Cinegy Air video playout server

I have been looking for a cost effective video playout server for a while and I was pleased when I came across Cinegy Air http://www.cinegy.com/

Given I have played with quite a few of these systems with varying levels of success I was happy to say I got this one up and running fairly painlessly for the kind of workflow I am looking at which is general file input and Multicast/UDP output. Getting this all working in Cinegy Air took me under 2 hours which was very impressive when you compare to some of the other complicated platforms out there.

Here is what I did.

1. Register for the demo at Cinegy.com and download Air

2. Follow the install instructions to install the Air Engine and Air Control

3. Use the Air Control Configuration application to create a Playlist by dragging and dropping files (I used Apple ProRes/PCM files in a mov container) and then saving as a playlist file

4. Open the Air Engine Configuration to setup a channel, I used

General —> SD Playback license

Playback —> PAL SD, 720×576 25Hz 16:9 (will depend on your content)

No Input Device

RTP/UDP Output with mostly default output settings (I did drop the compression to 4:2:0 from 4:2:2)

5. If not already running (I did have some issues and errors with the intially running app) then go to the Program Files directory with Cinegy Air Engine in it and run “PlayOutExApp.exe” and a little window like the below should appear

6. Go back to the Air Control Configuration application and select “Single Channel” mode, the playlist you saved and assuming you are running the Engine on your local machine connect to 127.0.0.1

7. Hit OK and your Control system should open up and show you the playlist. You may need to hit the red on/off button and then click “Connect” to get to the server and possibly hit “Start Cued” to get things playing.

8. Open VLC and open a stream for udp://@239.0.0.1:1234 and you should have your channel playing

Audit your media files

Here is a little script you can use to audit all of your media files. Note you will need to get the Perl modules installed first which is pretty straight forward using cpan. Note that the mediainfo module does require that the mediainfo libraries are installed first. Note I ran this on Centos 5.

#!/usr/bin/perl

use File::DirWalk;

use Mediainfo;

my $dw = new File::DirWalk;

        print “filename, video_format, video_length, video_bitraten”;

        $dw->onFile(sub {

                my ($file) = @_;

                my ($ext) = $file =~ /(.[^.]+)$/;

                if ($ext eq “.mp4” or $ext eq “.wmv” or $ext eq “.ts” or $ext eq “.mov”) {

                        my $info = new Mediainfo(“filename” => $file);

                        print “$file, “;

                        print $info->{video_format}, “, “;

                        print $info->{video_length}, “, “;

                        print $info->{video_bitrate}, “, “;

                        print “n”;

                }

                return File::DirWalk::SUCCESS;

        });

$dw->walk($ARGV[0]);

exit;

Cheap cameras with HD-SDI outputs

For a camera with a studio output there aren’t a lot of really cheap options compared to other video cameras but here are 2 you should be able to get for under $4000.

Canon XF-105

http://www.canon.com.au/For-You/Digital-Video-Cameras/Professional-Video-Cameras/XF105

Panasonic AG-AF100

http://www.panasonic.com/business/provideo/ag-af100.asp