Organization of Graphic Layers and Automation of Playout Graphics

SL NEO platform provides forming up to nine graphic layers for every program channel, including logo. Playout of graphic content is implemented by "layersФ; graphic layers, in their turn, are generated and organized in the following way:


logo_setup_1.jpg1. Logo is "the highest" layer of all graphic layers that are formed by the server. Generally, the logo file is placed in the folder C:\Program Files\SL NEO Media Platform\run\files on the server itself. The server implements permanent and cyclical playout of the logo file. You can turn on and off logo displaying from the control web console: by the commands from a playlist or from other program modules (by Actions), Hot Keys, GPI commands or from an external control panel.


The logo file is either a 32-bit graphic file (static or animated), loaded directly into the folder at the server C:\Program Files\SL NEO Media Platform\run\files, or a file that is a result of export of a graphic composition from the server database into this folder. Actually, it is an XML-file with .SLG extension, containing the composition parameters and links to initial graphic clips in the database. Of course, correct playout of this logo requires all initial clips to be presented in the server database.


How can we use such "XML/SLG-logos"? For example, the logo with a clock in the morning broadcast Ц the clock canТt be displayed by using a standard media-file.


Choosing a logo source is implemented in the section Logo Clip (in the menu Status ) of the server control web console (see the picture), individually for every ProgramChannel window. You have four variants of sources:

FILE - choosing a file with logo placed in the server folder C:\Program Files\SL NEO Media Platform\run\files (a list of files from this folder is displayed).   

URL - choosing a file with logo that is either placed at the defined network way at the local or network disk, or without selecting a way. You can enter a name of a logo clip that is placed at the SL NEO database (an appropriate database should be specified in ProgramChannel settings: control web console Ц section Manage, tab ProgramChannel, item Storage ).

NONE - a file with logo for the given program channel is not defined.

LIVE - receiving video with an alpha-channel or without any external/internal source of a signal.


Graphics Layers.jpg2. Graphic clips/compositions Ц when displaying, these layers are Уunder logoФ and they are, actually, the same materials that are identical to the logo files. You can control displaying these files in the same way as you control the logo layer. Choosing a source is implemented in the menu section Status in the appropriate ProgramChannel windows of the server control web console, menu item Graphics 1...N. There are four variants, similarly to the logo:  LIVE, FILE, URL, NONE


Such compositions, as a rule, display: SMS chats, information about the weather, currency, traffic jam etc. There is no point in placing these compositions into the graphic playlists, because their functions are similar to the logo-files: they are displayed on-air on a long period of time and they need the on/off mode, just like the logo-files. Composition data may be transferred from external sources by the xmlrpc protocol and can be changed on-line.


3. Playlists for playback of sequences of graphic clips. Several graphic playlists, as well as several graphic compositions (p.2) can be played out simultaneously. When displaying, playlists are "under compositions". There is a separate playlist for every layer (the window Broadcast LAY1...8 in Air Manager), herewith, the playlist/layer LAY1 is the lowest one. Every playlist LAY1...8 implements playout of its own sequence of graphic clips placed in the server database. Similarly to a full screen playlist, appearance and structure of graphic playlists are identical to the Broadcast playlists/windows for full screen playout.


The maximal number of layers "graphic clips" + "graphic playlists" is eight for every server program channel. The given number is set up during the process of basic configuring the server at the factory or during the installation. The default value is four.


The aspect ratio of two simultaneously functioning graphic playlists (pt.3) and clips (pt.2) is set in the menu section Manage at the control web console of the server, individually for every program channel (ProgramChannel). The following example displays the maximal number of graphic layers, not counting logo Ц four (three layers with playlists and one layer with graphic clips).




Logo, graphic clips and playlists that contain graphics can be controlled separately and independently from each other and from the main playlist.

There is a system of rules (Actions) in a program complex SL NEO to control turning on/off the logo, the start of events and many other functions. This system implements forming administrative commands and their transfer from one server module to another. Generation of commands is implemented by triggering the corresponding rules (triggers). Examples of using such a system: turning on/off logo, GPI device management, receiving and generating DTMF tones etc.

Manual control of turning on/off layers and logo

The function of real-time manual control of turning on/off the display of graphic layers and a logo layer is available from the main playlist Broadcast window and doesnТt need additional configuring. The function is available both for the graphic clips/compositions that form the layers, and for the playlists that playback sequences of graphic clips. The function only controls displaying layers and doesnТt have any influence on the process of playlists executing. This option is available in the software version 1.7.86 and higher.



Secondary Events

The most important element for automating the process of on-air broadcasting is availability of the technology that allows automatic control of any graphic events from the main playlist. Automatic controlling playout of graphics in SL NEO platform products is implemented by the technology of the so-called "subordinate" or "secondary" events

Lists of secondary events

Lists of secondary events are displayed at the bottom part of Broadcast window of the main playlist. You can set up one or several secondary events Ц for every primary event in the playlist. The particular case of using secondary events: forming the graphic design of a broadcast channel with binding the start of graphics to the marks in the playlist events. 



The list of secondary events is not a playlist, it doesnТt display current statuses and other dynamic information. In case of using secondary events for graphic design, events from the list and playout commands will be broadcasted to the appropriate windows of graphic playlists, for example, to the window Broadcast Layer 1 (the first graphic layer, by default). 

The set of attributes of the secondary events window:

N Ц displaying the number of the event. 

Start - the attribute that defines the type of event start.


There are the following types of start for secondary events: 


From Start is a type of start set by default: the subordinate event starts synchronously with the main event, or with a time shift. The time shift value is configured in the field Start Time


From End is the type of start, when the subordinate event starts a certain time before the end of the main event. The value of time before the end of event is configured in the field Stop Time.


Player is a virtual layer/playlist (Layer) that implements playback of a current graphic event. Since the full screen layer has a value = 1, respectively, the value for the first graphic layer is two (by default Ц Auto, the window Broadcast Layer 1), for the second graphic layer you should set three, etc. 


SL NEO servers support up to eight virtual graphic layers + logo, thus, you can distribute graphic events by layers and provide their simultaneous playback (or synchronous playout, or playback with time shift).