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Manhattan Neighborhood Network Employs Snell Systems for Monitoring and Playout

READING, U.K.–New York City public access network Manhattan Neighborhood Network (MNN) has chosen content distribution provider Snell's Morpheus playout automation, ICE channel-in-a-box, Sirius 128 x 128 router and Hyperion monitoring system for its new digital broadcast infrastructure.

MNN currently broadcasts four channels of content that reach more than 600,000 cable subscribers and says that it has been pleased with the usability of the Snell platform, finding it an improvement over their old system. “With Morpheus, for instance, playing out a promo is as simple as dragging and dropping a file,” said Hector Pena, manager of broadcast operations at MNN.

>In the MNN digital operation, Snell's Morpheus provides front-facing program ingest and playout, controlling devices such as Snell's ICE channel-in-a-box system and Harmonic Spectrum servers.

As MNN strives for redundant playout and quality of experience, the network relies on Snell's Hyperion monitoring system, which continuously monitors and logs aired content on all four channels. When the system detects an audio or video error late, it generates an email notification to the on-call engineer — who can then log into the system remotely and make the necessary corrections to the signal, Snell explains. Since ICE is mirroring the playout, the engineer can switch to the backup server without any interruption in the broadcast and therefore troubleshoot and correct issues with the main server. With the ICE-Hyperion combination, MNN has been able to operate without personnel monitoring the system during late-night and early-morning shifts.

The Signal Sentri, another Snell monitoring system, combines Hyperion's content monitoring tools with a 2 x 1 changeover switch. The Signal Sentri is able to trigger the appropriate changeover after checking if the failover partner has valid video and audio.

“The MNN has a well-deserved reputation for being on the technological forefront of public access programming in the U.S. — and it's gotten the attention of public access networks from all over the country for its digital broadcast infrastructure,” said Jonathan Goldstein, president of Americas at Snell.