Channel-in-a-box (CIAB) technology has become a bright spot in an otherwise rocky post-recessionary market environment. Although the concept has been around for nearly a decade, the in-a-box approach has taken off with gusto since the recession hit and is now eclipsing the play-out automation solutions of earlier decades. This was the overarching finding of the […]
Channel-in-a-box (CIAB) technology has become a bright spot in an otherwise rocky post-recessionary market environment. Although the concept has been around for nearly a decade, the in-a-box approach has taken off with gusto since the recession hit and is now eclipsing the play-out automation solutions of earlier decades. This was the overarching finding of the recently published study Channel in a Box World 2012 from D.I.S. Consulting Corporation.
The report predicts a market potential of nearly USD 180 million a year by 2017. It codifies the trend and reveals who the winning brands are that have emerged over the past two years in this sector.
CIAB is a solution that has inspired enthusiastic interest across the industry, as it is looked at as a saving grace for broadcasters looking to deploy new channels at a lower cost while at the same time, providing a new lease on life for automation and server vendors alike.
Added to that, this trend has picked up at a time when customers are busy deploying many new channels and desire a more cost effective solution. Previously, that would have meant employing more expensive automation systems and servers. So, at least from the perspective of customers, this trend couldnt have been more welcome. This is part of what is driving the growth of the phenomenon.
CIAB technology, which features IT-based playout, is not just attracting many buyers but also encouraging manufacturers to produce solutions on this front. Propelled primarily by broadcasters constant desire to cut expenses, Harris, Grass Valley/PubliTronic, Miranda, Harmonic/Omneon, Florical, Evertz, Snell and others are now among those leading in offering the virtual master control technology that CIAB represents.
In all, there appears to be more than 40 competitors offering a solution ranging from one in and one out designs for as little as USD 8,000 to those multi-channel series that costs more than $100,000. So, solutions and their features are wide ranging and their configuration, as well as who the brands are, become major determinates of cost.
The study was conducted, worldwide, in the late summer of 2012 and published in November.
A typical CIAB system combines a server, the box referred to, graphics cards, varying ins and outs, with layers of branding, master control, channel automation software, and various layers of graphics. Of course, each system has unique features and that is why the report in its technology trend section delves into which features are most commonly sought after.
Regional broadcasters have enthusiastically embraced the use of CIAB technology as the broadcast market particularly in some regions has been rapidly deploying many new channels in the past few years.
Douglas I. Sheer is CEO and Chief Analyst of D.I.S.