NAB 2015: Disney/ABC transitions to IP-based virtual master control for linear TV

DetailsJoseph O'Halloran | 13 April 2015

In a move said to be the first of its kind for a major network, the Disney/ABC Television Group of networks is moving its linear broadcast operations to an Imagine Communications IP cloud architecture.

After deploying its cloud-based WATCH services, the company is now transitioning its linear broadcast operations ó including global programming playout, delivery and network operations ó to a unified IP cloud architecture using Imagine infrastructure, advertising systems and workflow management solutions.

In addition to marking a 'significant' evolution in Disney/ABC Television Group's broadcast operations, Imagine says that the move establishes a foundation for how broadcast programming could be made, moved, managed, and monetised in the coming years.

"By leveraging evolving IP and Cloud technologies we are able to move beyond what's currently possible with traditional proprietary 'big iron' broadcast infrastructures," explained Vince Roberts, executive vice president, global operations and chief technology officer, Disney/ABC Television Group. "Imagine Communications' IP solutions enable us to automate and deliver workflow processes and technologies to a more agile and scalable environment. Our shared vision and close collaboration will enable Disney/ABC Television Group to take a uniquely innovative approach to the next generation of television and media distribution platforms."

Disney/ABC Television Group is deploying the Imagine VersioCloud fully IP-enabled, integrated playout in the cloud platform. Designed for a network origination ecosystem, this geo-dispersed platform aggregates national operations into what is said to be a unified entertainment delivery solution.

VersioCloud offers master control functionality. Software-based systems enable the integration of formerly discrete, hardware-based functions, expanding the productivity of master control room operations while optimising workflow. VersioCloud solution is powered by the Zenium software-defined workflow management platform which provides the capability to plug-in content augmentation functions for affiliate branding platforms including triggers, live caption data, loudness control and externally generated crawls and tickers.