Harmonic Playout Platform Powers MLB Network

Software-based Spectrum X said to lay a path to future IP migration
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SAN JOSE, CALIF. —Harmonic today announced that MLB Network has upgraded its existing Harmonic playout platform with a new software-based Spectrum X advanced media server system. Using the Spectrum X server for MPEG-2 HD playout and recording, Harmonic said MLB Network achieved increased workflow efficiency for its extensive studio programming and live game coverage, including 150 regular season games, post-season game telecasts, more than 150 spring training games and special event coverage.

“MLB Network is the ultimate television destination for baseball fans, featuring live game coverage, original programming, highlights, and insights and analysis. Given the wide amount of content that we deliver, having an efficient and cost-effective production and playout solution is imperative,” said Mark Haden, vice president of engineering and IT at MLB Network. “Harmonic’s Spectrum X media server offers everything we need: rock-solid reliability, support for a wide range of video codecs and formats, high throughput and low power consumption, enabling us to produce and distribute high-quality content to fans of America’s national pastime.”

Harmonic pointed out that according to Futuresource Consulting, IP-based production will become universal by 2025. Harmonic’s Spectrum X advanced media server system streamlines MLB Network’s migration path to an IP playout infrastructure in the future, offering support for both baseband and next-generation internet protocols via a flexible and reliable software-based infrastructure. Moreover, the scalability of the Spectrum X media server architecture will allow the network to efficiently adopt new formats such as SMPTE 2022-6, and transition to UHD when needed. An additional benefit of the Spectrum X solution is its open API, which ensured a smooth integration with MLB Network’s existing playout automation system.