Major Media Moves to Tapeless With Omneon

As many broadcasters migrate to tapeless news production to streamline workflow and provide a better on-air product, Lifetime Entertainment Services and Mexico City’s Grupo Televisa S.A. join the fold with Omneon Video Networks’ MediaGrid storage system and Spectrum servers.

Lifetime Entertainment Services, owner of the Lifetime and LMN cable networks, has deployed Omneon Spectrum media server systems to support tapeless SD ingest and play-out of four channels at its new 50,000-square-foot technical facility in Manhattan.

Lifetime’s new facility was designed to merge broadcast and IT technology into an efficient file-based workflow from ingest to storage, play-out and archiving. The facility, which was designed to accommodate growth, currently includes nine active editing rooms with space for three more, as well as five master control pods — two running the SD networks, one running the HD network, and one each for engineering and training — and four quality-control rooms.

Three Omneon Spectrum servers sit at the heart of the facility. Following post production, hi-res 50 Mbps MPEG files are transcoded to an Omneon Spectrum system used for staging and material prep. After content review under the control of Harris automation, the files are sent to a larger, online pair of Spectrum play-out servers to provide full redundancy. Material that is not used within a certain timeframe is moved to nearline or long-term archive under the management of a Masstech MassStore system.

To allow for additional redundancy and security, all content is played down three hours in advance of airtime and cached so that by the time programming airs, technicians have plenty of time to correct a problem and to even review the fix.

Lifetime has installed a fourth Omneon Spectrum system for play-out for a recently launched HD simulcast of the LMN service. A fifth Spectrum is being used for backup at Lifetime’s disaster-recovery operation in Tappan, N.Y., which automatically mirrors three days worth of programming.

Grupo Televisa S.A. will soon be using Omneon Video Networks video server technology in daily operations at the company’s television operations in Mexico City. The broadcaster is installing an Omneon MediaGrid active storage system and five Omneon Spectrum media servers in its Chapultepec and Santa Fe facilities.

“Our overall corporate vision is to implement a tapeless workflow and media asset management system across all of our facilities,” said Jorge Cosio Coronado, technical manager for Televisa Canales, the broadcast technology center located in the Chapultepec facility. “With format independence as well as its scalability and reliability, the MediaGrid and Spectrum systems give us a solid infrastructure on which to execute this strategy.”

The Chapultepec Televisa facility produces news and other programming and transmits three major network feeds, as well as a local channel. The Santa Fe facility is used for production of reality and other types of television programming, as well as for a commercial ingest point.

As part of the installation, Televisa will be migrating more than 10,000 files to the Omneon system from legacy servers.