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NAB Perspectives: ScheduALL’s Nirenberg on Automating Transmission

April 24th, 2015 Posted in Headlines By Brandon Costa

While the halls of the LVCC buzzed with the promise of IP transmission, satellite providers still had their day as the transmission method of choice for big-time television productions, especially live sports events. Regardless of how your signal is transmitted, however, ScheduALL wants to simplify that process.

At NAB 2015, the company demonstrated its new ScheduALL Portal, which eases creation of complex bookings of occasional-use transmission feeds in real time directly into a transmission provider’s system. The product uses a browserbased wizard for selling transmission feeds and allows users to quickly book transmission time without requiring indepth network expertise.

VP, Strategic Solutions, Joel Nirenberg, at the ScheduALL booth

VP, Strategic Solutions, Joel Nirenberg, at the ScheduALL booth

SVG sat down with Joel Nirenberg, VP, strategic solutions, ScheduALL, who chatted about the value of automating the transmission process and how sports organizations can continue to benefit from the process.

What is ScheduALL working on that would be of particular interest in sports production?
We have a number of things that we are highlighting this year. One is our suite of self-provisioned tools that allow broadcasters, specifically, to book their own transmissions, to modify their own transmissions, to good-night their own transmissions, and so forth. [It’s] something that I know organizations like Metro Ethernet Forum have been advocating, [and] we have it available now through both our large footprint in the industry, as far as broadcasters are concerned, and our platform called Connector, which allows ScheduALL to schedule connectivity. So, instead of having someone say that they want to book a feed and call up their network provider or their satellite company and organize it, we book them in their own system, and it’s all done end-to-end.

We also have ScheduALL Portal, which is for non-ScheduALL broadcasters or ScheduALL broadcasters who may not be in the office and may be mobile. With Internet access and a tablet, they can book it in a pretty straightforward interface. That’s of particular interest for sports broadcasters for reasons that are obvious.

Things [we are doing] that are going to be available by summer [and are] getting a lot of interest [include] the ability to join [in progress] a broadcast for which you have rights. You have this idea of end-of-quarter, end-of-period highlights; to be able to just pull those highlights down, to have your own direct control is very beneficial.

In addition to that, we have new tools to ease the overall scheduling experience as well as to [provide] a single place where human resources can bring up their schedules and be able to change their actual times, save that, [and] be able to submit that to supervisors for approval. That is, essentially, in addition to the overall suite of ScheduALL products, the ones we are highlighting.

Any trends jump out at you at this year’s show?
Probably the number-one trend we are seeing [is] partnerships, particularly technical partnerships. I mentioned this idea of self-provisioning; we’ve seen that there are an awful lot of organizations that are looking for the ability to do this end to end.

We have an established relationship with a number of equipment vendors, Net Insight being one of them. From one end to the other, the customer [is] able to book their own feed, [and] then that feed automatically drives the equipment that actually makes the broadcast happen, all hands off, all fully automated. The ability to take best-of-breed [and] be able to make sure that the systems that an organization is going to use can play well together in a single, integrated format. That seems to be the first thing that people are talking to us about. We need to be able to have an open environment. That’s what people seem most interested in, because they’ve already made the decision, in many cases, on what equipment is going to be best in their organization. So it’s really, can they all play nicely together? Can you reduce operational costs? And can you [simplify] operation?