(click thumbnail)Omneon equipment installed at WHSV-TVWe recently augmented our first HD service, the transmission of ABC network HD content. This was part of a project that also involved the addition of new SD channels, including FOX network, MyNetworkTV, a hub for a ghost station in another market, and we have plans underway to launch FOX HD very soon. We’re using Omneon Spectrum media server systems to support these playout operations, and the modular design of the systems has allowed us to grow at our own pace and build in the redundancy we need for our new channels.
I’ve liked the Omneon systems ever since I first learned about them. Perhaps the greatest benefit they offer is scalability, which is ideal for broadcasters in smaller markets. We didn’t have to buy a large chassis to get what we needed. And, to incorporate HD capability into our operations, we simply added an Omneon HD MultiPort module to our infrastructure rather than having to replace existing systems. For a small station such as WHSV-TV, the ability to expand operations and play-out capability through a straightforward upgrade is very appealing.
We didn’t need to lock ourselves into a particular configuration in order to expand. Instead, we were able to adapt the existing system and add new ports for play-out or ingest as necessary. In building the backbone of a transmission infrastructure and everything that lives on it, you’ve got to be sure you invest in the right equipment.
I feel every dollar has been well spent on our Omneon system. The present Spectrum server configuration includes 10-channel SD play-out, 2-channel HD play-out and seven channels of ingest utilizing four TB of shared storage. The HD modules simplify our simulcasting operations by providing support for HD and SD on the same timeline, as well as simultaneous HD and SD outputs.
Our Omneon server system operates under the control of Harris automation, replacing the tape-based system we relied upon previously. The shift to server-based operations has allowed us to get away from juggling tapes, an issue that would have become even more problematic with the addition of separate networks.
Omneon provides us with a newer and more streamlined environment for the launching of additional networks. The technology has redefined our workflow, allowing us to handle any media type and simplifying our access to those assets. Our operators have found the Omneon systems to be very intuitive and easy to use. After a day or two of training from Omneon, our staff felt very comfortable with the systems. In the launch of our multicasting with HD playout, the Omneon gear was the most rock-solid piece of the equation, and we have enjoyed their excellent support.
The flexibility of the Omneon systems has let us take a smart, building-block approach to our growth. Once the basic system was in place, we’ve been able to add additional modules as necessary. It’s easily scalable and integrates well with third-party systems. As we continue to expand our use of the server systems, we’re looking at integrating them with our Final Cut Pro editing systems for even greater workflow improvement.
Sean Harper is a Virginia native and has been with WHSV for 10 years. He may be contacted at email@example.com. For additional information, contact Omneon at 866-861-5690 or visit www.omneon.com.
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