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FOX SPORTS’ digital overhaul

digital overhaul

Premier Media Group, operators of FOX SPORTS ONE and TWO in Sydney, Australia, selected SGI to install a complete digital infrastructure for D10/MXF operation. Media throughout the facility is SD widescreen. Although the channel outputs are 16:9, they are formatted for 4:3 active safe area for a number of legacy distribution channels. The introduction of digital interactive TV services in Australia requires multiple program streams for live sporting events.

For transmission and ingest, the group purchased three five-channel MXF format media servers with redundant SGI InfiniteStorage RAID arrays and TP900 storage. This is supported by a SAN with TP9100 and TP9300 storage, sufficient to store 70 hours of D10 material in the MXF format and 10 years of on-line browse material. A tape library that archives low-resolution browsing material and 30Mb/s high-resolution D10/MXF clips operates under data-lifecycle-management software. Ardendo software applications manage VTR ingest, schedule automated ingest from live sources and the Odetics videotape robot, and transcode for browse/edit and key frame extraction. The automated DART ingest application manages automated routing for ingest to servers. Ardeno handles media-file management to the storage solution and from storage to the transmission servers, as well as the interface to future NLEs and graphics workstations.

From ingest to playout of MXF, an ARDOME Enterprise MAM solution provides comprehensive asset management. It interfaces with the traffic and automation solutions and permits enterprise-wide desktop browse/editing and high-resolution conforming of MXF files for transmission or fulfillment. Within the InfiniteStorage solution, an Origin 350 file server provides NFS and SGI InfiniteStorage Shared Filesystem CXFS file services to Ardendo servers and desktop systems to support browsing, editing, storage and recovery. CXFS allows users to share files instantly across hardware platforms and among multiple operating systems.

The server also hosts DMF software, which provides user-configurable software tools to manage migration of media between TP9100 and TP9300 disk-based storage and the PetaSite datatape archive. An InfiniteStorage TP9300 Serial ATA storage array, providing shared disk storage for up to 10 years for instant access to on-line low-resolution proxies in MPEG-1 format and all metadata, is also attached.

Software installations include the IRIX OS for the media server and Origin 350, and SAMBA protocol for file serving to Windows OS-based PCs. The SAN is prepared for an NFS server for file serving to UNIX servers and CXFS shared file system clients for two Ardendo servers based on the Linux operating system, two SGI IRIX systems and two Windows 2000 PCs.

This new shared file system will help the network expand. It recently added two new channels, FUEL and HOW TO, to its existing FOX SPORTS ONE and FOX SPORTS TWO channels.

Design Team
Premier Media Group:
Chris Rauchle, dir. of broadcast op.
Andrew Bradley, on-air services mgr.
Michael Day, CE
Susan Vine, project mgr.

Silicon Graphics (SGI):
Greg Doyle, system architect
David Honey, project mgr.
Mike Grayson, system integration
Mark Magallo, account mgr.

Ardendo: Eric Bafors, project mgr./team leader
Mikael Wahlberg, software development
Martin Fellbrink, software development
Equipment List
SGI: Media Server, InfiniteStorage TP900 InfiniteStorage TP9100, InfiniteStorage TP9300, InfiniteStorage DMF data lifecycle management software, Origin 350 file server, InfiniteStorage shared file system CXFS, InfiniteStorage TP9300 serial ATA storage array
Sony PetaSite tape library
Odetics videotape robot
ARDOME Enterprise MAM
SAMBA protocol
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