Integrated Systems for Content Management and Automated Multichannel Delivery

Broadcast Automation & Channel Playout


SkyLark Technology offers package solutions for the automation of Ultra HD/HD/SD television broadcasting based on SL NEO Media Platform Software. The broadcast system is made fail-safe on both the hardware and software levels through the use of broadcast channel backup schemes for servers, arrays, and television circuits from N+1 to N+N. 

SL NEO servers do not require any external broadcast automation system - the SL NEO Media platform includes its own system that permit the customer to manage audio/video commutators, logo generators, graphic stations, VTRs, and other devices used in the broadcasting system.

One of the solution’s important advantages is the option to receive, record, and generate MPEG transport streams through ASI/IP interfaces. The stream may contain multiple sound tracks (for multi-language broadcasting). 

SkyLark Technology’s solutions allow customers to build a broadcast system of any level of complexity, from regional ad tie-ins to multi-channel broadcasts, with a high level of reliability and the option to scale up the complex without stopping broadcasts. SkyLark is prepared to offer its clients various configuration options for broadcast systems in a range of prices, from economy- to premium-class.

The Automation Solution Package includes all the necessary components of broadcast technology:

  • Ingest – batch captures, scheduled recording, automated and manual import of media-materials into the broadcast complex’s real-time archive;
  • Automated playout – broadcast by playlists, automatic program switching;
  • Channel branding – graphic design of channels with tie-ins to markers in the main events;
  • Integration with traffic management systems (media planning), production systems (NLE), and archives;
  • Media data management in the broadcast zone.

Basic functions of broadcasting systems based on SL NEO Platform:

  • Broadcast from 1 to N channels (unlimited): broadcast of various types of materials (live sources, files, tape) in any combination; frame-by-frame precision facilitated;
  • Time Delay, automatic embedding of program/advertising blocks on DTMF/GPI in VBI/23 Line;
  • Automatic program switching, device management (commutators, VTR, GPI devices), support of Sony, Harris/Leitch, Network, Evertz, Kramer, and other protocols;
  • Individual or general graphic design for each channel (captions, scrolling text, logos, clock, 32-bit video, SMS/RSS, and many more) Automatic generation of captions and graphics based on formatting templates;
  • Generation of Ultra HD/HD/SD program signals and types: SDI/YCRCB/CVBS, SDI Embedded/AES/Analog Audio;
  • Traffic flow generation: SPTS/MPTS in ASI/IP, MPEG-2/Н.264; generation of management signals for the beginning and the end of a regional block for subsequent acceptance by regional broadcasting complexes (SCTE, DTMF, GPI in VBI, in the 23rd line of the television signal, in the traffic flow);
  • Automation of scheduled recording of various types of Ultra HD/HD/SD signals: SDI/YCRCB/CVBS, SDI Embedded/AES/Analog Audio, SPTS/MPTS in ASI/IP, MPEG-2/Н.264, package writing from tape;
  • Integration with NLE, automated exchange of AVI/MOV/MPG/VOB/MXF/TGA/PSD media files, etc.;
  • Media data management in the broadcast zone, work with storyboard materials, proxy generation, cataloging, search;
  • Collective real-time editing of proxy copies; instantaneous broadcasting without copying files and rendering;
  • Layout and editing of playlists and recording lists; integration with media planning systems;
  • Multi-screen signal monitoring on client station monitors;
  • Combined, collective user operations in the broadcast zone when viewing materials with limited access rights to system resources, management of broadcast and recording channels via a common simple, convenient user interface;
  • The option for remote management of either one server or the entire broadcast complex via the internet;
  • Round-the-clock multi-channel broadcast management recording;
  • 24/7 operations, automatic transition to backup (when a “stop frame” appears or the signal is lost);
  • Generation of reports on major events (recording, playback, data activities, user activity).

Graphic design of on-air channels

The creation of programs and broadcast channels involves the automatic or manual broadcast of previously prepared multi-layered compositions/templates consisting of captions on animated underlayers, clips with the alpha channel, live video, and PIP, 2D, and Chroma Key effects. 

SL NEO 3000 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.

Concept example diagrams

Concept diagram of a solution based on the SL NEO 3000/5000 Series Servers.

Download detailed diagram (PDF)


Concept diagram of a solution based on the SL NEO 3000 Series Servers only.

Download detailed diagram (PDF)

Device Control Subsystem

The SL NEO technology presents the opportunity to place management software and device control interfaces directly within the SL NEO broadcast server, which leads to significant cost savings and improves the system’s reliability, as the need to use separate device control/automation servers is eliminated.

The SL NEO Media-Server built-in Device Control Subsystem is a common software & hardware platform that supports all SkyLark SL NEO automation solutions. As the core hardware element of ingest or automation playout system, the Device Control Subsystem manages all basic functionality from a high-performance server & client software applications and device boards.

The Device Control Subsystem houses serial interface cards, network cards for communication and device control and the optional timecode reference card, in a variety of configuration options. Serial- and IP-network connections are employed to provide high-speed communications with video servers and other broadcast devices.