SUNNYVALE, Calif. — Jan. 30, 2009 — NBC Sports is using the Omneon ProCast CDN™ high-performance content distribution platform during its broadcast of Super Bowl XLIII to move large HD graphics and audio files from NBC’s facilities in New York to Raymond James Stadium in Tampa Bay, Fla. for on-air production on game day. Leading up to and during the game between the Arizona Cardinals and Pittsburgh Steelers on Feb. 1, NBC Sports will use ProCast CDN technology to deliver graphics files in a small fraction of the time normally required for such transfers. ProCast also allows NBC Sports to realize significant efficiencies in managing its resources, as the Omneon solution allows the graphics team and equipment to remain in New York rather than move to Tampa Bay for the game.
“We had a great experience using ProCast CDN to move graphics and video files the 6,000 miles from Beijing to New York for production of our Olympics coverage, so it was an obvious solution as we looked to establish a simpler, more efficient, and more cost-effective model of content distribution for our Super Bowl coverage,” said Phil Paully, director of graphics at NBC Sports. “ProCast CDN ensures fast, reliable delivery of large graphics files without jeopardizing voice communications and other critical data being transferred on the same circuit. It’s essentially invisible to our graphics team, and it provides our technical staff with easy on-the-fly management of file delivery during the game.”
ProCast CDN optimizes file transfers over any IP network, delivering dramatically increased efficiency over great distances. Incorporating advanced WAN acceleration technology, network management, and bandwidth prioritization, ProCast CDN enables NBC Sports to initiate, monitor, and manage transfers of large files between its New York offices and production units in Tampa Bay. Files are being sent over a DS3 network, backed up by a 20 Mbps VPN Internet circuit with automatic failover. With the ability to set QoS limits on the system, NBC engineers can ensure that they get maximum use out of the link without saturating the data circuit.
“ProCast CDN is the IP acceleration solution we’d been seeking for quite some time, and today it’s a critical part of our operations,” said Craig Lau, VP of information technology at NBC Sports. “Omneon ProCast system has been a rock solid and extremely effective means of quickly transferring large files for on-air production.”
Prior to working with ProCast CDN, NBC Sports performed much of its Super Bowl graphics work locally and relied on much slower and complex FTP transfers of media. Now graphics staff working at their usual Chyron Duet workstations in New York simply drop completed files into designated watch folders, and technical staff can manage — remotely and in real time — the transfer rate and priority of the files being delivered automatically to Tampa Bay. By maximizing NBC Sports’ bandwidth utilization, ProCast CDN technology ensures high-speed transfers with performance unaffected by distance or latency.
“NBC Sports has become the established leader in using high-speed content delivery networks to improve HD production capabilities while reducing operational costs and complexity,” said Geoff Stedman, Omneon senior vice president for products and markets. “By utilizing ProCast CDN for long-distance content delivery applications, the network is able to institute more flexible workflows and better use of its creative resources in bringing viewers dynamic sports programming.”
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About NBC Universal
NBC Universal is one of the world’s leading media and entertainment companies in the development, production, and marketing of entertainment, news, and information to a global audience. Formed in May 2004 through the combining of NBC and Vivendi Universal Entertainment, NBC Universal owns and operates a valuable portfolio of news and entertainment networks, a premier motion picture company, significant television production operations, a leading television stations group, and world-renowned theme parks. NBC Universal is 80 percent owned by General Electric and 20 percent owned by Vivendi.
Omneon Inc. is a leading provider of scalable media server and active storage systems that optimize workflow productivity and on-air reliability for the production, distribution, and management of digital media. Omneon is a pioneer in the use of advanced IT technologies and open systems for broadcast applications, producing a modular and expandable video server architecture in the Omneon Spectrum. The company’s MediaGrid active storage system delivers centralized content storage that is scalable in capacity, bandwidth, and media-processing power. The company has an extensive global presence with customers in more than 50 countries on six continents. Omneon is on the Web at www.omneon.com.
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