Harris Servers Drive GEB Operations

The Harris system was easy to learn.
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Harris Nexio Amp
TULSA, OKLA.—Golden Eagle Broadcasting is owned by the Oral Roberts University television network and based in Tulsa, Okla. We broadcast locally via station KGEB and also to cable and satellite systems as the GEB Network. The network has been gradually converting its analog infrastructure to digital, starting with our production operation in 2008 and moving to master control.

CREATING A NEW OPERATION

The initial phase began with the upgrade of server and automation systems for ingest and playout of air material. We selected Harris Nexio servers, due to their reliability and feature set. The choice was easy when it came time to upgrade the MC servers.

We went live with two Nexio Amp transmission servers at the end of the year. These were sized at 12 TB per unit and have an FTP client that allows our operators to move content between the master control and production servers. Both systems are tied to a centralized ADC automation system that controls server playout, as well as some of our VTRs and other units.

The servers support direct play-to-air and also can be controlled by the Nexio playlist manager. This provides a backup system and allows the network to occasionally air a special program without building a dedicated automation playlist.

The technical operations staff can pull content from the integrated storage or record a new feed for FTP transfer from one server to another. This is especially useful in instances where the production server resources are tied up on other projects. A master control operator can record a new feed or trim existing content in the air server and then is able to FTP it back to production.

Similarly, production servers can play out content to air if the master control resources are maximized. Operators are also starting to push content from the Nexio system to Final Cut for editing work. The content is then transferred to the air servers via FTP.

This flexibility is also useful during the overnight hours when there are overlapping feeds.

The integrated storage feature has been especially useful for the technical operations staff, as there is plenty of storage and the Nexio system design doesn't lock the network into just one resolution. The ability to use different data rates also provides better management and use of storage space.

BACKUP WITH NO WORRY

Reliability is also of prime importance at our operation. The Nexio servers use the Harris RAIDsoft software management system to oversee media drive redundancy and restoration tasks. If a drive fails, the operator can rebuild the RAID and continue operations without reloading everything.

Overall, the Harris system was easy to learn. We expect that our master control operators will be able to spend more time on QC, as they develop confidence in the reliability of the servers. And for those instances where they need to outsource work to the production server, they know that media can be easily moved from the air servers without any hassle. We expect the move to Nexio servers, along with ADC automation, will make life simpler for the entire staff.

Bill Lee is director of engineering for Golden Eagle Broadcasting. He may be contacted at blee@oru.edu.

For additional information, contact Harris at 800-231-9673 or visit www.broadcast.harris.com.