Discovery Finishes Move to Cloud For U.S. Network Playout

SILVER SPRING, MD.—Discovery Communications has wrapped up its transition to playout from Amazon Web Service’s public cloud based on technology from Evertz Microsystems, the network and Evertz announced this week.

The playout system, based on technology from Evertz, including Mediator-X, Overture-RT LIVE and Render-X, can be used to play to air pre-recorded as well as live programming.

Discovery Communications, which counts the Discovery Channel, TLC and ID among its brands, first used the new solution for a total of 40 hours of live coverage of the Barrett-Jackson auto auction from Las Vegas Oct. 19 and again on Oct. 21 on Velocity, said Dan Turow, vice president of File Based Solutions at Evertz, during a telephone interview.

“Evertz’ cloud-based playout solution has transformed Discovery Communications’ playout operations and has given us the scalability, flexibility and agility to address continuously evolving business and technical challenges,” Brinton Miller, senior vice president of Technology Strategy & Architecture at Discovery, said in a press announcement.

The playout setup also uses Evertz Software Defined Video Networking (SDVN) solutions using IPX Switch Fabrics, Network Address Translators (NAT) and encoding/decoding products.Video is moved to and from the cloud with mezzanine level compression as a transport stream, said Turow.

Amazon Web Services hosts the Evertz cloud-based playout solution natively. Six data centers, distributed across two geographic areas –one in northern Virginia and the other in Ireland-- host Mediator-X, Overture-RT LIVE and Render-X. Mediator-X provides Media Asset Management (MAM) functionality, serves as a workflow engine and provides playout automation. It prioritizes and automates file transfers to and from Amazon S3 storage.

Secondary events, such as logo and graphics insertion, SCTE metadata messaging, audio loudness correction, Nielsen watermarking and Dolby D encoding, are the domain of Evertz’ Overturn-RT LIVE, the company’s software modular playout engine. Discovery can scale its operations and recover playout instances using automated orchestration methods.

For more information on Discovery's move to the cloud, check out this recent webinar: Project On-Ramp: Migrating Discovery's Media Supply Chain to the Cloud.

Phil Kurz

Phil Kurz is a contributing editor to TV Tech. He has written about TV and video technology for more than 30 years and served as editor of three leading industry magazines. He earned a Bachelor of Journalism and a Master’s Degree in Journalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Journalism.