Etere - Harris D Series Compare

Etere - Harris D Series Compare

07 February 2007

This document details a brief comparison between Etere and Harris D-Series automation systems, paying special attention to their hardware and interface characteristics

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Harris History
Harris D-Series automation is worldwide known as Louth Automation. In 1999 Harris buys it for about $85 million but then sell off it because it isn't a good business. When in 2001 Harris purchases Harris Automation they practically purchase an empty box. What Harris buy was the name, source code, support fee, and. no other.
No developers, no management. The Louth product, unchanged from year 1999 was still the same; no one was able to change it. Some of the Harris developers build new company, that is the history of Pebble Beach.
The product is still the same an old monolithic code that manages everything, running on NT, an OS discontinued from Microsoft.
Harris understand that no one is able to improve or update the product so they buy Encoda and its developer group and build the new ‘H series’ automation.
They practically discontinued the D-Series automation, but after a long study on H-Series, they still relay on it, the new H-series was aborted. Another unsuccessful business!
Again, Harris acquires Invenio for the asset management: a technology not integrated with others Harris solutions. Like many pieces of a puzzle ... but not the same puzzle!
During NAB 2012, Harris announces to sell off its Harris Broadcast. Not a great sign of the times: which future for the customers?
Etere start in 1984, and from that times the company was always profitable.
Etere has never been sold or take over from anyone. The core group of people is still the same after more than 24 years. Etere product is stable and always guarantees to the users a low cost upgrade path. Etere from the beginning uses the same ‘software only’ approach, it was and it still is a pioneer in this approach that after more than 22 years is still emulated without success.
Harris design is of 1990, it’s the oldest product.
It’s practically a List processing system based on a central unit running on Windows NT.
Everything you see is a patch over this design that try to hidden its defects.
The central unit, a simple but very expensive PC take care of all the communication between devices.
As media protocol they only support 422, no TCP/IP too advanced fro the time.
As video server protocol only VDCP is used, with all this limits, as 5 sec for the shorter clip.
For redundancy they do a ‘false’ redundancy when they run 1 video server ports from the same PC (adc100) this is a false redundancy because and ADC100 can fail more than a video server.
Otherwise they sell a second, but expensive, adc100 unit that switch over if the main fails.
But because the second is a stand by unit you will never know if it works, until you are off air.
Etere has a different approach, with 2 cloning units running at the same time, this will protect you from hardware and software errors.

Etere uses a pure Windows approach has no device controller and is able to drive directly the devices. A single channel or a 10 channel redundant system requires only 2 pc to say alive and redundant. Etere approach is hardware independent, so a lot of serial devices available worldwide can be used they only need to be Windows compatible. The advanced ingest functions of Harris Media Management are included in the basic module of Etere. Etere also has an integrated licence free browsing system. Etere Workflow based approach let customer free to modify the system according to their existing organization,it’s the most easy to use and productive of the market.
Harris sells hardware, expensive and outdated. How a television can base its core business in a 486 PC sold in 2006 is still a mystery. Also Harris sells a media client station a 50 times it’s value. When you buy Harris is like you buy a car of 1990 at 2 times a Ferrari value
Also the single modular D-series is difficult to upgrade, they are always the latest on the market to insert new features. As today, June 2006, the system is still based on Windows NT technology and SQL2000 database. No XP version, Windows 2003, SQL 2008, all those are standard support in Etere.
The last Harris version they say are SQL based. This is a marketing issue, they use an SQL database, it’s true, but to store the same data you can find in an XLS file. The reality is that Harris has no database inside; they have a simple notepad list. There is no metadata o store, simply the code and description. Also Harris makes a lot of confusion on tape management they use:
• Single segment
• Multi segment (segmented tape)
• Multi spot (more video asset on the same tape)

But you cannot use all at the same time, you need to reset the system and loose your data, it’s very primitive management.

Also Harris makes a lot of confusion, they define the asset code (unique video identifier) as the Tape code! So if you have 2 tapes with the same content you need to give them the same code even if one is a one-inch and the other is a digital betacam!
Tapes are not videos, but for Harris no difference. With Harris you need third party software to do:
• Tape inventory
• Tape bar-coding and catalog
• Tape check in/checkout
• Version scheduling

While all those functions are embedded in Etere!
Harris has no Unicode support at all.
Etere support Unicode in all the field, description, code and barcode and also filename.
In Harris system the Media Management is a simple list processing. No intelligence is embedded in the media management. No media Cockpit, as Etere to understand where is the media.
• No multilevel cache support
• No disk archive integration
• No tape library integration
• No Analog Videotape management
• No policy related to program types, or better no program types
• No workflow
Harris simple List processing system; it has not an integrated scheduling system, with different levels and options. No integrated as run logs. The interface with an external scheduling/traffic is done through txt files, no feedback and no last minute changes. The design of secondary events is very complex; you need 3 lines to schedule a logo!!
In Etere Scheduling a logo is a matter of some click, with a visual interface error free, also in Etere a secondary event does not add any line to the scheduling. A 1000 lines schedule in Etere could be more than 5000 in Harris!!!
This is the big advantage of a common framework, where the HSM and the MAM and the videotape library share the same resources. Etere also has embedded all the ingest an playout capabilities of Etere Automation. Etere has a single cockpit to control the TV media. Etere database from the beginning contain all the metadata and the procedures to organize all the TV workflow, not only what is related to onair. A station that starts with Etere will have only modules to add, no third party and interfaces to manage all the activities. Also Etere Workflow allows to tailor the system behavior according station organization.
Etere Office 2012
Harris Company History
Harris History Harris D-Series automation is worldwide known as Louth Automation. In 1999 Harris buys it for about $85 million but then sell off it because it isn't a good business. When in 2001 Harris purchases Harris Automation they practically purchase an empty box. What Harris buy was the name, source code, support fee, and. no other. No developers, no management. The Louth product, unchanged from year 1999 was still the same; no one was able to change it. Some of the Harris developers build new company, that is the history of Pebble Beach. The product is still the same an old monolithic code that manages everything, running on NT, an OS discontinued from Microsoft. Harris understand that no one is able to improve or update the product so they buy Encoda and its developer group and build the new ‘H series’ automation. They practically discontinued the D-Series automation, but after a long study on H-Series, they still relay on it, the new H-series was aborted. Another unsuccessful business! Again, Harris acquires Invenio for the asset management: a technology not integrated with others Harris solutions. Like many pieces of a puzzle ... but not the same puzzle! During NAB 2012, Harris announces to sell off its Harris Broadcast. Not a great sign of the times: which future for the customers?
Made in Italy
Etere a Success Story
Etere start in 1984, and from that times the company was always profitable. Etere has never been sold or take over from anyone. The core group of people is still the same after more than 24 years. Etere product is stable and always guarantees to the users a low cost upgrade path. Etere from the beginning uses the same ‘software only’ approach, it was and it still is a pioneer in this approach that after more than 22 years is still emulated without success.
Product Technology Harris
Harris design is of 1990, it’s the oldest product. It’s practically a List processing system based on a central unit running on Windows NT. Everything you see is a patch over this design that try to hidden its defects. The central unit, a simple but very expensive PC take care of all the communication between devices. As media protocol they only support 422, no TCP/IP too advanced fro the time. As video server protocol only VDCP is used, with all this limits, as 5 sec for the shorter clip. For redundancy they do a ‘false’ redundancy when they run 1 video server ports from the same PC (adc100) this is a false redundancy because and ADC100 can fail more than a video server. Otherwise they sell a second, but expensive, adc100 unit that switch over if the main fails. But because the second is a stand by unit you will never know if it works, until you are off air. Etere has a different approach, with 2 cloning units running at the same time, this will protect you from hardware and software errors.
Workflow Monitor
Product Technology Etere
Etere uses a pure Windows approach has no device controller and is able to drive directly the devices. A single channel or a 10 channel redundant system requires only 2 pc to say alive and redundant. Etere approach is hardware independent, so a lot of serial devices available worldwide can be used they only need to be Windows compatible. The advanced ingest functions of Harris Media Management are included in the basic module of Etere. Etere also has an integrated licence free browsing system. Etere Workflow based approach let customer free to modify the system according to their existing organization,it’s the most easy to use and productive of the market.
Windows
Hardware or Software
Harris sells hardware, expensive and outdated. How a television can base its core business in a 486 PC sold in 2006 is still a mystery. Also Harris sells a media client station a 50 times it’s value. When you buy Harris is like you buy a car of 1990 at 2 times a Ferrari value Also the single modular D-series is difficult to upgrade, they are always the latest on the market to insert new features. As today, June 2006, the system is still based on Windows NT technology and SQL2000 database. No XP version, Windows 2003, SQL 2008, all those are standard support in Etere.
MAM - Metadata Insert
Functions
The last Harris version they say are SQL based. This is a marketing issue, they use an SQL database, it’s true, but to store the same data you can find in an XLS file. The reality is that Harris has no database inside; they have a simple notepad list. There is no metadata o store, simply the code and description. Also Harris makes a lot of confusion on tape management they use: • Single segment • Multi segment (segmented tape) • Multi spot (more video asset on the same tape) But you cannot use all at the same time, you need to reset the system and loose your data, it’s very primitive management. Also Harris makes a lot of confusion, they define the asset code (unique video identifier) as the Tape code! So if you have 2 tapes with the same content you need to give them the same code even if one is a one-inch and the other is a digital betacam! Tapes are not videos, but for Harris no difference. With Harris you need third party software to do: • Tape inventory • Tape bar-coding and catalog • Tape check in/checkout • Version scheduling While all those functions are embedded in Etere!
Unicode
Harris has no Unicode support at all. Etere support Unicode in all the field, description, code and barcode and also filename.
Asset Management
Media Management
In Harris system the Media Management is a simple list processing. No intelligence is embedded in the media management. No media Cockpit, as Etere to understand where is the media. • No multilevel cache support • No disk archive integration • No tape library integration • No Analog Videotape management • No policy related to program types, or better no program types • No workflow
Executive Editor
Scheduling
Harris simple List processing system; it has not an integrated scheduling system, with different levels and options. No integrated as run logs. The interface with an external scheduling/traffic is done through txt files, no feedback and no last minute changes. The design of secondary events is very complex; you need 3 lines to schedule a logo!! In Etere Scheduling a logo is a matter of some click, with a visual interface error free, also in Etere a secondary event does not add any line to the scheduling. A 1000 lines schedule in Etere could be more than 5000 in Harris!!!
Automation
Etere Interface
This is the big advantage of a common framework, where the HSM and the MAM and the videotape library share the same resources. Etere also has embedded all the ingest an playout capabilities of Etere Automation. Etere has a single cockpit to control the TV media. Etere database from the beginning contain all the metadata and the procedures to organize all the TV workflow, not only what is related to onair. A station that starts with Etere will have only modules to add, no third party and interfaces to manage all the activities. Also Etere Workflow allows to tailor the system behavior according station organization.