Playout MCR | STV – Scottish Television | Cerebrum

STV is Scotland’s home of news and entertainment, serving audiences with free-to-air and online programming including high quality drama as well as the UK’s most local news service. STV has adopted Axon’s Cerebrum software control and monitoring to provide its playout operations with total flexibility to scale and progress its ambitious growth plans, at its own pace.

Control & Flexibility – on a budget

Keeping services on-air and delivering a high-quality no-fail viewing experience is a given for any broadcaster. To ensure STV continues to meet this commitment to it audiences, it sought a cost-effective solution to monitor the health of its transmission chain, which is driven by GV Morpheus playout automation. Serving multiple platforms, most of which are resilient, the solution had to efficiently manage massive amounts of switching simultaneously. It had to be affordable, scalable and easily deployed in parallel to live operations – without downtime or disruption.

Having explored the large network monitoring systems available on the market, none could address STV’s specific requirements for design flexibility on a budget. As Jacqui Finnerty STV’s Director of Broadcast Technology and Operations explains, “We were finding ourselves a bit of a square peg in a round hole.”

Client objectives: 

  • Full control of a multivendor playout environment within a limited budget.
  • Easy deployment of the solution without downtime or disruption to business.
  • Grow the system to integrate new services and facilities as they are introduced.
  • Keep the workflow simple so that operators can focus on the content.
  • Self-sufficient system configuration – with no hidden support costs.

Start small & grow at your own pace

STV soon recognised the power of Cerebrum to drive efficiencies across its broadcast operations and, thanks to its intelligent modular and highly scalable architecture, has been able to easily grow the system in stages as budget becomes available – adding new functionality such as the control and monitoring of STV’s satellite downlink equipment at its Pacific Quay HQ in Glasgow and regional offices in Aberdeen. This staged approach to expansion has allowed STV to learn how best to utilise Cerebrum to gain maximum benefit from its advantages.

Cerebrum is open by design. It’s been developed to make it easy for users to architect and fully customize their workflows on their own. After training, STV’s engineering teams are now able to configure and grow their systems – developing its in-house experience, without reliance on additional support from Axon.


“If you tried to scope such a big control system at the start, you’d never be able to think of everything it could deliver. It was only once we started using Cerebrum, we could fully appreciate what it could do and that gave us so many ideas on how we could roll it out and expand it.  There’s just so much scope.”

Download the full story here!

Are you curious about the end result of the project? Do you want to know what challenges STV encountered during the search for a system and the implementation of Cerebrum? Download the case study here. If you want to know more about Cerebrum or want to try the system out for yourself, please contact us for a free trial.