SL NEO 2000: Integrated Multi-Channel Playout with Graphics

SL NEO 2000: Integrated Multi-Channel Playout with Graphics

SL NEO 2000: Integrated Multi-Channel Playout with Graphics

SL NEO 2000: Integrated Multi-Channel Playout with Graphics

SL NEO 2000: Integrated Multi-Channel Playout with Graphics

Media Servers SL NEO 2000 Series

Cost-Effective, Simple, Integrated Multi-Channel Playout Solution


SL NEO 2000 Servers have on-board Automation Control, Media Storage and Media Database, Graphics Engine, File Ingest, Clip Playout, DVB IP/ASI TS Encoding Tools, DVB Subtitling, VBI/VANC Data Support (CIA-608/708 Closed Captioning, SCTE Data generation and other). Support Ultra HD/HD/SD formats (HD/SD, 4х 3G/6/12G SDI).

Server line SL NEO 2000 provides cost-effective, simple, integrated multi-channel play-out solution. Combining baseband video, channel branding, graphics and automated workflow capabilities in a single rack-unit device, SkyLark offers maximum return on investment for broadcasters. SL NEO 2000 dramatically reduces the amount of physical equipment needed to launch a single channel or to expand to multi-channel operations, such as those ones, that are dedicated to traveling, news, weather or sports.

Series 2000 contains a wide spectrum of models with various quantities of output channels, signal types, and MPEG transport streams, depending on the model.

SL NEO 2000 supports a wide range of codecs and file containers:

  • AVID DNxHD (120, 145, 185, 220 Mbit/s),
  • Panasonic (DVCPRO25, DVCPRO50, DVCProHD),
  • Sony XDCAM IMX (30, 40, 50 Mbit/s), DV25/DVCAM, XDCAM HD 422, HDV, AVCHD,
  • MPEG-2 4:2:0, 4:2:2, IPB GOP or I-frames, 
  • MPEG-4 (H.264),
  • Apple Pro Res (HQ, LT, Proxy),
  • H.265/HEVC,
  • File Containers: AVI, MOV, MP4, MXF D-10/OP1A, RAW DV/DIF, MPEG PS/TS, MPG, BMP, TGA, PNG, PSD.

Server-Client architecture

This equipment is designed to operate in a networked environment in which each computer or process on the network is either a client or a server. Servers SL NEO are powerful computers dedicated to managing media-storages, media & meta-data, ingest & playback operations, file encoding and decoding, online graphics rendering and device control. Client software facilitates the transfer of server requests and the receipt of its replies, due to which users’ commands may successfully implement the management of content, one or several broadcast channels.

For example, "Broadcast Client" Software module completely organizes play-out process: in the "broadcast" window there is a playlist that contains an assigned source for every list event.

The embedded Web-Based Interface provides access to the system administrative functions associated with configuring and customizing the system.

Multi-Channel Playout with Automated Source Switching

"External" Switching Mode

During the playout process, the servers carry out frame-accurate routing in accordance with the events in the playlists, controlling the external routers through RS-422/232/Ethernet interfaces using Harris/Leitch, Evertz, Network, Snell, Miranda and other protocols. This is an "external" program switching mode.

Using of “external” program switching mode is a classic and popular way of broadcast system creating, but it requires installing of additional hardware modules DSK/LOGO and separate graphic servers. The reason is that when the router switches an "external" line directly to the broadcast, additional modules are the only way to overlay line’s signal with graphics and logos.

"External" Switching Mode Concept Diagram


Graphics and Channel Branding

    Being a part of broadcasting or live-production studio, the SL NEO server may be used as a multi-functional graphics design & playout station, which will tie graphics into the propagating video and format multi-layered compositions consisting of captions, scrolling text, video effects, on-screen graphics, logos, animated banners, live video fragments, Chroma Key, and 2D effects.

    Each output (program) channel of SL NEO 2000 contains up to eight simultaneously functioning virtual channels for graphics output. Each channel contains its own playlist, with playing back graphic events.

    Each event may contain a multi-layered combination (without limitation on the number of graphics objects) of text/graphic events.

    Dynamic Graphics Compositions

    Dynamic compositions technology is designed for Branding, Promo, TV News, Weather Forecasts, Economic information, Music Channels, etc. In addition to text and animation, compositions may contain 2D effects, elements of PIP, video, and live sources from server inputs, and audio track mixes.

    Functions for the automatic parameterization of text objects contained in compositions have been implemented in SL NEO 3000 server line. A flash video shows an example of the composition using PIP and simple captions. Animation may be played in the form of a file chain or from avi/mov files from alpha-channel.

    Logos, clock, captions, scrolling and crawling text

    Logos, captions, scrolling and crawling text are played back on dynamic backgrounds. Number of these objects is unlimited; upon generation of the format, they may be combined free-form with any other graphic objects. In addition to text, images may be used as moving objects. The content of scrolling text may change dynamically due to the reading of RSS information.

    Clock visualizes current time in the form of digital and analogue clocks (full or partial screen) of any design with sound. Collages may be created from digital and analogue clocks with animated backgrounds for several time zones, as well as direct and reverse counters. 

    RSS, visualization of sensor indications

    SL NEO 2000 servers allow using different options for visualization based on the dynamic reading of information from RSS resources or text files: SMS chats, weather and currency exchange panels etc. Visualization of various sensor indications (temperature, humidity, pressure, background radiation, etc.) is implemented through the technology of periodic reading of measurement results from text files at the required intervals. The limitations on sensor type and model are therefore removed. A flash video shows an example of the composition that shows the weather. Recording has been made from the SL NEO server output.

    Automated playout of graphic events

    SL NEO servers permit the full automation of graphics playout. Associating graphic events with time markers in events in the main playlist is implemented through the secondary events and special marker technology.

    Key Features and Benefits

    • Broadcast quality across 24/7 operation;
    • Automated/Manual file ingest from network or local sources, P2, SxS card support. Material is accessible for viewing, editing, and playback 2 seconds after the beginning of the import;
    • Simultaneous and independent 1...8 HD ch. playout (or 1...12 for SD), execution of playlists as a sequence of events;
    • Generation of graphic layers, logos, manual & automated graphics playout use “secondary events" technology;
    • Playback of file media materials with various compression & file containers, various resolution and frame speeds (for example, NTSC, PAL, 720p, 1080i), and on-fly up/down/cross-conversion with a change to the fps parameters;
    • DVB Subtitling, VBI/VANC Data Support (CIA-608/708 Closed Captioning, VITC, WST);
    • SCTE-104 data generation, DTMF generation for automated regional ad insertions; 
    • DVB/IPTV/WEB streaming in parallel with the generation of UHD/HD/SD SDI, with regulation of flow speeds and resolution;
    • External Router control for source switching, in accordance with playlist events;
    • Layout and editing of playlists using the built-in editors, import of playlists from Excel and traffic systems;
    • Editing and trimming of clips directly within the playout process; real-time editing of playlist events while they are being executed; trimming of clips in a playlist events, directly within the event implementation process;
    • Export of media files from server to network work stations, NLE, and to the archives;
    • Application of server backup schemes from N+1 to N+N for playout channels with automated on-line synchronization of playlists from all channels, including all graphic layers;
    • Automatic copying of content into the backup server’s storage;

    Software modules connection diagram

    The types, number, and settings for server program modules and their interaction determine the functionality of servers from a given series.

      Additional HD-SDI/HDMI MultiViewer Output

      The  SL NEO server may be equipped with additional HD-SDI or HDMI outputs which can be used for monitoring of all server inputs on a HD-SDI monitor or flat panel with HDMI inputs. This technology can be used as an alternative to a set of control monitors when working with the server and allows reducing costs on the server environment: signal distribution and conversion, monitors etc. 

      MultiViewer output supports up to 12 of server's output channels. Built-in audio mixer allows switching audio output to any of the input audio channels as well as mixing a number of selected input channels. 

      Built-in Software MultiViewer for Client Workstations

      The SL NEO servers use encoding and low-speed IP-streaming technology for control of input signals in multi-view mode on a PC monitor with the option of full-screen viewing of a chosen channel with sound.

      Technical Specifications

      • System Configuration (depends on model): Mainframe - Intel Xeon CPU, PCIe platform, SSD or Dual mirrored SATA boot drives, 1...4 100/1000Base-T Ethernet ports, Internal Media Storage (1…60 Tb) or port for ext. Storage, Windows family operating system;
      • Playout Channels: 1...12 for SD, 1...8 for HD, 1 for UHD;
      • Video Formats (depends on model): SD:   625i, or 525i, HD: 1080i, 25 or 29.97 f/s, 720p, 50 or 59.94 f/s, Ultra HD: 2160p, 25, 29,97, 50 or 59.94 f/s;;
      • Outputs (depends on model):
        • SD: SDI/CVBS/YUV, Analog/AES/SDI Embedded Audio, MPTS/SPTS over ASI/IP, Unicast/Multicast via UDP/RTP/RTSP, FEC (option), HDMI (output only);
        • HD/SD: HD SDI /AES/SDI Embedded Audio MPTS/SPTS over ASI/IP, Unicast/Multicast via RTP/RTSP, FEC (option), HDMI, SXGA/UXGA/UWXGA (output only);
        • Ultra HD: 3x 4G SDI or 6/12 G SDI, TS over DVB ASI/IP, UDP/RTP Unicast/Multicast, FEC (option), HDMI 2.0;
      • Aspect Ratio: 16:9, 4:3;
      • Audio: 4 AES/EBU pairs per video I/O channel, 8 pairs embedded per video I/O channel 16-, 20- or 24-bit PCM, 48 kHz;
      • File Decoding: AVID DNxHD (120, 145, 185, 220 Мбит/сек), Panasonic (DVCPRO25, DVCPRO50, DVCProHD), Sony XDCAM IMX (30, 40, 50), XDCAM HD 422, HDV, AVCHD, DV25, MPEG-2 GOP, H.264, Apple Pro Res;
      • File Containers: AVI, MOV, MP4, MXF D-10/OP1A, RAW DV/DIF, MPEG PS/TS, MPG, BMP, TGA, PNG, PSD;
      • Genlock Reference (depends on model): SD: Bi-level sync input, HD: Tri-level sync input;
      • Timecode/NTP Support: NTP client over Ethernet, LTC in (option);
      • GPI I/O: Inputs 4…16 (option), Outputs 4…16 (option);
      • Remote Serial Interface: 4…8 RS-232/422 ports for switchers (option);
      • Control: TCP/IP over Ethernet, GPI;
      • Supported Routers Protocols: Harris/Leitch, Nevion, Evertz and other;
      • Dimensions (depends on model): 1…4RU, Weight (10…40 kg);
      • Power: Power Supply Dual hot-swappable;
      • Voltage: AC 115 to 120 V, 200 to 240 V, auto select.

      SkyLark SL NEO Models. Ordering Information (PDF Document)

      SkyLark SL NEO Product Catalog 2015 (PDF Document)