COTS

Commercial off-the-shelf, usually referring to the use of common components from the computer market to create a product, or application. For instance COTS components and say, a Windows platform, can be used to make a channel-in-a-box integrated video playout system that replaces a host of dedicated hardware. Typically, to meet broadcasters’ expectations of reliability and performance, considerable attention to the precise choice of platform (not all computers are the same) along with considerable software development and testing is needed. The use of COTS in television and movie production is now commonplace. High end editing runs on COTS-based platforms, with the big development effort in software, not hardware!