Imagine Communications Expands Capabilities of Integrated Playout Solution

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DALLAS--­ Imagine Communications, empowering the media and entertainment industry through transformative innovation, is introducing multiple enhancements to its award-winning Versio native IP playout solution at IBC2016, which takes place in Amsterdam beginning September 9. A next-generation automation system that is deeply integrated into the Versio platform's open and flexible architecture headlines a suite of enhancements designed to provide broadcasters and other media companies with an agile and future-ready integrated playout solution optimized for all operational models ‹ baseband, IP and hybrid ‹ and all deployment scenarios ‹ from appliance-based to public/private cloud and mixed datacenter models.

Business models are evolving and media companies are now actively adopting a variety of next-generation architectures to accommodate shifting video consumption practices, generate new revenue and improve competitive positioning. The transition from a technology foundation based on single-function, dedicated hardware to a software-defined environment with no physical boundaries and new levels of scalability, flexibility and agility requires media companies to have access to systems and processes designed to fully exploit the capabilities of both traditional and virtualized playout environments.

''Today's automation systems were not designed with distributed, next-generation playout architectures in mind,'' said Brick Eksten, Chief Product Officer, Imagine Communications. ''The recent automation enhancements to Versio further extend the utility of this already-advanced playout environment while at the same time enabling broadcasters and other media companies to seamlessly and transparently extend their traditional operations to geo-dispersed environments.''

The new automation system was designed from the ground up to operate in distributed computing environments, including private and public cloud settings, where content and functionality can be located anywhere in the world. By expanding the boundaries of traditional automation systems, Imagine Communications is helping to enable media companies to achieve consistency across all operational models, regardless of whether content or control systems are located on-premises as dedicated appliances, in datacenter locations or a combination of both. Versio simplifies the transition to these new operational and deployment models by shielding operators from underlying complexity and streamlining channel management across a distributed environment.

Cloud-enabled automation facilitates the integration of operations across all segments of the workflow. At IBC2016, Imagine Communications will showcase the integration of Versio and xG Schedule, the company's rights, planning and scheduling system, running on Microsoft Azure cloud services.  It is the first enterprise-class demonstration of integrated playout and scheduling running from a public cloud. Providing a seamless link between scheduling and playout in a cloud setting allows media companies to improve operational efficiency and explore new business opportunities by exploiting the elastic nature of IT technologies, such as pop-up, or on-demand, channel playout.  Imagine Communications' cloud-capable solutions are compatible with all public cloud environments.

New enhancements to Versio also include improved redundancy capabilities. With geo-dispersed operations and technology deployments in mind, Imagine Communications has augmented Versio playout with an enhanced redundancy interface that significantly simplifies and strengthens the management of channel redundancy, providing media companies with powerful options for protecting channel playout across multiple sites and datacenters, including cloud resources. Versio redundancy enables operators to define and manage groups of Versio instances that can be organized into pools and hierarchies to help ensure high-availability operations and streamline disaster recovery scenarios.  This maximizes the use of Versio playout systems while helping to minimize the impact of maintenance windows or downtime across the entire operation.

New enhancements and capabilities also represent a significant milestone in the continued maturity of Versio into a highly integrated but extensible media playout solution.  Zenium, a next-generation software framework, is at the heart of Versio's ability to enable media companies to easily adopt new technologies and workflows. Powered by Zenium, Versio can quickly incorporate new functionality and integrate with existing workflows, ensuring disruption-free operations. Support for a popular third-party graphics engine, for example, was recently incorporated into Versio by prototyping and developing a plugin within just a few days and without altering the core Zenium software stack.

''The extensible nature of Versio, thanks to Zenium, gives our customers comprehensive flexibility when it comes to preserving or expanding their existing playout workflows,'' added Eksten. ''As business models change and technologies evolve, Versio empowers your business to evolve in lockstep.''

Additional enhancements and capabilities that will be demonstrated at IBC2016 include Ultra High Definition (UHD) playout and powerful, embedded graphics. Imagine will also be showcasing Versio HTML5 user interface unification across all facets of the broadcast workflow, including playout, content management and graphics, within a cohesive HTML5 user experience.

Please visit Imagine Communications at Amtrium, Stand 4.A01 at IBC2016 for more information and demonstrations. For more information about Imagine Communications, please visit www.imaginecommunications.com.

About Imagine Communications

Imagine Communications empowers the media and entertainment industry through transformative innovation. Broadcasters, networks, video service providers and enterprises around the world rely on our optimized, future-proof, multiscreen video and revenue enablement solutions every day to support their mission-critical operations. Today, nearly half of the world's video channels traverse our products, and our software solutions drive close to a third of global ad revenue. Through continuous innovation we are delivering the most advanced IP, cloud-enabled, software-defined network and workflow solutions in the industry. Visit www.imaginecommunications.com for more information, and follow us on Twitter @imagine_comms.

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