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VDS Introduces Sentinel Cloud to Bridge the Gap Between Over-the-Air Broadcast and Internet Television Systems

The cloud-based system provides real-time data for streaming, social media and digital advertisers to create more targeted campaigns

Las Vegas(14 Apr 2015)

VDS (, a leading developer of broadcast automation software, today unveiled Sentinel Cloud at NAB 2015. Sentinel Cloud is a cloud-based software solution that bridges the gap between traditional television broadcast streams and Internet-based systems to give streaming, social media and digital advertisers a seamless transition from broadcast to online advertisements. By providing an accurate look-ahead into the future of the broadcast program day, advertisers will be able to leverage content providers’ data for more targeted campaigns.

As broadcasters transition from traditional over-the-air delivery to online streams, advertisers need to find programming breaks and tailor messages specifically for online audiences. Sentinel Cloud automates this process, seamlessly bridging the gap between over-the-air broadcasts and online content delivery.

It does this by integrating critical program timing data -- such as playlist schedule, content and advertisement (ad) IDs, start times and durations -- with metadata from other Network Operations Centers (NOC) to calculate an accurate value that advertisers can utilize for digital optimization. The data is delivered in standard data formats for consumption by Internet-based streaming, advertising and social media systems.

The data is collected in real time, reflecting changes as they are made to the program schedule and transmitted immediately to Sentinel Cloud. The exact relational timing of every event in the playlist data is maintained when delivered from Sentinel Cloud to Internet systems.

“Sentinel Cloud is the first software solution that bridges the data gap between the legacy Broadcast and Cable infrastructure and the new Internet infrastructure and systems,” said Larry Mincer, President of VDS.  “By providing accurate and continuous look-ahead into the broadcast day, streaming media platforms, social media networks and digital ad systems can provide value-add like never before while benefitting agencies and broadcasters via synchronized, multi-platform ad placement. Sentinel Cloud is technology that empowers advertisers to combine the reach of TV ads and the depth of digital ads.”

Key features of Sentinel Cloud include:

  • Digital Ad Placements -- Ensure TV synced placements by sending digital ads in advance of a specific commercial spot playout by a broadcaster, at the exact time of playout, or after the playout.

  • Social Messaging --  Use the data for online social networks to cue rule-based social media messages, which can be sent at precise times in relation to the broadcast of specific programs, promos or commercial spots.

  • Digital Ad Optimization -- Provide value to brands, advertisers and media companies in the form of streaming dynamic ad insertion (DAI), streaming content substitution (for DRM) and program and ad boundary signaling for MPVDs.

  • Partner Management -- Define complex break ownership scenarios, enabling programmers to easily manage their partner & affiliate agreements.

Sentinel Cloud, which can be capex or opex, is comprised of a lightweight Sentinel Agent application at the Broadcast or Cable NOC which streams current and forward looking data related to the broadcast playout of programs, advertisements and promos to the Sentinel Cloud located software. This software organizes the received data for multiple simultaneous channels, applies rules for its utilization, stores the data, and serves it up to external applications.

VDS is currently exhibiting at NAB in Las Vegas, Booth N7925. For more information on VDS and Sentinel Cloud, please visit

About VDS

Since 1997, VDS has been providing automation and content design tools for the broadcast, cable television, internet, and post production markets. VDS products offer automated control of broadcast television systems, with an emphasis on graphics-related operations, content distribution and automation, and internet-to-video and video-to-internet systems. These products are used in fully automated sports, news and financial graphics channels as well as the automated management of digital assets and the automated generation of promos in multichannel broadcast or cable facilities.

VDS Social Media tools include Watercooler for the automation of Social Media messages in sync with automation playback, and Soapbox for the display of Social Media messages in a graphical format on air. VDS content creation products help broadcast and post-production artists create eye-catching visual effects and apply cutting edge image processing algorithms to still graphics and moving footage. VDS’s content creation toolset includes imaging/FX and media import/export plug-ins for editing/compositing systems, and an advanced paint system for broadcast graphics.

For more information, please visit