Bill Bennett, the Media Solutions Account Manager at ENCO, says the company that pioneered computer-based, digital audio and program automation for radio stations and TV studios has a quartet of products that it is sharing with those who planned on attending the NAB Show. For the television industry, there are two main products — one of those of use in both radio and TV stations. Specifically of interest to the TV industry is the ClipFire automated playout system, which brings automatic ingest, media asset management, graphics, and playout automation together.
“It’s built on decades of experience building our DAD radio automation platform,” Bennett notes. However, it has been modified and designed for the video industry as a multichannel system. “Basically, it is a ‘TV channel in a box’ kind of product. It can transcode across different media codecs at the same time and play them out through different channels simultaneously. ”New features include a built-in clip editor that allows people to take videos on the system and adjust the in-and-outpoints and merge clips — all within the ClipFire environment.
A new dynamic L-bar feature can “squeeze back the playout video and surround it on any of the sides with custom dynamic graphics or messaging or dynamic data. ”Let’s say you’re a TV broadcaster and you have a one-man linear stream with some streaming-only channels. This platform, Bennett explains, can take a library of content and add dynamic generated-on-the-fly graphical elements either around the video or on top of the video throughout the day.
The other video product, something being adapted for the radio market, is EnCaption 5 — “a wholly new redesigned product with a brand-new fully web-centric controller interface,” Bennett says. It’s an artificial intelligence-based device that now boasts a new speech engine. “This greatly improves the accuracy and improves its ability to properly insert punctuation and detect speaker change, ”Bennett adds. For radio, captioning live programming that is being streamed over a website is a growing area of interest, in particular for reaching deaf or hard-of-hearing consumers. Is there a specific product for radio that ENCO is sharing with the industry? Yes, and for those familiar with the DAD playout system, “some neat advances” have been seen over the last year for ENCO’s webDAD— a browser-based native-control front end for DAD that can run on a web browser. It allows remote workers to access the main playout system, regardless of location, thanks to VPN access.
In Bennett’s view, ENCO is a software company. This means it is easier and faster to turn around new products and features. As such, ENCO is already looking ahead to the 2022 NAB Show and beyond. The products ENCO will bring to the marketplace will also be based on one key philosophy. “If there’s spoken word material, regardless of the content, it can and should be captioned,” Bennett says. “What good is content if it can’t be enjoyed by as many people as possible?”