Ericsson (Technicolor) / ITV : Back in 2008, Technicolor had won the contract to provide playout facilities for ITV. This involved creating two new playout centres, one in London (STC) and one in Leeds (NTC).

 

Technicolor had taken over the playout function at ITV several years before and were running this from ITV studios at Southbank. The requirement for automated continuity announcements had been provided by another company.

 

Technicolor wanted an alternative supplier of this primary function for their new playout facility. BARRCODE was approached and asked to create a program that would meet the day to day workflow of continuity announcements; this involved the whole process of recording, storing and transmission.

 

It was decided that announcers would continue to record their announcements at the Southbank Studios - these recordings would then be FTPed to the playout centre at Chiswick Park. The system would also be required to import placeholders from the ITV scheduling system so that announcers could record against these placeholders.

 

The system also had to track expired material and delete or archive as directed by operational policy. Once the announcements were completed, they had to be distributed to the playout machines in London and Leeds, this was also done by FTP. The playout servers are under the control of the station automation system and are directed to play to air with a command initiated through a TCP/IP link.

 

 

Redbee / Channel 4 : Channel 4 had always been responsible for transmission of their own programmes; however, they decided to outsource playout to another agency. Redbee Media was appointed to undertake this function; the media management company were already charged with the playout for the whole of the BBC.

 

BARRCODE were approached by Redbee in 2009 to perform the transmission of announcements on Channel 4, More 4, Film 4 and E4 using BCXLink. The brief was to record, store and playout announcements live to transmission by using a fully redundant database and server based at Broadcast Centre, West London. There was also a requirement to monitor items remotely at Channel 4's Horseferry Road headquarters for quality control purposes.

 

The whole system was installed off site at System Integrators, TSL in Maidenhead, Berkshire where everything was fully tested prior to being transported to Broadcast Centre. One of BARRCODE's primary roles was to train presenters to operate the state-of-the-art software that had been adapted for Channel 4's unique needs.

 

 

BSkyB Sky is a valued part of everyday life in over 10 million homes. They provide customers with high-quality television in HD. They make technology simple and put viewers in control, by connecting people to each other and to the world with their broadband and phone services.

 

Word had spread from other television companies about the success of BCXLink. Presenters loved its intuitive interface, managers welcomed the reduction of effort needed by staff and the accountants were delighted with the cost effective solution to broadcast annoucements.

 

BARRCODE installed BCXLink into several recording booths at BSkyB's Osterley studios, West London in 2009; this was such a success that the system was expanded less than a year later with the addition of another booth and enhanced administration terminals.

 

 

ViaSat Broadcasting U.K. Limited is a free-TV and pay-TV operator in Scandinavia and the Baltics. It offers multi-channel digital TV packages of own-produced and third party entertainment channels in the Nordic and Baltic countries, as well as in Ukraine.

 

The company approached BARRCODE to replace their aging continuity playout system in 2011. The new BCXLink system is controlled from a Harris 'D' series automation using a VDCP link. The system enables announcers to record material at ViaSat's West London playout facility. Also, contributors on the continent can provide links directly into the system via file transfer protocol, this has proved a invaluable asset to their work flow.

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