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ToolsOnAir, an Austrian software development company has combined a few software applications, which are capable of operating a whole TV studio, inclusive of playout servers, MXF ingest, graphics for real-time broadcast, and management and administration of tools. They all function with standard Mac computers, using Apple technologies like QuickTime and Quartz Composer.

As stated by Gilbert Leb of ToolsOnAir, there is an increasing interest in cost-effective Mac solutions, though Windows have been dominating broadcast systems. Apple hardware is capable of giving the performance, reliability and stability for real time graphics, and for playout automation. Their concept is allegedly to work on standard hardware only, and Apple has rendered the same configuration for Macs all over the world, and so are the additional hardware of Blackmagic, AJA and Matrox. Thus it is available locally for any customer.

The process starts with the ‘Just:In’ that directly accesses MXF and MOV files, at the time of their recording, without requiring reference movies. Hence, there is no need for background applications, referencing or scanning process. It also allows crash recording of MXF without having to predefine a fixed duration. MXF media streams, making them instantly available and can be accessed for editing in the Final Cut Pro that can be updated with a single mouse click, using the FxPlug plug-in that has been included.

The ToolsOnAir solution for automated playout offers ‘just:play’ which is a simple, intuitive graphical interface, and can create combined playlists quickly, for graphics playout and video, using cards from the AJA and Blackmagic Design. It functions with HD and SD, and is compatible with QuickTime and MXF files. It manages playouts from studio feeds, live feeds and video servers, and is capable of easily integrating real time graphics that include corner logos, remote databases and real-time tickers that are linked to the RSS feeds.

Composition-Builder and ‘just:live’ form the ToolsOnAir Apple-based solution for real-time graphics. Compositon Builder has templates that can be easily aired in real-time, even with last minute changes. Bonjour networks and Telestream Pipeline support Multi-channel input, inclusive of Telestream Pipeline Quad. Just as Mac Pro is added using Final Cut Pro and Blackmagic card or AJA, a fifth channel can be added in a simple manner.

ToolsOnAir is making more software for live production, based on Mac, including the LiveCut fully integrated solution in multicam productions. It supports 16 cameras in HD, and does not require media transfer as it is tapeless. A multi-clip sequence that is track-layered is automatically sent to the Final Cut Pro as well as the Final Cut Server, completely supporting edit-in-place.

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