The MOS Story

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The MOS Story

A broadcast Newsroom Computer System is focused upon the show producer and the production of a show. A rundown is created and other users of the system participate in the creation of material (textual, graphical and video/audio) for the show. During on-air production the focus remains with the producer. They are responsible for the content and sequence of stories within the show and they a Newsroom Computer System is the principal tool that they use to manage that process.

Individual events for configured devices can be placed within a story and remain within that story as it passes through the production process. When the show is on-air the producer can make changes to the content or sequence of stories. The external systems also participating in the
show's production need to be notified as quickly as possible so that they may adjust their content and event lists to match.

Early Newsroom Computer Systems manufacturers, including NewsMaker Systems, were required to develop drivers for all of the types of equipment and all of the manufacturers for those types of equipment that were to be supported by the system. This was a significant effort and required technical skills and development resources.

MOS was developed by the leading Newsroom Computer Systems vendors to reduce the need for their development of device specific drivers. By allowing 3rd parties to add embedded functionality and passing the specified events back to the third party, the Newsroom Computer Systems vendor was relieved of the burden of developing device drivers. It was left to the 3rd party manufacturer to develop the code required to interface their product with the Newsroom Computer Systems. Broadcasters like this new capability because it allowed them to have a more mix and match approach to purchasing production equipment.

The MOS Specification currently at Version 2.8.3 defines MOS. There are two parts to the MOS Specification:

* An ActiveX Plugin interface to allow 3rd parties to provide functionality with the transfer of event data (MOS Object) to the host NCS.

* The MOS Protocol to allow for a 3rd party system to connect and dynamically receive the sequence of MOS Objects from the active show; load the NCS with a list of assets currently within the 3rd party system and to return status to the NCS for display within the Host Client.

MOS also defines two participants, The Newsroom Computer System (NCS) and the Media Object Server (MOS). They are separate systems and communication is via TCP/IP, four sockets (Protocol) or the Microsoft ActiveX specification (Plugin). The NCS is the owner of the Rundowns and Scripts while the MOS is the owner of its Media Objects.

Third party functionality can be loaded and executed within the context of the NCS. This functionality can be a variety of things depending upon the needs of the third party developer. It can provide simple event information entry screen; provide a pick list of assets; proxy browsing and/or editing; full resolution browsing and /or editing. Once the process is completed, the
information for the event can be transferred to a script within the NCS by the dragging or pushing of a MOS object..

A MOS Object is a XML string with specific tags. You are free to add additional tags as may be required. This enables the 3rd part developer to pass to their production controller whatever information is needed to perform the event. The 3rd party developer's MOS Object is saved within a script and will be returned via the MOS Protocol. MOS is a garbage in / Garbage out system. What you put into the script via the ActiveX is returned to you via the Protocol.

The NCS may also reload a MOS Object for further review or modification. This allows for the ability to recall prior work for additional data entry or data modification. The Media Object Server can also return status for each MOS Object (such as Missing or Playing) that gets displayed within the NCS client. Some NCS implementations allow the MOS to upload a list of MOS Objects so that native selection screens can be used generic MOS Object creation and association within a script..

Unfortunately the MOS Protocol and ActiveX specifications are subject to interpretation and there is no single way for them to be implemented. So although MOS is a "standard", individual NCS manufacturers have been free to implement their own subtle variation of MOS. There is no one single way to implement MOS that will allow for the connection to all MOS enabled Newsroom Computer Systems.

Figure 1.

Figure 1. describes the information flow using the NewsMaker NewsGateway to connect your functionality to a Broadcast Newsroom Computer System


Figure 2.


Figure 2. describes the work flow using the NewsMaker NewsGateway to connect your functionality to a Broadcast Newsroom Computer System.



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