Playout Automation System

The APC(Automation Playout Controller) is a system mainly used by broadcasters and playout agencies.

It receives or directly creates broadcasting schedules(schedule) so that the playout of broadcasting videos can be arranged in order under the control of equipment such as video servers.

In addition to broadcasting stations and playout agencies, APC can be used for in-house broadcasting and YouTube live broadcasting to automate playout tasks.

APC Automation Playout Controller
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< Simplified workflow of the APC system >

The person in charge of playout receives the broadcasting schedule on APC or the broadcasting schedule created outside, and controls the equipment to playout the video. Viewers can watch the broadcast on various media such as TV, PC, and mobile. APC is a system for playout videos so that viewers can watch the broadcasting in order of the broadcasting schedule.

Gemiso APC introduction

Gemiso APC (Automation Playout Controller) is an automated playout control system that controls equipment such as video server, CG, and Keyer to playout programs according to a schedule.

It can be configured with an all-in-one type Channel In a Box (aka CIAB) or a traditional type, and can be selected depending on the characteristics of the system you can envision.

Multi-channel playout can be made, and stability are ensured by the redundant or triple configuration or more. All running components operate in a software fashion.

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[1] All-in-one type -CIAB

- SEC (Schedule Event Controller),

   DCS (Device Control System),

   and PCS (Playback Controller System)

   run on one hardware

- PCS acts as a Master Switcher and controls

   broadcasting equipment under the control of

   DCS.

- When configuring multiple channels, Multi-

   channel controller (MCC) enables monitoring of

   the entire channels

- Suitable for playout agency, cable TV, PP and

   real-time YouTube

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[2] Traditional type Automation

- Traditional APC used by many broadcasters for 

   playout under the control of equipment such

   as video servers

- Composed of a schedule event controller (SEC)

   and a device control system (DCS)

- When configuring multiple channels,

   Multi-channel controller (MCC) enables 

   monitoring of the entire channels

Configuration of Gemiso APC
1) All-in-one type - Channel In A Box(CIAB)
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CIAB is an All-in-One type APC, consisting of SEC, DCS, and PCS in one hardware.

The PCS that acts as a Master Switcher, the SEC that can create and monitor operation schedule events, and the DCS that controls the integrated broadcasting equipment make a compact playout system in one hardware.

Default output is SDI, and RTMP, UDP, SRT, RTP, RTSP, etc. can be used to stream videos on the web or mobile as an option.

It can be used by playout agency, cable TV, PP, etc., and is a system applicable to real-time YouTube.

2) Configuration of traditional type Automation
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It is a traditional APC for playout that controls the video server mainly used in Korea. It consists of an SEC that creates a schedule event and provides a screen for the user to monitor, and a DCS that controls broadcasting equipment.

Multi-channel can be configured, and all components are operated by software.

The system can be operated reliably with a redundant or triple or higher configuration.

When configuring a multi-channel playout system, you can monitor the channels at a glance through the MCC.

Major Component of Gemiso APC
PCS
Playback Controller System
- Master Switcher function is provided as SW
   (Including Keyer function: Player, CG, Logo, etc.)
- Default output: SDI
- Output options: Support streaming protocols such as RTMP, UDP, SRT, 
   RTP, RTSP
DCS
Device Control Server
- Direct control of PCS and broadcasting equipment
   (Master Switcher, Video Server, CG, etc.)
- Playout for a certain period of time is ensured by the stored event
   queue in case the SEC does not operate normally
- Real-time monitoring of events, equipment-related status and logs
SEC
Schedule Event Controller
- Schedule editing and playout events/equipment status monitoring
   (timeline type monitoring screen provided)
- Schedule created for each event is retrieved and playout is made
   according to the schedule
- Program event function
   (pre-title, post-title, CM, program, etc. are bundled into one event)
MCC
Multi Channel Controller
- Monitoring of playout events and equipment status for all channels in
   operation
- Timeline type monitoring
- Detailed events for the channel can be checked
Details of Gemiso APC functions
1) PCS (Playback Controller System)

It, as a software, is a Master Switcher used by broadcasters.

Video in the format used by most broadcasters can be played, and CG and Logo can be created and playout is executed together with the video. Playout video or live streaming can be recorded or streamed in real time.

In an environment where Master Switcher is unavailable, the function of Master Switcher can be implemented by PCS.

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[Main Functions]

- Master Switcher function as SW

- Media Playback : Supports most broadcasting formats

- Keyer function: CG and Logo playout

- Audio mixing function

- Recoding function : support MXF, MP4, etc.

- Default output: SDI

- Optional output: Support streaming protocols such as RTMP, UDP, SRT, RTP, RTSP

- CG Editor Tool provided (separate application)

2) DCS (Device Control Server)

DCS controls broadcasting equipment (switcher, video server, router switcher, Logo & CG, etc.).

When the broadcasting begins, DCS receives event information from the SEC, controls the equipment according to the schedule, and playout the video.

In the case of SEC failure during playout, playout can continue with the event information in DCS for a certain period of time, so there is no worry in system operation.

Uninterrupted playout is ensured because unexpected situations that may occur in DCS can be prevented by the redundant or triple configuration of equipment.

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[Main Functions]

- Control of Master Switch, Video Server, CG, etc. (PCS control when configuring CIAB)

- Monitoring function provided: check event list and status by channel/equipment

- Save event and control equipment logs in real time and provide a confirmation screen

- Preparing for failure situations by configuring and synchronizing equipment with

   redundant/triple configuration or more

3) SEC (Schedule Event Controller)

The SEC retrieves the schedule arranged for each event, prepares it for playout according to the schedule, and provides a screen for the user to monitor.

Check materials mapped to the schedule event, and provides an information about the material’s availability and status value (Equal/Short/Long) that compares the material length and production time.

This function is performed as a background scan and does not cause any burden on the system operation.

Monitoring may become difficult when the program is on playout with many events (pre-title/post-title/CM/program, etc.), and  the grouping function allows you to group events and monitor them at a glance.

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[Main Functions]

- Automatic loading and editing of schedule

- Timeline-based monitoring function (up to 4 channels at the same time)

- Program event function: Events such as pre-title/post-title/CM/program are grouped into

   one program event.

- Provide material status information: information on the material availability and

   information on the difference of length between material length and production time.

- Provide equipment status monitoring screen

4) MCC (Multi Channel Controller)

Monitoring many channels may not be easy, especially when there are many channels. This difficulty can be solved by MCC. You can quickly respond to failures and operate the system reliably by checking the status of all channels at a glance.

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[Main Functions]

- Monitoring screen for the status of the entire channel playout events is provided in the

   form of a timeline (details of events can be checked)

- Monitor the status of equipment used in the channel

Redundancy plan for Gemiso APC
1) DCS redundancy plan

In the case of redundancy, the backup system checks the operation status of the main system in real time, and control is taken over and automatically switched in the event of a failure, ensuring uninterrupted playout. More than triple redundancy can be configured for a more secure system.

[Switching process in case of failure]

1. Backup checks the main system status in real time

2. Main equipment failure

3. Failure detected

4. Backup is automatically switched to main system to control broadcasting equipment

5. Failed main system switches to backup after restart

6. The DCS switched to backup receives all events from the main DCS

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2) SEC redundancy plan

SEC backup brings up the events in the main when SEC main starts running.

Like DCS, SEC backup checks the operation status of the main in real time, takes over control in case of a failure, and switches automatically, ensuring uninterrupted playout. More than triple redundancy can be configured for a more secure system.

[Switching process in case of failure]

1. Backup checks the main system status in real time

2. Main equipment failure

3. Failure detected

4. Backup is automatically switched to main to control DCS events

5. Failed main system switches to backup after restart

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3) Event redundancy plan

SEC checks the status of the video server, the event equipment, in real time through DCS.

In the event of a failure with the main video server equipment, the main video server equipment and the backup equipment are automatically disconnected and keep operating, ensuring secure playout.

In case of a trouble with the video server equipment, which is an event equipment, uninterrupted playout is ensured.

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