies with thought leaders in media and entertainment from around the world,” said Pablo Gargiulo, president, global sales, Harris Broadcast. “We look forward to introducing the Selenio MCP1 integrated media convergence platform, which brings a compact form factor to the product family while furthering our vision of addressing IP interconnects to legacy video and audio applications.”

In addition, Harris Broadcast will display:

  • Versio™ –  The industry’s most complete integrated playout solution, utilizing key elements of market-leading Harris Broadcast automation, server, graphics and branding technologies integrated in a highly resilient, 1 RU form factor
  • Maxiva™ ULXT transmitter with PowerSmart® 3D technology – A liquid-cooled, robust transmitter solution helping broadcasters deliver high quality content to consumers worldwide; PowerSmart 3D significantly reduces energy use while providing unrivaled operating efficiency – without compromising power or reliability
  • Landmark OSI™ – One of the industry’s most widely-used and powerful traffic and billing systems for television, cable and radio operations, providing advanced, web-based functionality and easy-to-use tools for traffic, accounting and yield management; highly-scalable and proven to handle hundreds of stations across multiple networks

Cindy Parrish, product manager for Harris Broadcast, will also join Kathy Mavrikakis, senior producer of CBS’s The Late Show with David Letterman, for a breakout session “Is Studio Production Keeping You Up Late?” on Wednesday, Nov. 13th at 11:00 a.m. at the Broadcast & Beyond Theater. The session will detail how asset management software helps studio production operations overcome challenges in creating the highest quality content for viewers, while ensuring efficient production workflows.

Date posted: September 24, 2013

Manual Commercial Scheduling Soon a Relic of the Past

During its annual October conference, The Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE), which hosts one of the media industry’s most intensive technology gatherings, will announce SMPTE’s Broadcast eXchange Format (BXF) 3.0, a significant breakthrough in commercial scheduling for broadcasters, advertising agencies and advertisers.  BXF 3.0 will automate the time-stealing data entry process (re-keying of traffic instructions) that has been in place for more than 50 years.

For years, ad agencies and broadcasters have focused on the media buy (known as the order) and invoice.  Yet scheduling the commercial, the most critical step to ensure a spot airs correctly, is still an entirely manual process.  Industry experts Christopher Lennon of MediAnswers and Angela Tietze of Entertainment Communications Network (ECN) will present Faxes, Emails, Pagers, and the Macarena:  Adios to Relics of the ‘90s.  Both will delve into one of the advertising and media industries’ least talked about workflows, which today relies on dated technology:  TRAFFIC.

Chris Lennon of MediAnswers

Currently, once a commercial has been produced, ad agencies assign it a commercial code (Ad-ID) and create traffic instructions advising broadcasters when, where and how to air it.  Typically, traffic instructions are distributed to stations and networks via fax or email, and the commercial information is re-typed by hand into the traffic system.  It takes valuable time to re-key the data and underscores the inevitability of errors.   That’s where SMPTE’s Broadcast eXchange Format (BXF) 3.0 comes in.

Angela Tietze of ECN

 

Lennon and Tietze spent the past 18 months working with a group of industry professionals to create a standard within BXF that will enable traffic instructions to be ingested electronically into traffic systems at stations and networks, automating commercial scheduling using XML.  The result will be no more manual data entry and faster time-to-air for advertisers, while significantly reducing discrepancies and make goods.

Contact Chris Lennon (clennon@medianswers.tv) or Angela Tietze (atietze@ecnmedia.com) for more information on Faxes, emails, pagers, and The Macarena:  Adios to Relics of the ‘90s, to be presented at the SMPTE 2013 Annual Technical Conference (Loews Hollywood Hotel, Hollywood, Calif., October 22-24).

 

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Date posted: March 27, 2013

MediAnswers brings media management vision to vendors, integrators and end users across multiple industries

The launch of a consulting firm during the NAB Show buildup appears typical on the surface, but it is rare to have two well-known industry names like Chris Lennon and Peter Storer at its core.  This is the case with MediAnswers, a new global company focused on media management and workflow optimization for broadcast and beyond.

Lennon and Storer bring a long history of software and workflow-oriented expertise that will help their customers work more efficiently and save money.  Lennon notes that MediAnswers was built to address what often seem like insurmountable tasks in streamlining media operations.  This includes helping broadcasters and non-traditional media users integrate their media assets and systems more smoothly, touching everything from video and audio to print and “big data”.

For broadcasters, it is especially challenging where multiplatform delivery is involved.   “There is tremendous pressure now for broadcasters to optimize spots and programs across all these different distribution platforms, from over the air to over the top,” said Lennon, president and CEO.  “Small inefficiencies become multiplied in these situations.  We exist to help organizations step back and take a holistic view of the entire workflow instead of focusing on one problem.”

Most media consultants focus on expertise in equipment and facility construction.  MediAnswers instead brings expertise starting from program acquisition and ad agency commercial management all the way through the entire media workflow to the transmission point.

Storer, who serves as MediAnswers’ Executive Vice President, believes that MediAnswers is ideally equipped to serve all types of organizations, broadcast and otherwise, as they transition from primarily hardware-driven to software-centric operations.

“This is a process fraught with challenges for vendors and their customers alike,” said Storer.  “These organizations are tasked with learning to manage and organize large media resources, capture and reflect the appropriate metadata, and incorporate it into their everyday workflows and archives.  These day-to-day media management aspects are critical to what broadcasters, and to another degree, other non-traditional media companies are experiencing.”

Lennon’s long and successful career with Harris Broadcast, Encoda and Enterprise Systems, as well as his time as a broadcaster, perfectly blends with Storer’s ground-up success with leading program and contract rights management firm StorerTV.  Lennon points to his and Storer’s experience in standards development, including BXF (Broadcast eXchange Format), as one example of the unique skills they bring to such projects.

“BXF is a shining example of what can be accomplished in evaluating a broken ecosystem of media components, and bringing it all together for system-wide efficiency,” said Lennon.  “Our goal is to deliver workflow harmony and improve overall ROI by streamlining systems.  We help our customers achieve what they visualized when they originally decided to transition to software-centric workflows.”

Chris Lennon and Peter Storer can be reached at clennon@medianswers.tv and pstorer@medianswers.tv.

Date posted: March 26, 2013

UNIV software engineers and system architects specialize in creating workflows that are the basis of OTT and IPTV projects

Unified Video Technologies (UNIV), specialists in developing, integrating and operating complete high-performance media and broadcast ecosystems for broadcasters and enterprises, announces new in-house capabilities to design sophisticated software workflows that integrate format- and task-specific video applications.

The UNIV team now includes experienced software engineers and system architects with expertise in system design and who excel at scripting and coding in .net, Java and PHP.  This gives UNIV a unique position in the broadcast and media industries to create advanced, high-performance workflows and platforms that form the essential core of OTT and IPTV projects.

UNIV CEO Pablo Goldstein and CTO Ariel Matzkin (seated) work on a software workflow integration project at the company’s Miami office.

The UNIV team’s software-centric systems integration approach, which the company will introduce at the 2013 NAB Show (April 8-11, Las Vegas Convention Center, Booth 6321), unifies all content processing—regardless of how it is ingested or distributed—into a single workflow.  This ultimately enables content owners, media companies and broadcasters to consolidate resources, streamline processes and reduce costs.

“With the addition of talented system architects and software engineers to the UNIV team, we provide customers with the ability to seamlessly integrate all elements of their video ecosystem in a single integrated workflow.  This unique expertise enables UNIV to design and implement the solutions media companies need to compete in the new world of OTT and IPTV,” said Pablo Goldstein, CEO of Unified Video Technologies.  “UNIV is committed to providing expert, end-to-end solutions for our clients. Adding software integration capabilities is just one example of how we are executing on that commitment.”

Date posted: March 11, 2013

Industry’s first out-of-the-box business intelligence solution boosts data mining, analytical and mobile capabilities to capitalize on business opportunities today and tomorrow

Harris Broadcast enriches business intelligence for media executives and sales teams with new analytic tools that improve insight into current business and advertising models — and offer unparalleled foresight into future revenue-generating opportunities.

Harris Broadcast will introduce these and other new enhancements to its NetGain® business intelligence and analytics software at the 2013 NAB Show (April 8-11, Las Vegas Convention Center, Booth N2503).  The company will demonstrate new visual analytics, mobile dashboards, interfaces to social media data and access to embedded and third-party data mining capabilities as part of its new NetGain v2.4.2 release.

Through the new visual analytics capability, NetGain gives broadcasters and media organizations unique capabilities to proactively pull data from many sources, and quickly compare and analyze that data to fully understand current business landscapes through an intuitive visual interface.  Users can quickly publish the generated dashboards and reports to mobile devices, via e-mail or portal.  Meanwhile, new “visual foresight” tools leverage predictive analytics to help customers develop forward-looking metrics, from anticipated earnings to potential media buys for advertisements.

The latest release of Harris Broadcast’s NetGain business intelligence software integrates with more than 300 predefined data mining sources – ideal for building short- and long-term advertising strategies

NetGain v2.4.2 also incorporates the following new tools and benefits:

  • Access to Wisdom Professional for performing advanced analytics on Facebook user data.  This provides media companies with advanced capability to analyze viewing audiences and enhance advertising placement.
  • More than 300 predefined data mining and predictive analytics functions.
  • Integration with the open-source “R” analytics library, unleashing limitless access to analytics and statistics for business modeling.

NetGain integrates these new tools while retaining its ability to load data and generate reports with speed and efficiency, allowing customers to share business intelligence information locally or across the enterprise within minutes.  Furthermore, the wealth of information generated ensures that users can get a complete view of all available business opportunities.

“Broadcasters today need to optimize their inventories beyond over-the-air channels and across the web, mobile and other digital media opportunities,” said Harris Morris, CEO, Harris Broadcast.  “They also need to visualize the total trend versus looking separately at television spots versus digital.  NetGain ensures that broadcasters, cable networks and other media groups can achieve a complete view of their businesses as opposed to a ‘siloed’ approach,” while enabling visibility into future results based on multiple scenarios.”

Harris Broadcast now pre-integrates NetGain with its various traffic, billing, sales and scheduling platforms (OSi™, Novar™, Landmark™ and Vision™) as well as third-party data sources to maximize data sourcing and flexibility.  NetGain users can also now directly import data from Salesforce® (www.salesforce.com) to better track and measure advertising campaigns across multiple channels.

Additionally, the enhanced mobile capability provides a strong sales-enablement tool for account executives on the go.  This allows sales managers to arm their teams with easy-to-read, interactive dashboards on tablets and other mobile devices, simplifying customer presentations and detailing business performance.

“There are two clear benefits to NetGain’s enhanced mobile capability,” said Scott Criley, director, media and workflow, Harris Broadcast.  “Our customers can leverage the back office capability of NetGain to better understand the current situation and future opportunities in advance of client meetings.  For client presentations, NetGain efficiently makes clean reports, dashboards and marketing material accessible from a mobile interface, making it an ideal tool for revenue generation in the field.”

Date posted: September 25, 2012

Univision Communications Inc., the leading media company serving Hispanic America, has renewed and expanded its suite of Harris Corporation (NYSE:HRS) media software solutions — introducing new synergies across business and on-air operations while improving visibility into emerging business trends and opportunities.

Univision has extended its Harris® OSi-Traffic™ media software contract for up to five years, and will further streamline business workflows with the Harris® Live-Update™ solution.  Live-Update will allow Univision-owned TV station groups in 21 markets to automatically translate real-time changes to traffic and advertising schedules almost directly up to airtime.  The integration eliminates manual processes, greatly improving operational efficiency for traffic, sales and master control.

The Live-Update solution will seamlessly integrate OSi™ traffic and billing software with existing Harris® ADC™ automated content management and distribution systems, using BXF data exchange.  The tight integration also ensures that staff can make intelligent decisions on ad placements and scheduling changes from the business office, with the confidence that Live-Update will efficiently translate all changes to automation in time for broadcast — and reconcile those content updates between traffic logs and automation playlists once broadcast.

Harris® NetGain™ business intelligence and analysis software strengthens insight into business trends and opportunities for the network.  The initial deployment will allow corporate staff to build custom dashboards with OSi data, and automatically deliver visual reports and analytics to sales managers.

NetGain delivers rich data and detailed metrics tied to business operations, with the flexibility to create and deliver custom reports to both management and sales staff.  The open, multisource NetGain design allows users to leverage data from many other business systems, and consolidate that information into visual, easy-to-comprehend reports that can track, analyze and help to improve business performance.

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Date posted: August 6, 2012

BXF 2.0 improves business and technical efficiencies across the media workflow

Harris today celebrates the publication of the BXF 2.0 suite — a move that evolves the way broadcasters and new media organizations share and exchange business data and on-air content across the media workflow.

BXF, or Broadcast eXchange Format, standardizes the exchange of schedule, as-run, content metadata, and content transfer instructions between workflow systems — including servers, editors, traffic and billing, sales and scheduling, automation and digital asset management equipment.  The publication of BXF 2.0 marks an important continuation in BXF development and implementation — an effort that began with the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE) in 2004, led by Harris CTO Group Lead Chris Lennon.

BXF 2.0 consists of several backward-compatible enhancements to the existing standard including additional support for sponsored secondary events, re-use of house numbers, enhanced multi-language support, and the ability to communicate “aired” events (previous, current and next).

“Representing a collaborative effort by some 80 companies and already seeing widespread adoption, BXF is a success story for everyone,” said Peter Symes, SMPTE Director of Standards and Engineering. “BXF 2.0 and future extensions also underscore the vital role SMPTE plays in driving collaboration and standardization in support of new technology advances and creating new revenue opportunities across the digital media ecosystem.”

Harris has incorporated the original BXF version into 11 products to date, including ADC™ and D-Series™ automation, OSi-Traffic™ media software, and Invenio® media asset managementMaine Public Broadcasting Network is one of many Harris customers that have experienced new business and technical efficiencies with BXF implementation, including operating cost reductions and new revenue stream generation.

“I am a firm believer of entering data only once,” said Gil Maxwell, vice president of engineering and CTO, Maine Public Broadcasting.  “BXF has not only enabled the flow of information from traffic to air without additional intervention of data re-entry, but everyone in the chain from traffic to operations to billing knows the status of events immediately.”

Lennon, who also serves as chairman of SMPTE’s BXF Working Group, has spearheaded BXF development efforts, working with dozens of companies and well over 150 individuals since its inception.  The SMPTE group now sets their sights on BXF 3.0, which includes a list of useful enhancements that advance well beyond the efficiencies published in BXF 2.0.

“It’s very satisfying for us at Harris to see the fruits of the BXF effort,” said Lennon.  “It demonstrates the value of working with our customers and partners as well our competitors in fixing endemic industry problems.  The notion of a rising tide raises all ships certainly applies here.  We remain committed to lead BXF forward, and feel the excitement of what’s on the horizon with BXF 3.0.”

The updated schema and documents for BXF 2.0 are available at the SMPTE Store under SMPTE 2021.

Date posted: March 29, 2012

Integrated solution creates more efficient workflows, scalable options for broadcast and media operations

Harris Corporation and Active Circle have finalized a worldwide OEM agreement that enables Harris to greatly extend digital asset management capabilities for its customers.

Harris will incorporate Active Circle storage and archive technology within its Invenio® Motion media asset management product line.  The integration benefits extend beyond asset management to the greater workflow operation, giving customers an archive solution complementary to Harris broadcast automation and media asset management solutions.

The archive component will tightly integrate with Harris Invenio media asset management software

 

Harris will offer the complete solution to traditional broadcast and cable operations, as well as new media, production and post-production facilities.

The key benefit for Harris customers is an integrated product line that simplifies the workflow architecture.  In operational terms, everyone from single channel entities to large network facilities can turn their digital asset management function into a true “media asset management” operation that can search, retrieve, preview and restore all content, whether it resides online on disk or offline in a tape library.

“The modularity of Active Circle technology makes it possible for Harris to build everything from entry-level to large-scale systems — while also providing complete solutions to our customers that expose all of their digital content,” said Mark Darlow, product line manager, automation and digital asset management, Harris Broadcast Communications.

Philippe Boyon, sales and marketing director for Active Circle, notes that the modularity of his company’s solution is a trait that makes Active Circle unique in the marketplace.

“There are a number of entry-level solutions on the market that simply don’t scale, and others that have very large solutions but cannot downscale,” said Boyon.  “This allows Harris to use the same technology in different packages, making it suitable for small and large workflows.”

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Date posted: November 3, 2011

Madison Square Garden opened its doors to hockey fans on Thursday, September 27, for the face-off between the New York Rangers and Toronto Maple Leafs.  The occasion marked opening night for the Rangers’ home season — and the storied arena’s first sports event since completing phase one of a venue-wide renovation.

The Harris DOOH Network extends to digital menu boards at Madison Square Garden

The new look inside the arena includes a Harris digital-out-of-home (DOOH) network powering HD graphics and high-impact video on numerous digital display screens — progressing the level of fan engagement and the way visitors inside the venue experience the game.  Fans passing by the box office, wandering the main concourses and climbing the escalators see a mix of promotional content for sports and other live events, advertisements, and — in the concourse areas — digital menu boards highlighting food and beverage selections.

The digital display signs and striking content are especially vibrant in the freshly renovated main concourse, which has been widened and well-lit to create a more enticing environment for fans.  The fan experience will be further heightened following the completion of the final two renovation phases, which will see the Harris DOOH network expanded to inside the bowl, upper concourses and other areas including two elaborate sky bridges.

“Having the opportunity to participate in what is likely the most complex sports arena transformation in North America and perhaps the world is a huge honor,” said Michael Arthur, general manager, sports and live events, Harris Broadcast Communications.  “This is primed to be a very robust environment for digital signage content due to the large amount and wide variety of events at Madison Square Garden.”

Hockey fans notice the HD graphics of the Harris DOOH network while walking the concourses

Harris is providing both the digital out-of-home element and a robust core network infrastructure to support content management and playout across multiple signs, with Harris® Punctuate™ business management software now live and managing advertising schedules and placements across the network.

Arthur estimates that about 40-50 percent of the DOOH network is up and running to align with the first phase of the overall building renovation.  The remainder of the DOOH network integration will coincide with phases two and three of the renovation.  Diversified Systems (DSI), a systems integration firm based in Kenilworth, New Jersey, is working with Harris to roll out the entire DOOH network.

Date posted: October 31, 2011

Harris and Marketron are working together to provide media organizations with a combined view of advertisers, revenue, inventory and other critical data across various media assets.  The collaboration brings two competing media software providers together to develop a consolidated business solution for customers working across multiple mediums.

The two companies are integrating the Harris® NetGain® business intelligence and analysis system with Marketron’s Mediascape open ecosystem platform to provide clients sophisticated analytics capabilities across multiple platforms.  The Mediascape integration also allows data from Harris’ market-leading OSi-Traffic™ system to fuel Marketron Insight Reporting for detailed transactional and operational level reporting.  This gives clients the freedom to choose best-in-class transactional systems, regardless of the provider, to manage their various inventory types, while enabling comprehensive insight and visibility across their entire cross-platform advertising business.

“Our clients are some of the largest and most successful media companies in the world.  They have chosen best-in-class systems to manage their different inventory types; for example, Marketron is the chosen provider for radio assets and Harris was selected because of its expertise in the television and cable arenas,” said Steven Minisini, CEO at Marketron.  “As an industry leader, we felt it was critical to create an open platform that supports our clients’ choices while also enabling them to have the visibility and reporting capabilities that they need to run a multi-media enterprise.  We are working with Harris to provide these capabilities to our clients and to strengthen the entire industry’s performance.”

“The Harris-Marketron relationship is an ideal example of how customers win when vendors work together to build a common solution for the greater good of the industry,” said Harris Morris, president, Harris Broadcast Communications.  “This collaboration portrays two companies willing to open their platforms for the benefit of their customers.  Harris’ media software leadership in television, cable and new media from mobile to the internet, working in concert with Marketron’s industry standard Mediascape platform, will be key to driving information exchange, data management and consolidated reporting across several mediums.”

As the media industry evolves, companies with assets in radio, television, cable, digital and more require an open platform that will provide the ability to view inventory, financial, advertiser and additional data in a common and unified method.

“At Cox Media Group we employ different solutions to manage our radio and TV operations, which limits visibility into the performance of our media platforms,” said Mark Beck, vice president of information technology at Cox Media Group.  “The collaboration between Marketron and Harris is significant to the media industry and lays the foundation for providing us with real-time, consolidated information to manage our business more effectively.”

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