Post & network production facilities
Omneon Design Team
Chris Wieland, dir. of tech.;
Jürgen Buchs, dir. of prog. ops;
Andreas Simonis, head of VTR area/QA;
Andreas Scheufler, head of broadcast IT
Vision 5 Media:
Norbert Funk, owner
Technology at work
Apple Final Cut Pro editing
Avid ISIS media network with Interplay
Blue Order Media Archive
EVS XT servers
MediaGrid active storage
ProBrowse media proxy system
Spectrum media servers
Pro-Bel Morpheus automation
Quantum Scalar i2000 robotic systems with LTO 4 tape library
Flashnet 4 node system
StoreNext file system
Marquis Medway media transfer and format conversion system
PLAZAMEDIA in Germany shifts to entirely tapeless platform with Omneon
PLAZAMEDIA, a full-service TV provider and Germany’s largest sports TV producer, is the first of its kind in Germany to shift to an entirely tapeless and IT-based platform. PLAZAMEDIA transmits 19 simultaneous channels as a 24/7 service and up to 60 transmission channels during live sports production for clients.
PLAZAMEDIA was founded in Munich in 1976 and in 1995 moved to buildings that once housed a brick factory on the outskirts of Munich. In 2006, it began construction of a new, contemporary-style building on the same site to house what it calls its new “eCenter.” The goal of the project was to make the operation more streamlined, cost-effective and scalable while improving service for clients.
Clients correctly anticipated the improvements in editorial quality and timeliness — critical to sports programming — that would be realized as a result of an IT-based system. For example, access to digitally archived clips from remote locations now enables sports journalists covering international Formula One racing to produce and air more exciting, compelling and relevant stories. Likewise, producers take advantage of flexible file-based production techniques to broaden their audience by repackaging content for multiple platforms including mobile phones.
Working with systems integrator Netorium and Vision 5 Media, PLAZAMEDIA developed a workflow in which content is ingested to Omneon Spectrum media servers under the direction of Blue Order Media Archive and then sent to a redundant 24TB Omneon MediaGrid storage system for resilient central storage. Omneon ProBrowse, integrated with the MediaGrid, generates browse proxies even as content is still being recorded. The low-res proxies are available quickly via Blue Order management to editors creating programming at workstations, a crucial benefit in the fast-paced sports programming environment.
Directed by Marquis Medway, MXF-wrapped IMX 50 files then make the roundtrip from the MediaGrid to Avid editing and back, at which point an Omneon ProXchange system transcodes designated files into MPEG long GOP for playout under Pro-Bel Morpheus automation. The MediaGrid also interfaces with EVS servers used for live sports production and an SGL-managed tape library for deep archive.
The facility is HD ready, and as German broadcasters transition to HD transmission in 2009, so will PLAZAMEDIA. The eCenter platform offers clients a solution for all aspects of file-based production. As Chris Wieland, technology director, put it, “PLAZAMEDIA’s location on the site of a massive former brick factory on the outskirts of Munich is a great reminder of the technological and economic progress we have made.”