PlayBox delivers Thanksgiving Parade with VPOD TV
New Chicago broadcaster VPOD TV used its PlayBox Technology Channel in a Box automation platform to revive the television coverage of a grand local tradition: the city centre Thanksgiving Parade.
The broadcast was the biggest live event VPOD TV has undertaken, and its most successful. “You have been doing an excellent job this holiday weekend,” wrote one viewer. “I am glad someone is televising this great content”.
VPOD TV was launched on 1 January 2021, as a free to air station serving Chicago, Peoria and central Illinois. As well as broadcast, the station output is also available on live streaming services and via its own website. Content includes classic programming and talk-centred content reflecting the community and the area. Coverage of the Thanksgiving Parade was part of this community focus.
Key to the launch of the new station was PlayBox playout software. Primarily running as a fully automated service 24/7, the functionality in AirBox Neo easily allows manual operation when required to cover live events, bringing in live streams and responding in real-time.
“The parade was a live, unpredictable event with all the challenges that brings for broadcasters,” said John Meadows, station manager of VPOD TV. “The PlayBox Channel in a Box made it really easy to take in the live feeds and work alongside the playlists, so we could give our viewers all the highlights and still keep our advertisers happy. Yet again, PlayBox has proven itself the right choice for VPOD TV”.
Drawing on more than 15 years’ experience and innovation in integrated playout, PlayBox Technologies now delivers over 20,000 master entertainment streams every day. Its core products were developed to meet the real needs of broadcasters and content streamers, focusing on reliable automated and unattended operation, with an intuitive user interface supporting manual interventions when required.
As in the VPOD TV installation, Channel in a Box is designed for hybrid SDI and IP environments. It can serve multiple channels, at resolutions up to 4k Ultra HD. All functionality is implemented in software running on standard IT hardware, with tailored user interfaces implemented in HTML5.
“The team at VPOD TV has been challenging themselves since day one at the beginning of the year,” said Philip Neighbour, COO at PlayBox Technology. “They have opened up extra channels, added more live events like discussion programmes, and now they have taken on a major live event. This shows how agile and dynamic our technology really is, giving them the tools to do far more than just playout.”