Omneon Spectrum supports tapeless facility at German broadcaster Bayerischer Rundfunk

Bayerischer Rundfunk (BR), the public radio and TV broadcaster for the German state of Bavaria, has deployed an Omneon Spectrum media server system to support tapeless operations in a new state-of the-art facility in Munich. BR worked with German distributor Netorium to integrate the Spectrum media server system as a key element of its transition from a traditional tape-based to a file-based operation. The operation went live in March 2007.

BR's new facility consists of four playout complexes and an integrated digital production and archive area for the main channel, Bayerisches Fernsehen, and the educational channel, BR Alpha. By replacing a tape-based system, the Spectrum gives the network flexible media access and playout.

Within the new BR facility, the Spectrum servers support retrieval of material from archive, nonlinear editing, studio production and on-air playout. The new workflow at BR begins with ingest of material into the Omneon server systems — and later into a Front Porch Digital DIVArchive system through Harris iMedia. Integration of the facility's 64 Avid editors and six Avid Unity systems with the Omneon servers via Marquis Medway system brings the servers and editing stations into a unified working environment.

The BR production server system consists of three Omneon modules, each featuring 24 to 31 channels of MXF-wrapped MPEG IMX 50Mb video and 600 hours of storage. The Spectrum system's native MXF implementation was another reason BR selected the platform. MXF streamlines direct transfer of files over the broadcaster's IT infrastructure, allowing BR to avoid multiple stages of compression and decompression so the interchange is more straightforward. BR was one of the first German broadcasters to apply MXF as its house standard.

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