Imagine Communications Accelerates Evolution of Playout with Versio Platform

Imagine Communications Accelerates Evolution of Playout with Versio Platform
September 14, 2017 Meriam Khan

[14 September]

Company’s microservices-based integrated playout platform delivers new levels of versatility and customisation    

Imagine Communications, empowering the media and entertainment industry through transformative innovation, today introduced Versio Platform™, a modular and highly customisable media workflow platform designed to enable media companies to optimise their playout and related operations to meet finely tuned operational and business objectives. Versio Platform, which will be demonstrated at IBC2017, provides content producers and distributors with a menu of tightly integrated functional building blocks for constructing a fully modernised playout facility that can be customised to precise operational requirements and seamlessly upgraded in lockstep with market demand.

Despite recent advances in the viability of next-gen architectures to host mission-critical media workflows, most playout solutions are still largely optimised for purpose-built hardware running in premises-based environments. Versio Platform marks a major milestone in Imagine Communications’ ongoing modernisation of playout operations and represents the industry’s first cloud-native, microservices-based and modular playout solution designed from the ground-up for pure-IP, geo-dispersed environments using commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) hardware.

“By designing a playout engine and related functionality that leverages the modular nature of microservices to allow our customers to build highly scalable and flexible playout facilities custom-designed to exacting specifications, Imagine is significantly accelerating the evolution of playout operations,” said Stan Kingett, Director, Versio Product Group, Imagine Communications. “Versio Platform provides exceptional flexibility and customisation, giving media companies the ability to support virtually any configuration or deployment option — including premises-based — as well as the flexibility to migrate from a CapEx to an OpEx operational model.”

Versio Platform segments functionality into discrete building blocks that can be tightly integrated to support precise workflows. Versio Platform modules can also be implemented into multivendor environments. A modular approach to playout operations provides customers with the ability to reach new levels of customisation and achieve the optimal balance between required resources and productivity demands.

The Versio Platform portfolio includes multiple modules:

Playout. A versatile playback engine for resolution-independent playback

Automation. Common and intuitive control and operational monitoring of channels and functions throughout the Versio ecosystem 

Graphics. Multivendor support, including Adobe® After Effects® CC and Vizrt Viz Engine.

Master Control. Simple and efficient manual operator intervention and live operations

Workflow. Precision asset movement, content processing and preparation before being aired

Storage. Expandable NAS or SAN storage capable of scaling to multi-petabytes

Redundancy. Ironclad reliability enabling flexible, geo-dispersed business continuity and resilience

Ingest. Recording capabilities for feeds supporting compressed, uncompressed and baseband workflows

Edit. Optimised integration of Adobe® Premiere® Pro CC® on shared storage

The modular nature of Versio Platform enables media companies to select from an industry-leading variety of deployment models, operational modes and functionality. The platform, for example, provides businesses with a choice between CapEx and OpEx payment options, as well as multiple deployment models, including premises, cloud (private or public) or hybrid. Media companies can also select functionality, including playout engine and automation, as well as input/output requirements, on a function-by-function basis to support precise workflow requirements. Numerous value-added options, such as advanced audio track routing, multi-language captioning, UHD and proxy generation, can also be implemented incrementally — and on an as-needed basis.

“Versio platform establishes new benchmarks for customisation and agility,” added Kingett. “Whether you’re looking to do simple ingest or string together an end-to-end, full-featured playout operation, Versio Platform is able to deliver a right-sized solution every time.”

The new playout solution features an intuitive and common user experience that breaks new ground in functionality and ease of use, shielding operators from the highly-componentised nature of Versio Platform. The HTML5-based interface present a tightly integrated and simplified user experience across all operations, enabling media companies to navigate through every aspect of their operations using a single and familiar interface.

Powered by Zenium™, Imagine Communications’ pure microservices technology, Versio Platform derives its modularity and agility from its cloud-native design. Unlike solutions based on monolithic software design principles, the components that make up Versio Platform are composed of discrete services that can be updated or replaced essentially on the fly — and without disrupting operations. The ability to continuous evolve ensures that Versio Platform modules are futureproofed against the rapid introduction of new technologies, standards and picture-quality enhancements. Zenium technology enables new codecs, formats and functionality to be quickly and seamlessly incorporated into the Versio Platform through simple software upgrades.

Versio Platform also integrates seamlessly with Versio IOX™ Storage, Imagine’s high-bandwidth storage solution optimised for rigorous performance requirements. The recently introduced Versio IOX Scale-out NAS Storage solution is powered by EditShare EFS, the scale-out file system and storage software platform provided by Imagine’s technology partner EditShare, a leader in intelligent shared storage and media management solutions.

Versio Platform and Versio IOX Storage will be demonstrated at the Imagine Communications stand (4.A01) at IBC2017.

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