Etere - Pro Bel Compare

Etere - Pro Bel Compare

04 November 2009

This document details a brief comparison between Etere's and Pro-Bel systems, paying special attention to their hardware and interface characteristics

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Pro-Bel History
Pro-Bel automation start in to help to sell Pro-Bel hardware as routers, the main reason of this project is still this. Today Pro-Bel automation works with other hardware vendors but its internal structure is linked to Pro-Bel hardware. The basic of the automation is to emulate the different hardware o work as Pro-Bel. This is a serious limit. Chyron buy Pro-Bel to integrate its products, but after some years in November 2003 due to the bad performance they accept a leverage buy-out and let Pro-Bel run back alone. In 2009 Snell buys Pro-Bel. Too much changes for a 'stable' company in a few years!

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 use 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.
Pro-Bel use the old English school approach of dedicated hardware and OS to run the system. “Morpheus does not rely solely on software when it comes to device control. Mission-critical device interfaces are handled by a real-time embedded operating system. Each controller card is linked via LAN to the core software, enabling all the benefits of modern network topologies.”
So they have their proprietary hardware platform composed of different Cards running a totally proprietary OS, that try to use Ethernet to appear modern. This is one of the oldest architectures of the market. Regardless a fancy graphics interface the core system is very old, and has been proven as difficult to debug and difficult to upgrade. But this is aligned to the old English school where are customers to change workflow according automation. No web integration, no internal scheduling, only for simple on-air.
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 Pro-Bel media management are included in the basic module of Etere. Etere also has an integrated license 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. The advanced ingest functions of Pro-Bel media management are included in the basic module of Etere.
Pro-Bel provide hardware and software, this made the purchasing cost and the ownership cost higher. You need to have 2 support contracts one for the hardware and one for the software; the hardware is also customized, so after some years maintenance costs blow up. In some solutions like ICE they provide also standard windows platforms as ‘special hardware’ at special price. In case of software upgrade that requires a different hardware you need to purchase also the hardware platform from Pro-Bel itself.
Morpheus use a database M3 for media management, but this database is very limited, it’s build mainly to move files, and have few data. As Pro-Bel brochure ‘the database is specifically designed to reflect the requirements for an on-air broadcast system’, it’s as the traditional English school only for on-air, it cannot be shared for scheduling, inventorying and media management. With Pro-bel you need third party software to do:
• Tape inventory
• Tape bar-coding and catalog
• Tape check in/checkout
• Version scheduling
• Web integration
• Tapeless reception
• HSM

Regardless to the marketing of Pro-Bel what does Morpheus is just the basic module of Etere; also it has no knowledge about codec’s and devices and no workflow integration.
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.
Made in Italy
Company History
Pro-Bel History Pro-Bel automation start in to help to sell Pro-Bel hardware as routers, the main reason of this project is still this. Today Pro-Bel automation works with other hardware vendors but its internal structure is linked to Pro-Bel hardware. The basic of the automation is to emulate the different hardware o work as Pro-Bel. This is a serious limit. Chyron buy Pro-Bel to integrate its products, but after some years in November 2003 due to the bad performance they accept a leverage buy-out and let Pro-Bel run back alone. In 2009 Snell buys Pro-Bel. Too much changes for a 'stable' company in a few years! 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 use 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.
Etere Web Assets Media
Pro-Bel Product Technology
Pro-Bel use the old English school approach of dedicated hardware and OS to run the system. “Morpheus does not rely solely on software when it comes to device control. Mission-critical device interfaces are handled by a real-time embedded operating system. Each controller card is linked via LAN to the core software, enabling all the benefits of modern network topologies.” So they have their proprietary hardware platform composed of different Cards running a totally proprietary OS, that try to use Ethernet to appear modern. This is one of the oldest architectures of the market. Regardless a fancy graphics interface the core system is very old, and has been proven as difficult to debug and difficult to upgrade. But this is aligned to the old English school where are customers to change workflow according automation. No web integration, no internal scheduling, only for simple on-air.
Workflow Monitor
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. The advanced ingest functions of Pro-Bel media management are included in the basic module of Etere. Etere also has an integrated license 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. The advanced ingest functions of Pro-Bel media management are included in the basic module of Etere.
Microsoft
Hardware or Software
Pro-Bel provide hardware and software, this made the purchasing cost and the ownership cost higher. You need to have 2 support contracts one for the hardware and one for the software; the hardware is also customized, so after some years maintenance costs blow up. In some solutions like ICE they provide also standard windows platforms as ‘special hardware’ at special price. In case of software upgrade that requires a different hardware you need to purchase also the hardware platform from Pro-Bel itself.
MAM
Pro-Bel Functions
Morpheus use a database M3 for media management, but this database is very limited, it’s build mainly to move files, and have few data. As Pro-Bel brochure ‘the database is specifically designed to reflect the requirements for an on-air broadcast system’, it’s as the traditional English school only for on-air, it cannot be shared for scheduling, inventorying and media management. With Pro-bel you need third party software to do: • Tape inventory • Tape bar-coding and catalog • Tape check in/checkout • Version scheduling • Web integration • Tapeless reception • HSM Regardless to the marketing of Pro-Bel what does Morpheus is just the basic module of Etere; also it has no knowledge about codec’s and devices and no workflow integration.
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.