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Omneon Intros Reflect Strategy to Stretch - TvTechnology

Omneon Intros Reflect Strategy to Stretch

Omneon’s expansion plans were revealed at the 2008 NAB Show in a nondescript room at The Palms Resort.
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Omneon’s expansion plan was revealed at the 2008 NAB Show in a nondescript room at The Palms Resort. Chief of Marketing Geoff Stedman confirmed that the Sunnyvale, Calif., server concern is setting its sights beyond the broadcast sector.

“We’re looking at the post market,” and any sector moving video, he said.

(Mention “Google,” and Stedman’s eyes light up before lamenting that YouTube’s parent company uses its own proprietary servers.)

Though Omneon remains healthy, the company needs to grow.

SERVERS WISE UP

Ten years ago, when Omneon launched, there were no YouTubes. There were TV networks and stations migrating to file-based digital workflows. Omneon caught that wave and established itself in the broadcast market with its Spectrum static video server line.

Last year’s appearance of MediaGrid represented the move into a type of cognizant storage that can dynamically allocate its own processing power and bandwidth. ProXchange transcoding was added to move files between applications. One European customer deployed a 267 TB MediaGrid system and ran 360 streams of DV video through Final Cut Pro via Ethernet at 25 Mbps, according to Stedman. Another in Asia had 22 users simultaneously pulling 100 Mbps streams.

Then Omneon added global file transport capability last year with its $6.3 million stock purchase of Castify Networks, a software company based near Nice, France.

TRANSPORT SMACKDOWN

Castify’s product, now renamed ProCast, significantly improves on file transport protocol, or ftp, for global file transport, according to Stedman; where ftp slows over long distances, ProCast maintains velocity.

The refrain is Omneon’s the pièce de résistance for the post market, though clearly there are broadcast applications as well. “Think of a news organization with multiple bureaus that want to push files in real time, or a national broadcaster with regions,” Stedman said.

Or, perhaps, a national broadcaster covering the Olympics in Beijing, where NBC will deploy a complement of Omneon MediaDecks — essentially mini Spectrums — to briefly store low- and high-resolution video for transfer to a MediaGrid.

The MediaGrid in Beijing will move the low-res video via ProCast to another MediaGrid in the United States, where NBC producers will use it to request only the high-res clips they want.

The deployment portends a twofold opportunity: the high-profile use of Omneon’s systems and a substantial debut in the Chinese market.