PixelPower

Childrens channel chooses Pixel Power's Clarity and Master Control systems across its channels

The client

One of the world’s premier family entertainment brands provides 24x7 programming via its own top- ranked channel that is carried by cable, satellite and IPTV services around the world. Its highly recognizable brand and associated iconography is a global guarantee of trusted, quality entertainment.

The challenge

Delivering a 24x7 channel of this calibre naturally makes significant technical and operational demands. Equipment and staff must be well managed to address the uninterruptable schedule. 

The need for a backup signal chain was recognized early as a requirement. Thus the channel has had the support of two distinct signal chains – a full-featured “A” chain and a reduced functionality, backup “B” chain.

With an eye toward budget constraints, resources were focused on optimizing the A chain while the B chain was constructed in a more limited fashion, without the capability to insert branding graphics and effectively limiting it straightforward playout operation.

While this design ensured that the channel could be kept on air in the event of equipment failures or maintenance, the lack of functionality on the “B” chain presented the company with a dilemma: if one’s brand and logos are considered a critical, inviolable element of the content, can one afford to be on air without the branding and promotion support? The simple answer was, “no.”

The situation has been further complicated by the channel’s popularity. With success came more advertisers wanting air time, driving the channel’s own promotion increasingly to in-program presentation.

As a result, for years the channel had to do all its upgrades and maintenance in the wee hours of the morning, typically between 3am-4am. This could be punishing on the staff. It also meant that the channel management was essentially crossing its collective fingers and hoping that things went smoothly. Even the slightest hiccup in a software update could mean entering prime, morning viewing hours without the visual cues needed to capture and hold its early-rising viewers. The bigger the problem, the longer the channel would be on air without its branding and promotion capability.  Clarity ensures that branding and promotion are never interrupted at one of the world’s leading children's brand network.

The solution

The channel selected four Pixel Power Clarity 3000 systems to insert branding graphics and promos, filling both the void in the B chain and adding a sophisticated, highly automatable graphics solution for its main A signal chain.

The results

The addition of Pixel Power Clarity on both signal chains ensures that the feed distributed on the channel remains consistent and indistinguishable regardless of which chain is in use. Both chains now feature robust 3D graphics capability.  Most importantly, the channel branding and promo activities never have to be disrupted and can remain on air regardless of any challenges that arise. Of course, the staff is quite pleased that maintenance and upgrades can be handled during normal business hours. Not only is this scenario more manageable for people, it ensures easier access to support should the need arise during those operations.

Looking ahead

Pixel Power graphics systems are now the graphics standard for the channel, not only for branding and promotion, but also for live graphics including dynamic data display and 3D elements, as well as BrandMaster to introduce graphics into master control. The added flexibility opens a range of options for the channel that is widely recognized as a leader in innovative, spectacular entertainment presentation.