Imagine Communications unveils enhanced Versio Platform at IBC 2018

At IBC 2018 Imagine Communications has unveiled a range of business-driving enhancements to the Versio Platform, the latest evolution of the company’s playout software solutions, on their stand at the Amtrium 4.A01.

Versio Platform offers a playout and media workflow solution from ingest, prep and playout to automation, graphics, master control and branding. The cloud-native, microservices-based playout solution, Versio Platform supports baseband, IP, and hybrid IP/SDI scenarios and can be deployed on-premises or in a private or public cloud environment.

Commenting on the innovation, Steve Reynolds, President of Playout and Networking at Imagine Communications, said: “The evolution of Versio is a prime example of the practical approach Imagine takes to innovation. As the industry continues to evolve, we continue to add practical enhancements to Versio that deliver business value to every customer, no matter where they are in the IP transition. All of the new Versio Platform features we will demo at IBC address media companies’ real-world challenges.”

Reynolds continued: “Imagine continues to lead the industry with innovative features that enhance our customers’ operations — adding more automation, simplifying workflows, powering new distribution channels, and making it easier than ever to move to scalable, flexible, next-generation architectures at a pace that works for their business.”

Imagine has added MPEG-DASH support to Versio Platform, enabling high-quality and low-latency proxies for quick turnaround review of media. The use of MPEG-DASH was pioneered for OTT delivery, but has now been proven as a scalable, cost-optimised solution for a wide range of high-quality video applications. The MPEG-DASH format also easily carries multiple audio programmes and caption/subtitle tracks in industry-standardised formats. Other available solutions require either additional proprietary equipment to perform this function, or vendor-specific proprietary implementations.

Media companies using Imagine’s  ADC automation can now continue on their platform of choice, while layering in new features and capabilities that the Versio playout engine offers. At IBC 2018, Imagine will demonstrate how customers can use Versio Redundancy to synchronise ADC and Versio playlists and integrate content metadata to existing environments. This capability enables media organizations to operate hybrid environments of legacy and next-gen systems, as well as enabling a seamless and staged migration to Versio Automation for operations transitioning to full next-generation architectures.

Versio Master Control offers a software-based solution with user-friendly tools that enable media companies to maximize operational efficiency. At IBC 2018, Imagine will demonstrate tight integration of Adobe After Effects (AE) with Versio Master Control, enabling export from AE to Versio with embedded metadata and triggers for interactive, real-time playback. Direct operator control of graphics assets, as defined by the broadcaster’s graphics design team, ensures a consistent look and feel beyond simple text-based templates. Other competing solutions use a proprietary graphics environment, which requires specialised, trained designers and operators. The integration of industry-standard Adobe AE creation tools within Versio Master Control enables media companies to open the door to a broad pool of graphic designers and advanced capabilities from Adobe.

At IBC 2018, Imagine is introducing “Container” functionality in Versio Automation. Containers are high-level packages of primary and secondary events, which can be treated as a single object. These objects can be created manually or generated from a Traffic system and are expanded, collapsed and re-ordered. This approach to schedule management streamlines media workflows and improves operational efficiency compared to traditional, cluttered systems.

In Versio Ingest, Imagine will demonstrate new pooling and redundancy functionality. Rather than “fixed channels,” Versio Ingest will distribute record bookings across available channels of all chassis to ensure that main and redundant records are never on the same server. Pools can reserve channels for scheduled records, secondary events, crash records or “unassigned.” This industry-first capability offers media organisations an intelligent way of leveraging fewer hardware devices, simultaneously supporting contemporary and legacy hardware such as Imagine Nexio media servers, and reducing overall cost, the release stated.