Multi-format, and multi output (Video and Streaming) with Graphics Overlay
The Smart Playout Engine (SPE) replaces the NAVI playout engine that was used in OnTheAir Video and OnTheAir Node, and replaces the QuickTime APIs in use in OnTheAir Video Express. OnTheAir Video and OnTheAir Video Express are available for download as pre-releases. OnTheAir Node is coming soon.
The NAVI playout engine has been used in OnTheAir Video and OnTheAir Node since 2003 and has allowed an unequaled stability and efficiency. Over the years, we have seen the changes in the number of formats and requirements our customer have as broadcasting on the Mac has become more and more accepted. The QuickTime APIs have been used in OnTheAir Video Express since 2007 and has allowed us to offer the most affordable and versatile playout solution on the Mac. As you could basically play almost anything QuickTime could read. The Smart Playout Engine brings most of the feature requests we had from our customers built on top of our many years (30!) experience on the market, such as the support for more codecs, mix-and-match different resolutions, support for MXF, Dynamic Graphics overlay on the same video output, etc… Have a look below at what makes the Smart Playout Engine, the playout solution for the future, available today!
Wide range of codecs supported.
The new Smart Playout Engine plays files in almost all codecs you need in a professional broadcast. Apple ProRes, AVC-Intra, Avid DNxHD®, H.264, XDCAM EX, XDCAM HD... You can mix multiple codecs in one playlist.
QuickTime, MXF and .ts containers.
Containers are an important part to ensure the compatibility with most workflows. QuickTime's .mov files are supported widely, but we know that some workflows require specific containers. MXF is used in various situations, as it is the container user by some Camera manufacturers or Avid workflows for example. The Smart Playout Engine supports .mov, .mxf and .ts files transparently, without the need of any additional option or third party requirement.
Mix and Match multiple resolutions.
We know that you receive files in different formats. Be it that you broadcast in HD, and have still "old" files in SD, or you are broadcasting in 1080i, but receive files in 720p. You don't want to convert all your files to have the good dimension. And we don't want you to either. Softron's Smart Playout engine allows for mix-and-match of multiple resolutions in the same playlist, seamlessly.
Video and Graphics on the same output. (Coming soon)
Softron's NAVI playout engine had a simple "static logo overlay" option. For animated graphics, you had to use OnTheAir CG which is running on a different video card. And you then had to output the video with OnTheAir Video or OnTheAir Node to enter it in the card with OnTheAir CG to overlay the graphics. With Softron's Smart Playout Engine, are outputted using the same output, with just one video card (or just streaming… see below…). It makes the setup and configuration much easier.
Video and / or Streaming output. (Coming soon)
Almost every TV station is streaming its program today. But most of the times, it requires an additional device. Also some Web-TVs only output to the Web, but they currently still must output to a video card first and then use an external device to convert that signal for the web. With Softron's Smart Playout Engine, you are able, from the same application, to output to a video card for "regular" video broadcasting, and to the web for streaming. Web-TVs are also able to "just" output to the web. No video card needed. Take one Mac mini, connect it to the web, and you're good to go! Also, you can simply record a QuickTime H.264 file locally for compliance recording.
See it in Action !!
The video below comes from the NAB show. We were showcasing our new Smart Playout Engine. This is simply a QuickTime H264 file that was generated by our new engine during the show. Check the different codecs on the top left. All graphics were overlaid in real time, including the Softron turning cube, which was a Apple ProRes 4444 movie running in Loop. You can also check the video shooted at NAB by Teknologik here (French).