NAB 2016: Bitcentral Launches Continuum 24/7 Linear Channel Solution for Mobile, OTT
Bitcentral, a provider of digital and broadcast video workflow solutions, announced Continuum, a 24/7 linear news channel for mobile and OTT. This automated process for channel creation enables broadcasters to reach greatly expanded audiences for their current news and advertising.
“There is an audience for live linear channels on OTT, Mobile and digital sub channels,” explains Fred Fourcher, CEO of Bitcentral. “Continuum is a real breakthrough for our customers with vast revenue potential for them at no added costs.”
Continuum is able to automatically or manually program a live linear channel direct from a rundown, then distribute it to sub channels and IP for mobile, digital, and OTT. Syncing with master control operations, Continuum is directly tied into existing traffic and billing systems, driving a massive expansion of advertising reach.
Because the product allows broadcasters to digitally deliver viewers a playlist of content containing advertising instead of the current online model of playing cut-up, individual videos with pre-roll advertising, Continuum enables stations, networks, and other content producers to sell and manage their own advertising versus being dependent on internet based ad servers. Continuum allows channel programmers to integrate advertising and traffic wherever they choose, opening up new opportunities for advertisers to sponsor branded segments at various dayparts.
While the larger shift of local journalism to OTT and mobile has been developing for a few years now, the backend newsroom processes to produce such content to date have been largely manual and labor-intensive. Continuum breaks ground here by bridging two robust systems (1: news production integrated with either ENPS or iNews on the front end and 2: master control integrated with traffic systems like Wide Orbit on the back end), providing a high degree of automation to output a polished, 24/7 live or pre-recorded linear channel for digital. With this technology, broadcasters can reach greatly expanded audiences and advertising revenues without adding operational resources.
The product also provides broadcasters further revenue opportunity by opening up an unlimited number of digital sub-channels suited for hyper-targeted, niche interest-based or hyperlocal content.
Dynamic Design Across Three Interchangeable Modes
Continuum can perform in any or all of three adaptable modes:
During a newscast, each block of content between commercial breaks is automatically recorded and triggered with a GPI closure, then automatically added to the Continuum continuous rundown. This process is repeated as each news block finishes and can operate with zero user intervention.
Live Commercial Insertion Mode
This mode operates identically to Automatic Mode, except that, during commercial breaks that Continuum automatically identifies, alternate commercials can be inserted based on the traffic log.
In this mode, producers can actively update any block of news by overwriting old stories with new stories. Any story within any block can be updated at any time as long as there is a buffer of one story ahead of the currently playing video. For newscasts, the perpetual rundown is managed in blocks of news using ENPS or iNews followed by pods of commercials managed by traffic systems such as Wide Orbit.
Continuum is able to operate with or without Bitcentral news production and/or master control systems.
Michael Petersen, vice president of product for Bitcentral, explained how he believes Continuum is a break through system for broadcasters. “Continuum enables broadcasters to increase their audience, potentially exponentially, by delivering content they already have, 24/7, across any device and leveraging existing advertising inventory or offering expanded inventory. This is a game-changer for local broadcasters, local advertisers, and most importantly, local viewers that are interested in highly targeted, highly relevant late- breaking content.”