Browse video playout software. Broadcast playout software is used to combine multiple media assets together, such as live and pre-recorded footage, graphics and subtitles. This is then distributed across OTT, linear channels or social media. In conventional broadcast systems this is achieved via various hardware components, each with a particular role in the production chain, but now many vendors offer cloud or software solutions which visualize this process. Cloud playout allows broadcasters to effectively run and access a channel from anywhere in the world.
Playout the process in which source signals are ingested and then outputted or distributed to an external network. There are different levels of complexity with playout systems, depending on the amount of source signals being received, the varying degree of playout functionality and the scale of distribution. Playout systems are traditionally located in the MCR or Master Control Room, this is a central room where all signals are ingested and outputted.
If you are looking to start and run a TV, OTT or even a YouTube channel you may want to look at playout solution options. A playout system will allow you to ingest multiple video and audio feeds (live and non-live) into one dashboard, these feeds can then be arrange to form scheduled programming, for example you may wish to run a 24/7 shopping channel that has multiple pre-recorded and live segments as well as advert breaks. Some playout systems may also have video editing functionality, graphic insertion and monetisation options. Without a proper playout solution in place it would be extremely difficult to organise and schedule your overall TV programming.
Playout was, and often still is, run on hardware servers located on-premises within the MCR, but this is now changing due to the increasing use of playout software or cloud playout systems. This offers a lot more flexibility to production teams and reduces the upfront CAPEX cost of installing and managing a playout system. Playout software also means that it has now become a lot more accessible to smaller broadcasters, production companies, OTT providers or anyone who is looking to start and run their own TV channel.
It is important to make the distinction between playout software and cloud-native systems. Software (like any other software package) is generally installed locally on a PC, laptop or server. This generally means that playout software intrinsically has limitations in terms of accessibility. Cloud-native playout systems on the other hand are built and run on AWS or Google Cloud servers, this means they can be accessed anywhere at any time and are more suited towards remote or distributed production. But it is also worth bearing in mind that playout software can also (sometimes) be loaded onto an AWS server, meaning that teams can access the software from any computer with an internet connection. Depending on your requirements, it’s worth researching whether the system is software-based or cloud-native.