Playout server recommendations?

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  • Posts: 3
  • Joined: Fri Nov 16, 2018 8:35 pm
  • Real Name: Chris Clark

Playout server recommendations?

PostFri Dec 21, 2018 6:43 pm

Changing gears from my last question. Can anyone recommend an affordable (think high school budget) scheduled playout solution to me? I'm not looking at needing anything fancy with CG (bugs, lower third tickers, "L" overlays with squished video, etc). I'm not opposed to a dedicated server but I think that's going to be out of my price range, so I'm considering a computer and output device (likely BMD), preferably Mac but Linux or Windows is acceptable too.

Here's the kicker. I need something that will either turn off the output completely (if you've read my other thread, we only broadcast out recordings periodically, when we're not broadcasting our transmitter stays in standby and the cable headend reverts to a Community Billboard), or something that has an ability to control a contact closure to otherwise put the transmitter into standby.

I've done my own research to a point, I've found a couple options within the price range, but mostly Windows based and I don't really have a way to research their options and functionality ahead of time, so I'm wondering if anyone has any recommendations from experience. Thanks!


  • Posts: 1
  • Joined: Wed Jan 09, 2019 2:07 pm
  • Real Name: Greg Endler

Re: Playout server recommendations?

PostWed Jan 09, 2019 2:32 pm

I would look at CasparCG as a free and open source tool that runs on Windows or Linux. Not sure what it will take to get it running, but the price of a decent computer and some output cards should be cheap enough to fit your budget. I think it can trigger to/from a GPIO but you may need to buy a USB GPIO from somewhere like Broadcast Tools. Hopefully my limited post count will let me post links:

[edit] no posting links for me, you'll have to look them up the hard way. The GPIO was a USB to 32+2 device (32 inputs, 2 outputs) and we use the 16 input version on the recorder for our radio station to record airchecks when the microphone is turned on.

You might trick Open Broadcaster into doing this on any regular computer with an HDMI or SDI output, it would probably be kind of a kludge, but you could probably get it working.

At work we use an Avid Airspeed in our studio, I'd recommend it but I'm guessing the cost will be well over your budget, I think we paid $60,000usd for 4 channels simultaneous play or record (any combo of 4 things at a time), but only to compressed codecs like XDCam. They have a cheaper 2 channel version that might fit in your budget.

As too the eliminate video when done, if the GPIO didn't work to a simple switch, a timer that will switch the video away from the encoder will do the job. Yes it is nice if it does this after the playlist ends, but sometimes with cheap you have to find workarounds.

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