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Established in 1987 around the M6 Channel, France’s Métropole Télévision Group (M6 Group) has become a powerful multimedia group that offers a wide selection of programs, products and services via broadcast, the Internet and mobile services.

In 2007, to address growing consumer demand for multiplatform content, the M6 Group technical team began planning a complete upgrade of the company’s Paris production and delivery facilities. The upgrade was designed to create an entirely digital infrastructure facilitating efficient, cost-effective repurposing of media in multiple video formats not only for broadcast, but also for newer services including catch-up TV, video on demand (VoD), IPTV and mobile.

In building this file-based infrastructure, the M6 Group faced several challenges: to consolidate and centralize storage to reduce duplication of material and maximize the availability and value of assets; to enable fast, efficient repurposing of assets and achieve rapid turnaround for new media distribution; and to establish a highly stable and resilient system with complete redundancy. After evaluating solutions according to these requirements, the group chose to base its facility upgrade on a tightly integrated solution comprising Omneon video file infrastructure and processing systems and the Phoenix media management system from Media & Broadcast Technologies (MBT).

The state-of-the-art installation, completed over an aggressive 10-month schedule, incorporates seven Omneon Spectrum media servers, an Omneon MediaGrid active storage system and six Omneon ProXchange transcoding systems in an end-to-end file-based workflow for on-air delivery. Operating under the control of MBT’s Phoenix, the video infrastructure supports M6 and W9 digital terrestrial channels, Paris Première and TEVA pay-per-view channels, three music channels, and preparation and distribution of content for VoD, IPTV and mobile.

The systems enable a high degree of automation and faster, more cost-effective processes from media ingest to content repurposing and playout for multiple platforms. The Spectrum systems support ingest and enable encapsulation of descriptive metadata — such as Dolby and loudness information — into the MXF-wrapped files delivered to the MediaGrid system, which provides centralized storage of all of the group’s digital assets. The versatile handling of metadata and support for the latest MXF format enhances interoperability between other components in the system.

Running on the MediaGrid storage system, ProXchange generates low-resolution copies of media for fast, easy internal review and performs up to six simultaneous transcode operations to provide finished content in the correct video format for each distribution channel. Approximately 4000 clips are processed by ProXchange each week. All of this processing takes place within the MediaGrid, adding further speed to the M6 Group’s multiplatform repurposing and delivery workflow. Since the completion of the system, the M6 Group has proceeded to expand its services and to fulfill new distribution agreements with Internet providers.

  • Network automation
    Submitted by OmneonDesign teamM6: Christophe Foglio, CTO; Mathias Bejanin, dir. of eng.; Fabrice Tauzies, proj. mgr.; Bruno Bouillat, proj. mgr.; Mathieu Brossard, proj. mgr. Technology at workAvid: Edit systemMedia & Broadcast Technologies: Phoenix media management systemOmneon: MediaGrid active storage system, ProXchange transcode system, Spectrum media server systems

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