PlayBox Technology UK, the leading channel in a box provider for media companies worldwide, has delivered an upgraded playout solution to the City of Westland, in Michigan USA. The new integrated playout platform transforms the city’s capabilities while using existing hardware, for a highly cost-effective solution.
A key part of its drive for transparency in democracy, the city produces video programming shown on station WLND’s Public Cable Channel, available across the city via Comcast, AT&T and WoW cable providers. Original programming includes interviews with local business owners as well as video coverage of city council meetings. WLND has a full team of 4 people who produce local content. Finished programs are accessed by PlayBox AirBox for play-to-air scheduling. The programming is broadcast locally via cable TV channels, Comcast, ATT and WoW cable providers and also streamed in HD via OTT, providing a powerful source of information for residents.
The system was designed and implemented by Paul Tyson of Studio Tyson LLC, a systems integration company based in Royal Oak, Michigan. Studio Tyson has two decades of experience designing, delivering and supporting PlayBox Channel-in-a-Box solutions, including the installation and support of WLND’s first PlayBox Playout Automation System delivered in 2006. The original system delivered high-quality playback with very high availability and reliability while delivering on the promise of a true open-standards-based system. “The system helps to address the challenge of “Openness” in government affairs, as well as pride and identity in the community. This is something the city authorities really want to promote, according to Tyson. The PlayBox Channel-in-a-Box system has delivered on the promise of a simple and cost-effective recording and playout system, delivered at a price-point that most municipalities can easily afford, using funds from PEG fees.
“After seeing PlayBox at the National Association of Broadcasting Show (NAB Show) in Las Vegas back in 2005, I recognized the immediate value proposition that PlayBox Channel in a Box offers to the cities like Westland,” said Tyson. “It does all they need and more. It does it through simple operations and an intuitive user experience, and it does it at an excellent price point. This is the second time I’ve upgraded the original playout system from 2006. In 2014, after 8 years of reliable 24x7x365 playout, I provided a complete hardware replacement alongside the Channel-in-a-Box software upgrade. Now again in 2021, we upgraded that system to Windows 10 Pro, followed by installation of the latest Blackmagic Drivers for the Decklink Series and the latest Channel-in-a-Box software from PlayBox Technology. I was able to load up the software, give the operators a few tips on managing playout, and BOOM, we were on the air.”
PlayBox has been in the business of comprehensive playout solutions almost as long as Studio Tyson. Its core product has developed into a highly advanced playout engine, capable of serving multiple platforms at resolutions up to 4k Ultra HD. It is equally at home in an SDI, IP or hybrid environment, in dedicated hardware or virtualized in a data centre.
Built into the software are scheduling and graphics tools alongside the comprehensive playout control. Everything is accessed through a simple, clean and engaging HTML5 user interface, to ensure flawless operation by non-specialists.
“The drive to engage citizens in their local community and democratically elected officers is to be applauded,” said Philip Neighbour, COO at PlayBox Technology UK. “The City of Westland has taken this to the highest level, with its own community channel. We are pleased to empower the city to reach its population with our affordable, easy to use Channel in a Box platform.”