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Encoda designs Russian facility

Russian Federation television network CTC is updating its Moscow playout facility from a tape-based automation system to a fully integrated, server-based solution.

The expansion is part of the network's strategy to improve reliability and operational efficiency and to enhance the national channel's on-air appearance. The new facility was designed and installed by Encoda Systems and Moscow broadcast consultant Elogar.

It includes an upgrade of its media delivery system to the new DAL Channel Manager (A-7500) Version 3 as well as a range of equipment from Grass Valley, Miranda and Quartz.

The DAL Channel Manager deploys Windows-based operator workstations. The core automation system runs under its own operation system and is not dependent on the workstations, allowing them to be re-booted without affecting on-air schedules. The new software automatically caches programs into the servers, notifying operators of any missing material. Once loaded, the transmission outputs can run with minimal operator intervention. The Windows interface allows CTC operators to configure screens to suit their needs and a Time-Line display gives a visual overview of all channels. Content Manager provides efficient server management which continuously monitors the servers and transfers material between them.

The overall system has robust storage capacity with the inclusion of two mirror-configured PVS 1000 Profile XP Media Platforms from Thomson multimedia. The servers provide twelve output ports and are connected via a high-speed fibre channel network. For on-air graphics, each transmission channel has a Miranda ImageStore-2 master control and channel branding system. A new, fault tolerant routing system from Quartz has been deployed allowing multiple failures to be bypassed to maintain transmission output at all times.

CTC is a commercial operation that provides 21 hours daily of programming and advertising packages to 150 regional broadcasters throughout the Russian Federation. The Moscow playout facility provides time-shifted national basic feeds to 300 cities across the four principal time zones plus a local feed for the CTC Moscow station.

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