Television

ESS selects Omneon MediaGrid and Spectrum for tapeless production environment

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MUMBAI: TOmneon Video Networks has announced that ESPN Star Sports (ESS) has purchased a MediaGrid active storage system and Omneon Spectrum media server systems.

This will serve as the core of a new production system capable of handling 2,000 hours of media at 50 MB/s. The storage and server implementation, which is being designed and supplied by UK-based systems integrator TSL, will support a new file-based environment and a much more flexible and collaborative production workflow for the network’s live sports and sports news coverage.

Combining grid storage and grid computing through the use of multiple intelligent, interconnected-yet-independent storage servers, the Omneon MediaGrid system dramatically enhances the efficiency of digital media access for users and applications across the entire broadcast workflow. The MediaGrid system provides centralized shared storage that is scalable in capacity, bandwidth, and media processing power.

The modular MediaGrid system uses industry-standard components and connectivity to create a highly configurable, reliable, and cost-effective system. Components of the system communicate over standard Ethernet networks and generate massive aggregate bandwidth that is available to external clients of the system, eliminating bottlenecks associated with traditional shared-storage environments. Each storage component is also a media-processing engine, making computational resources available to applications for media-processing functions while content resides within the storage system.

The Omneon-based storage system will be managed by an OmniBus OPUS News & Sports Logging system and deliver archive content to a new Front Porch Digital DIVArchive system. The initial system build and test of the overall production system at ESS is scheduled for January 2007.

ESS senior VP, operations and technology Tom McVeigh says, “In the fast-moving world of multiregion, multilanguage live sports, we need technology that allows us to enhance the offerings we provide to our viewers. Omneon’s storage solutions are flexible, scalable, and future-proof systems we can rely on to deliver cost-effective storage for our production environment.

"The MediaGrid will integrate well with our existing systems and with other new gear to enable a complete overhaul of our production workflows. It is one of the more critical pieces in this puzzle, and it will play a key role in enabling us to achieve our overall project objectives.

ESS is moving from a totally tape-based production environment to a fully server-based environment, which will allow the network to establish far more rapid turnaround of sports content to its 13 television networks. The project, dubbed Home Run will incorporate the Omneon MediaGrid system and four Omneon Spectrum media servers equipped with 50 I/O ports and linked directly to 25 Apple Creative Studio systems, equipped with Final Cut Pro® nonlinear edit systems, to enable immediate edit-in-place capability at multiple workstations simultaneously. Within this collaborative workflow, production staff will not only gain faster access to media, but also gain the ability to view and work with other packages under production.

TSL head of sales Russell Grute says, “The timely and accurate production of sports content for 13 channels broadcast in four languages to 26 countries presents an enormous technical challenge. Omneon’s storage systems in conjunction with OmniBus’ Opus will greatly enhance the capacity, flexibility, and speed of operations at ESS, enabling the new Home Run system to offer a faster and more collaborative workflow. A whole new approach to production and media lifecycle management for a busy sports and news broadcaster like ESS.”

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