Product Spotlight: FlipFactory TrafficManager

Jun 3, 2002  •  Post A Comment

What it is: FlipFactory TrafficManager from Telestream in Nevada City, Calif.
What it does: The system, a software application that comes pre-installed on a Windows 2000 server, automates the ingestion of commercials for broadcasters. FlipFactory TrafficManager monitors local and remote servers for the arrival of new content. When new commercials appear, the system grabs the material and creates a low-resolution proxy and a thumbnail for the user to view. The system also extracts metadata such as time code, producer, content and the universal identifier number for commercials. The system then alerts operations personnel of the new media and also notifies automation systems that control playout, like those from Harris or Omnibus. The commercials and their metadata are then sent to on-air servers, edit suites or storage systems.
“It automates something that had previously been done manually. It streamlines the operations so you don’t have as many people handling the media as it goes in,” said David Heppe, VP of marketing and business development for Telestream.
Features and benefits: FlipFactory TrafficManager conducts an audio-level analysis on all commercials, since many arrive configured at different levels. It then adjusts to the appropriate level. This automated process replaces the old-fashioned method of manually twisting knobs for audio adjustment, Mr. Heppe said.
“You get better consistency and quality of media that goes on air, because you can adjust audio levels automatically,” he said. Since most TV stations still receive tapes of commercials as well as digital files, Telestream’s ClipMail Pro appliance can encode tapes and send them to FlipFactory.
Target market: Telestream is aiming for stations that have on-air video servers. The product was co-developed with ABC’s owned-and-operated stations. It is in use at KFSN-TV in Fresno, Calif.; KTRK-TV in Houston; and WJRT-TV in Flint, Mich.
Cost: The system ranges from $32,500 to $39,500.