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Evertz Helps Russia’s Channel One Transition to IP

(Image credit: Evertz)

BURLINGTON, Ontario—The Russian broadcaster, Channel One, has made the leap from HD-SDI technology to full IP after installing an Evertz Mediator playout and content distribution system at its Ostankino Technical Centre in Moscow, Evertz announced. 

The system is now being used to broadcast 12 channels of news, sports and entertainment to more than 250 million viewers worldwide.

Over the last four years, the Ostankino Technical Centre has been transferring its own technical infrastructure to IP, using Evertz SDVN technology and equipment. 

Several factors played into the decision by Channel One to upgrade its playout facilities, the companies noted. 

These included a need to upgrade its video/audio stream routing and transmission to a more modern infrastructure and a doubling the number of channels broadcast from six to 12 that its facility needed to handle. 

Channel One also wanted to transition to ‘channel-in-a-box’ technology for on-air programs; to be able to handle more complex graphics; to improve compatibility with the output format requirements of satellite and cable providers; and to better integrate its playout system integration with its business applications.

System integrator OKNO-TV and its service company Telerent worked with Evertz to implement this project. Dmitry Sheykin, project engineer for OKNO-TV and technical director of Telerent, said a number of vendors were considered but the decision to use Evertz technology was based on prior good experiences with the company.

“Channel One and Evertz collaborated previously on the installation of a special 4K Channel with Dolby Atmos that was built for the broadcaster’s coverage of the 2018 FIFA World Cup,” he said. 

Igor Yadykin, deputy chief of the Technical department at Channel One, added that "making major changes to our playout facility is not something that we do often so we wanted to be sure it was a good investment. We are now the first broadcaster in Russia to embrace SMPTE ST2110 (IP) and we have modernized our channel distribution and playout by installing a more software driven, adaptable workflow.”

The Evertz Mediator system installed at Ostankino includes 29 Overture (ORT) Live integrated playout engines; 14 ORT Media Client record servers; 2 Render-X proxy generator servers; an advanced multi-node virtualization environment hosting Mediator core and computer nodes; 15 VUE CUBE workstations and two Isilon storage clusters (main and backup), each with 9 nodes.

For the IP infrastructure, OKNO-TV installed two Evertz EXE routers (main and backup) with MAGNUM SDVN and Client Host servers. An EQX router with MAGNUM were also installed for ingest.

Other components include monitoring tools such as VistaLINK PRO with graphics for the network management system (NMS) and inSITE for real-time data analytics; four TR4800E tally routers; two 5700MSC-IP Grand Master Clock and Video Master Clock systems; a 5601AC02 Automatic Changeover and a host of frames with modular products incorporating converters, amplifiers and infrastructure equipment.

Moving to new technology required retraining for over 200 people whose roles covered ingest and archive as well as playout.

OKNO-TV’s Dmitry Sheykin explained that “getting to grips with the new system was initially challenging, but once staff understood its capabilities, they were delighted by what it could achieve. The main highlight is having all control of the processes of air correction and modification carried out through a modern HTML5 web client. In the automation system’s client application, users can now schedule and view a copy of the broadcast programs in low resolution with accuracy up to the frame.”