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StarTimes, China, PlayBox Neo, PlayBox Technology

StarTimes China invests in PlayBox Neo

PlayBox Technology announces the completion of a new television playout system at the Beijing headquarters of StarTimes, a Chinese digital broadcast service provider. The system comprises 12 fully redundant AirBox Neo IP streaming channels in a 6 + 6 dual channel configurations to provide full 1:1 backup protection.

"StarTimes has partnered with us for many years in providing playout systems to its customers," comments PlayBox Technology Asia Pacific engineer K. K. Lee.  "AirBox Neo will be used to provide broadcasting services directly from StarTimes' own broadcast control facility. The whole idea is to replace the old playout servers StarTimes was using. Core equipment in this new installation consists of 12 AirBox Neo streaming servers plus SafeBox Neo software which replicates the content and playlists to local playout server folders prior to transmission. Each server outputs to a DVB encoder and thence to the main transmission feeds. We have also integrated PlayBox Technology ListBox Neo playlist preparation, TitleBox Neo CG and graphics playout and our QCBox Neo quality control modules."

QCBox Neo analyses the relevant media files in a playlist, folder or selected files. Basic tests include checking for correct duration of streams, continuity, frozen and black frames as well as audio tests, including loudness, phase and audio levels measurements. Test results are stored in a metadata file that accompanies the media file prior to programme playout on AirBox Neo. The metadata file is checked and the AirBox Neo playout can be configured to skip the file, show a warning before playing the file, or play the file depending on the data parameters. In addition, the loudness measurement data from QCBox Neo can be used for automatic adjustment of the audio playback levels.

"We have also supplied two PlayBox Neo DVB subtitling servers which can be used for multi-language DVB subtitling integrated with AirBox Neo output streams. This is a relatively standard configuration and one that has worked very well across other playout system installations. Connected third-party equipment includes a media asset manager and transmission multiplexers," adds K. K. Lee.

Designed for 24/7 unattended operation, PlayBox Technology AirBox Neo can also be operated manually, including the ability to handle live-to-air throughput. UHD, HD and SD are all supported in single server. Features include a streaming input supporting HTTP, HTTP Secure, UDP, RTMP, MMS, MMSH and YouTube. RTMP streaming output allows easy web streaming.

StarTimes is a Chinese multinational media company which provides digital television technologies to broadcasters who are switching from analogue to digital transmission. As of May 2017, StarTimes operates in 30 countries and serves 10 million subscribers. (6/18)


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