Fox Replaces Playout Infrastructure With Harmonic

SAN JOSE, CALIF. —Fox Broadcasting Corporation is updating the playout infrastructure at its Los Angeles broadcast center with a Harmonic solution built on Spectrum ChannelPort branded channel playout. Fox made the shift to file-based playout with integrated master control capabilities in preparation for its Fox Sports 1 Network, which launched Aug. 17.

“Our investment in Harmonic’s file-based playout solution is part of a major shift in how we produce and deliver content here at Fox,” said Joe Coffaro, vice president of engineering at Fox Networks Engineering and Operations. “The ChannelPort playout and surrounding video infrastructure from Harmonic provides the reliability, functionality, and efficiency we require.”

ChannelPort provides support for up to four channels per rack unit with low power consumption. The broadcast center in Los Angeles supports 14 Fox channels. This deployment relies on Harmonic infrastructure that includes Spectrum MediaDeck 7000 playout servers equipped with dozens of ChannelPort modules, redundant Harmonic MediaGrid shared storage systems, and MediaCenter server controllers with integrated storage that provide dozens of ingest channels. A redundant Media Application Server is integrated with the existing automation system to provide media asset management capabilities.

ChannelPort speeds the deployment of new SD and HD television channels by integrating branding and master control switching with clip playback on Spectrum. Possessing channel-in-a-box capabilities, the high-density ChannelPort enables the keying of multilayer graphics and dynamic text over playback or live video.

The dual DVE and eight-layer integrated branding capabilities offered by ChannelPort will enable Fox to create an on-screen look for its sports programming. By placing both the main program and the commercial content on the same screen, a double-box effect enables Fox to go to a commercial break without leaving the action. The commercial runs in a large box while the game or other live program runs in a smaller box in the upper corner of the screen, with a themed background plate that matches the content of the commercial.

See also: Fox Sports 1 Set for August Debut.