KCSM-TV Taps Omneon for Tapeless Ops

Use of Omneon products is closely linked to our smooth migration from videotape-based operations to a tapeless environment.
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The KCSM Omneon server configuration
We've had a long-term goal—going back to the late 1990s—of instituting a "tapeless" air operation. Early on we became committed to the idea of a storage system that would not involve a robotic interface and did not require that nearline storage be on tape. Our initial experience with video servers in the early 1990s involved a product called a virtual recorder, or "VR." It was a primitive system, but it functioned quite well for playback of short-form material such as IDs and promos for station breaks.

By the late '90s we had acquired our first video file server. While it provided us with opportunities for learning about integrating a server into production and air operations and also about maintaining a more sophisticated system, it didn't have the storage capacity that we needed for daily operations.


By mid-2003 server technology had undergone significant development, and we were ready to start looking at servers with capacity for storing enough video files for "everyday use." With the purchase of an Omneon Spectrum media server system in March 2004, we were well on our way to our goal of tapeless operation.

It wasn't until the fall of 2009 that we arrived at this goal, with the integration of a new Omneon MediaGrid active storage system with Sundance automation, including Sundance'a Archive Manager. We use the Omneon MediaGrid as nearline storage, with files moving between the Omneon MediaGrid and Spectrum under Sundance control. Our original Spectrum is still in operation, although we've updated the system with additional I/O ports and storage for supporting eight HD/SD bidirectional channels and eight HD/SD play-out channels, all with automatic upconversion.

Our Omneon Media-Grid offers 240 TB of raw storage and provides ready access to stored content via a high-bandwidth network infrastructure.

The expansion of our Omneon media storage and processing platform also included the addition of a new Omneon MediaDeck media server for supporting live production. The system provides four bidirectional channels with eight 500-GB disk drives (a total of 3 TB), as well as a complete Omneon ProBrowse system with two proxy generators to speed and simplify media browsing and access.


Use of Omneon products is closely linked to our smooth migration from videotape-based operations to a tapeless environment. Omneon's scalability and modularity made it easy to incorporate HD support incrementally and to preserve our original investment, rather than invest in a whole new server system. The Omneon media storage and processing platform, delivered by systems integrator Advanced Systems Group, supports our digitization of existing tape-based media and, in turn, provides a centralized repository from which we can access video with ease. The upgrade of our Omneon systems also has positioned us to accommodate new distribution and acquisition formats.

Since our purchase of the first Spectrum system in 2004, we've found Omneon servers and storage devices to be very reliable. We've always been happy with Omneon tech support and service, and the level of satisfaction we've experienced during the first five years of Spectrum media server ownership made it an easy choice to continue with Omneon products as we continue to grow and refine our broadcast production and air operations.

Michelle Muller got her start in broadcasting as a student at the KCSM operation, returning in 1998 as its director of technology. She is a member of the Society of Broadcast Engineers and holds three SBE certifications. She may be contacted atmichele@kcsm.net.

For additional information, contact Omneon at 408-585-5000 or visitwww.omneon.com.