Etere - Pebble Beach Compare

Etere - Pebble Beach Compare

13 April 2010

The purpose of this competitive analysis is to provide a snapshot of Etere company and system compares to Pebble Beach. This document details a brief comparison between Etere and Pebble Beach systems, paying special attention to all different characteristics between the 2 solutions

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Pebble Beach: a Short History
Pebble Beach was the Louth office in London. When in 2001 Harris purchases Louth Automation they practically purchase an empty box. The US developers went away and the London Office became Pebble Beach automation. Etere: A Success Story
Etere start in 1984, and from those 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 22 years. Etere product is stable and always guarantees to the users a low cost upgrade path. Etere from the beginning use the same ‘software only’ approach, it was and it still is a pioneer in this approach that after more than 20 years is still emulated without success.
Louth 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. Pebble Beach as Harris London office had a very deep knowledge of the product and about its problem. When they use their knowledge to design the Pebble Beach automation they avoid the Louth problem, but they design the same product. If you today use Pebble for 90% is the same as Louth with some key improvement. The central unit, a simple but very expensive PC take care of all the communication between devices. As media protocol they only support mainly 422. For redundancy they do a ‘false’ redundancy when they run 1 video server ports from the same PC central unit this is a false redundancy because the unit can fail more than a video server. Otherwise they sell a second, but expensive, central unit that switch over if the main fails, the same as old Louth design. 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. As Louth style some of the functions requires additional license as scheduled ingest.
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. Etere also has an integrated license free browsing system, and all the main functions do not require extra license. 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.
Pebble Beach sells hardware, expensive and outdated. How a television can base its core business in an outdated PC sold as device controller is still a mystery. Also Pebble Beach sells a media client station a 50 times it’s value. When you buy Pebble Beach is like you buy a car with a core design in 1990 at repainted today.
The last Pebble Beach version they say are SQL based. This is a marketing issue, they use a SQL database, it’s true, but to store the same data you can find in an XLS file. The reality is that Pebble Beach has no database inside; they have a simple notepad list, and they still rely on files and file names, no real media asset database inside. 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 Pebble Beach make 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 Pebble Beach no difference.

With Pebble Beach 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!
Pebble from the beginning show how it’s possible to copy and resell ideas from others. This process still continues, in the Marina brochure: 'Marina uses a completely new playlist engine and has a distributed architecture that enables software compo¬nents to be hosted across multiple servers.'
They forget that in 1990 the ‘distributed architecture’ was the core of Etere. They still continue to copy they have no research group but a photocopy group.

When Etere in 2000 introduce the HSM and Media Management as part of the automation, Pebble do not exist, but their Anchor media manager copy this concept but in a very primitive way still on the Louth style with File names as the main information and not as metadata of an asset.
As now no workflow.
Pebble Beach: Different Products
For automation they have different product as:
• Marina
• Neptune
• Neptune lite
• Deck-Chair
This means that if you need to upgrade you need to purchase another product, so you loose your initial investment, also because different products are based on different hardware in the traditional hardware-software combination. Etere: Single Framework
Etere has a single framework, what you purchased is based on license only. You can change or upgrade without loosing the initial investment.
As Louth Pebble is a 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 Pebble.
This is the big advantage of a common framework, where the HSM and the MAM and the videotape library share the same resources, but with an asset concept not file. 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 on-air. 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 tailoring the system behavior according station organization.
Pebble Beach Support
This is one of the most awful services in the broadcast world, as you see form the website:
Pebble Beach Systems provides support during UK office hours. Alternatively if you have a valid support contract and your call is urgent then you may call the emergency support number +44 117 9875 489. This out of hour’s number will connect you to an operator who will take details of your call and connect you to an engineer. Please note that this service is only available to customers with a valid 24hour service contract and in off-air emergency situations
24 hours support is offered for emergency off air. If you need to connect a device or you have any other question you need to relay on UK office hours!!
Also they have different support contract with time limit in support and VPN connection, so if you have any problem you must take care you have paid in advance the support you need, otherwise wait the next business day in UK.

Etere Support
True 24/7 support, where you can ask any question at any time. Unlimited support that also covers configuration changes at any time. No emergency number only one number to call.
Made in Italy
Company History
Pebble Beach: a Short History Pebble Beach was the Louth office in London. When in 2001 Harris purchases Louth Automation they practically purchase an empty box. The US developers went away and the London Office became Pebble Beach automation. Etere: A Success Story Etere start in 1984, and from those 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 22 years. Etere product is stable and always guarantees to the users a low cost upgrade path. Etere from the beginning use the same ‘software only’ approach, it was and it still is a pioneer in this approach that after more than 20 years is still emulated without success.
Pebble Beach Product Technology
Louth 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. Pebble Beach as Harris London office had a very deep knowledge of the product and about its problem. When they use their knowledge to design the Pebble Beach automation they avoid the Louth problem, but they design the same product. If you today use Pebble for 90% is the same as Louth with some key improvement. The central unit, a simple but very expensive PC take care of all the communication between devices. As media protocol they only support mainly 422. For redundancy they do a ‘false’ redundancy when they run 1 video server ports from the same PC central unit this is a false redundancy because the unit can fail more than a video server. Otherwise they sell a second, but expensive, central unit that switch over if the main fails, the same as old Louth design. 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. As Louth style some of the functions requires additional license as scheduled ingest.
Workflow Monitor - Etere 22
Etere Product Technology
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. Etere also has an integrated license free browsing system, and all the main functions do not require extra license. 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.
Automation 21.5
Hardware or Software
Pebble Beach sells hardware, expensive and outdated. How a television can base its core business in an outdated PC sold as device controller is still a mystery. Also Pebble Beach sells a media client station a 50 times it’s value. When you buy Pebble Beach is like you buy a car with a core design in 1990 at repainted today.
mam_1
Functions
The last Pebble Beach version they say are SQL based. This is a marketing issue, they use a SQL database, it’s true, but to store the same data you can find in an XLS file. The reality is that Pebble Beach has no database inside; they have a simple notepad list, and they still rely on files and file names, no real media asset database inside. 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 Pebble Beach make 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 Pebble Beach no difference. With Pebble Beach 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!
HSM Diagram
Smart to COPY ideas
Pebble from the beginning show how it’s possible to copy and resell ideas from others. This process still continues, in the Marina brochure: 'Marina uses a completely new playlist engine and has a distributed architecture that enables software compo¬nents to be hosted across multiple servers.' They forget that in 1990 the ‘distributed architecture’ was the core of Etere. They still continue to copy they have no research group but a photocopy group. When Etere in 2000 introduce the HSM and Media Management as part of the automation, Pebble do not exist, but their Anchor media manager copy this concept but in a very primitive way still on the Louth style with File names as the main information and not as metadata of an asset. As now no workflow.
Products
Pebble Beach: Different Products For automation they have different product as: • Marina • Neptune • Neptune lite • Deck-Chair This means that if you need to upgrade you need to purchase another product, so you loose your initial investment, also because different products are based on different hardware in the traditional hardware-software combination. Etere: Single Framework Etere has a single framework, what you purchased is based on license only. You can change or upgrade without loosing the initial investment.
Executive Editor - Secondary Events
Different Scheduling
As Louth Pebble is a 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 Pebble.
Etere Office 2012
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, but with an asset concept not file. 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 on-air. 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 tailoring the system behavior according station organization.
Etere Office 2012 Etere customer support 24/7
Support Service
Pebble Beach Support This is one of the most awful services in the broadcast world, as you see form the website: Pebble Beach Systems provides support during UK office hours. Alternatively if you have a valid support contract and your call is urgent then you may call the emergency support number +44 117 9875 489. This out of hour’s number will connect you to an operator who will take details of your call and connect you to an engineer. Please note that this service is only available to customers with a valid 24hour service contract and in off-air emergency situations 24 hours support is offered for emergency off air. If you need to connect a device or you have any other question you need to relay on UK office hours!! Also they have different support contract with time limit in support and VPN connection, so if you have any problem you must take care you have paid in advance the support you need, otherwise wait the next business day in UK. Etere Support True 24/7 support, where you can ask any question at any time. Unlimited support that also covers configuration changes at any time. No emergency number only one number to call.