Broadcast News

Bookmark and Share

Thinking Inside The Box...

News Image
PlayBox Technology describes itself as the "Number 1 International 'TV Channel in a Box' manufacturer in the world." RFV caught up with founder and director Don Ash...

In a way do you think the recession period created openings for your company? Now that the global economy seems to be turning a corner, what will be the strategy be for the foreseeable future?

The broadcast industry has always proved resilient at times when recession has affected other areas of commerce. If times get tough, people spend more time at home, which inevitably means an increase in relaxations such as watching television. In terms of economics, broadcasters are always keen to maximise their operational and technical efficiency as advertising revenue drop. The recession opened the door quicker to the high end broadcasters while the mid and low end broadcasters were not growing at the same fast rate as before the recession. This added to the fact that content delivery using supplementary methods actually increased sales for PlayBox Technology, which has shown consistent growth throughout the recession.
The global economy is certainly turning a corner but that will not reduce demand for business efficiency, as more channels will be launched.
More channels means a wider spread of advertising revenue, so broadcasters today need really cost-effective solutions for playout. Many Tier 1 broadcasters are adopting channel-in-a-box technology for exactly this reason. Channel-in-a-box allows broadcasters to address specific national or regional audiences from practically anywhere on the globe.
The rise of direct-to-home satellite broadcasting and terrestrial digital transmission allowed far more channels than was ever possible in the days of terrestrial analogue. It is easy to forget that just a few decades ago most homes had access to only a handful of television channels.
The channel-in-a-box technology which we pioneered gives existing broadcasters the ability to expand their output without huge expense on addition electronic infrastructure. Being physically compact, it also makes highly efficient use of existing rack space rather than demanding the construction of an additional apparatus room.

In a recent interview with George Jarrett on systems integration you emphasised the importance of training and follow-up customer care. With so many systems installed worldwide, how difficult is this to put into practice?

Actually it is far simpler than it sounds. More systems installed means there is more chance of new channels finding engineering and operational staff with PlayBox Technology experience.
Every new installation is accompanied by thorough operational and technical training. Every product we create is designed to be really easy to operate by anyone capable of working a standard internet browser. Manufacturer training is free of charge at our Research & Development Centre or country offices. On-site training at the client’s premises is offered at extra charge. As PlayBox Technology products are fully integrated and relatively simple to use, training time is usually quite quick. Customer Support is free for the life of the product with live web and email support. PlayBox Technology also has affordable customer support options ranging up to 24/7 monitoring and 24/7 telephone support for those that need better response times.
Every PlayBox Technology application has a unique tool called PlayBox Doctor which can produce reports that aid the fast detection and remedy of nearly all reported support issues. All servers, with the client's permission, can be accessed remotely to investigate any issues in more detail and resolve them instantly. Very few issues reported to support need replacement hardware or a visit to site by a PlayBox Technology support engineer. Having an entire system from one manufacturer, customers are able to obtain all their support requirements from a single source rather than having to contact a string of different hardware and software suppliers.
PlayBox Technology products are also supported by our country offices and a global network of resellers, all of whom are fully trained by PlayBox Technology and in close two-way communication with the support teams located at our R&D Centre. Many clients want local support, especially where this is given in the local language.

Are research and development central to your success?

Absolutely. The broadcast business is inherently creative, looking for new ways to increase viewing figures in an obviously very competitive market. Our strategy is to ensure they have powerful, reliable and easy-to-use tools that integrate into a single fully coordinated system.
With sales running at 150 to 200 playout and branding systems per month, PlayBox Technology does not try to sell custom solutions. However we offer a wide range of applications so that clients can create solutions which precisely match their needs. Each solution can be added to when required, for example to expand from SD to HD, to provide multiple outputs, to add character generation and interactive graphics, or to scale up for extra channels. Other than our stalwart AirBox playout server and TitleBox CG and interactive graphics servers, PlayBox Technology has over 30 different products / applications / workflow enhancers / workflow solutions / systemisation tools like CaptureBox, ScheduleBox, EdgeBox, ListBox, DataBox, NewsRoomBox, AdBox, SafeBox, to name a few.

Regarding the imminent release of SocialMediaBox, how indicative is it of social media's influence on the industry?

Social media give the 'silent majority' a direct voice and will become an increasing element of broadcast programming. The silent majority via social media has the ability to influence government policy rather than leaving this in the hands of a vocal minority. SocialMediaBox enables broadcasters to incorporate viewers' comments from multiple social network feeds quickly and efficiently into a single ready-for-broadcast stream and a great way for broadcasters to source content on topical stories, celebrities, news and so on. It is a tremendous tool to prove to viewers that broadcasters are listening to their audience.

Which of the company's products do you feel sets you apart from the competition?

AirBox is our core product. It is the most widely used channel-in-a-box system in the world, low cost, reliable and easy to operate. It is ideal for people or organisations which have previously have only dreamt of operating their own television channel.
AirBox can be completely 'software centric' and operate on a standard IT server and hence can become cloud based if required. TimeShiftBox is unique in being the only time-delay server in the world that can handle real-time graphics overlay in standard or high definition. EdgeBox is a fully automated remote playout system complete with file transfer agents, storage, playout, automation, graphics and remote monitoring. It allows a content owner or broadcaster to deploy a channel anywhere in the world for very low cost.

Read the article in the online edition of RFV here.
Solidmate Ltd Memory Card Hire London

Top Related Stories
Click here for the latest broadcast news stories.

PlayBox Announces IBC Preview
The international 'TV Station in a box' manufacturer, PlayBox Technology, has now been developing and refining its core video playout products for ove
Successful 2016 For PlayBox Technology
PlayBox Technology has reported 2016 its most successful trading year to date, with strong demand for its television channel branding and playout solu
PlayBox Technology Announces Major Board Promotions
PlayBox Technology Limited has announced a number of major board promotions, with Don Ash becoming President, Pavlin Rahnev becoming Chief Executive O
PlayBox Technology To Attend Broadcast India
PlayBox Technology has announced it will be in attendance at Broadcast India. On show will be the company's latest server-based Neo and cloud-based Cl
Systems Integration: The Playbox Portfolio
PlayBox Technology has nearly 14 years of experience producing complete broadcast systems based on modular software and hardware. "We pioneered what i
RTI, Ivory Coast, Takes Delivery of New PlayBox Technology CIAB Broadcast System
Accompanying image shows the new PlayBox Technology CG titling and TV playout system in use at RTI. Radiodiffusion-Télévision ivoirienne (RTI), state
Playbox Technology Chosen For New Broadcast Service
Ibrarn Television has chosen a PlayBox Technology channel-in-a-box platform for its new broadcast service, transmitting via satellite from the Libyan
Successful Broadcast India For PlayBox Technology
PlayBox Technology has returned to the largest broadcast event in India, Broadcast India. The 2012 exhibition was the best ever for PlayBox Technology
PlayBox Technology At Broadcast Asia 2011
International TV Channel-in-a-Box manufacturer PlayBox Technology is presenting its latest products at Broadcast Asia 2011. New products for BA 2011 i
Broadcast Solutions At CABSAT 2018
Broadcast Solutions have announced that it will be exhibiting new and exciting products with the focus on wireless communication, plus showing cutting
PlayBox Neo For NTD TV Upgrade
New Tang Dynasty Television (NTD TV), a 24/7 Chinese language news broadcaster based in New York City, has upgraded the PlayBox Technology AirBox play
Broadcast Solutions Reports Successful Broadcast Innovation Day 2019
Broadcast Solutions GmbH has announced a very positive balance of their Broadcast Innovation Day 2019. On 28 November 2019, the system integrator invi
TV Visjon Norge Selects PlayBox Technology
TV Visjon Norge has selected a PlayBox Technology broadcast playout and channel branding system for installation at its headquarters in Drammen, south
BBC Technology delivers playout infrastructure control to Broadcast Centre
BBC Technology has announced that its Colledia Control system will be used to monitor and control the playout infrastructure at the BBC's new Broadcas
Gearhouse Broadcast and DTL Broadcast sign contract
Gearhouse Broadcast, the broadcast equipment hire and projects company, have signed a deal worth over £150,000 with manufacturer DTL Broadcast for the