New studio technology — network
Wohler Technologies Design Team
Gino Ma Paw Youn, tech. broadcast dir.
Yves Pinon, consultant
Kim Templeman-Holmes, VP sales and marketing;
Carl J. Dempsey, pres. and CEO
Andrew Lambourne, CEO
Technology at work
Front Porch Digital
Omneon Spectrum HD
SGT DBOS automation
SDI closed- captioning bridges
Canal Overseas streamlines SD/HD facility with innovative closed-captioning technology
Canal Overseas, a subsidiary of French broadcast group Canal+, provides 24/7 direct-to-home satellite distribution of programming, a blend of more than 300 premium channels and bouquets of thematic channels and services, to more than 1.7 million homes in Poland, Africa and French overseas territories. The company recently upgraded its facilities to accommodate SD and HD content. In making this shift, it adopted a solution that enabled the design of a cost-effective hybrid storage and playout facility.
Among the most important concerns for Canal Overseas in rebuilding its facility, located outside Paris in St. Cloud, was establishing a streamlined, cost-saving SD/HD workflow for more than a dozen channels while continuing the requirements of markets still demanding delivery of SD teletext subtitles. The resulting storage and playout architecture was designed to store content only in HD, rather than both SD and HD, but play out content in both formats. To address the issue of subtitling, Canal Overseas turned to the HDCC-200A HD/SD-SDI closed-captioning bridge from Wohler Technologies.
The HCCC-200A enables Canal Overseas to embed World System Teletext (WST) data into the HD-SDI signal vertical ancillary data (VANC) during ingest, record subtitled content to the HD broadcast server and then play back programming to the 14 different Canal Overseas channels. The teletext subtitles are encoded within an HD ingest workflow and decoded back to teletext at the time of playout.
The bridge provides encoding and decoding of teletext subtitle data within the HD-SDI video signal. Eleven units are used to embed teletext data in the HD-SDI signal (VANC) during ingest. This allows six programs to be recorded simultaneously from external HD feeds with SD and the VBI-related signal, from external SD feeds upconverted during the ingest process or from HD tape programs with EBU subtitle files. These are stored on an HD broadcast server.
During playout, 16 bridges extract the HD-VANC data and re-encode it as conventional VBI teletext subtitling into a parallel SD-SDI signal downconverted from the HD. The SD-VBI subtitles are then either displayed for local monitoring (preview channels), converted into DVB teletext subtitles on the downconverted SD-transmitted channels, or converted into DVB subtitling on HD-transmitted channels.
The HDCC-200A is based on Europa Australia specifications (OP47/SMPTE RDD08), and this installation is one of the first uses of the CE-compliant card in a teletext subtitle application outside Australia. The Free TV OP47 standard supported by the HDCC-200A is proposed for adoption by SMPTE. Canal Overseas’ transition to SD/HD broadcasting has enabled cost-savings and simplified operations while positioning the company to manage multiformat and multichannel broadcasting to a variety of markets.