Ohio News Net Moves to IT-Based Distribution

The Ohio News Network (ONN) has opted to move away from satellite-based distribution of its feeds to cable headends around the state, shifting instead to a video-over-Internet modality. The Columbus-based operation is now providing feeds to 16 cable systems via high-speed Internet connectivity using Haivision’s Barracuda H.264 technology coupled with Zixi Media’s content management system.

“We relied on satellite delivery at 9 Mbps for nearly 15 years, but now with Haivision's remarkably efficient H.264 encoding and Zixi's content broadcast and media management hub, we can deliver the same quality signal over a standard IP connection using a third of the bandwidth,” said Pat Ingram, director of engineering at ONN. “Without changing any part of our production workflow, we've been able to realize reliable, real-time point-to-multipoint delivery at a fraction of the cost of our earlier long-haul video delivery model.”

Video from the ONN studio is encoded by two Barracuda encoders and then passed to the Zixi Feeder and Broadcaster, which transmits the content via the Internet to Zixi receiver units installed at each of the cable system headends. At that point the streams are decoded as SD-SDI video for cable transmission.

“ONN was able to install this new IP solution with complete transparency, and going forward, the station can just as easily expand the system to add channels or extend high-quality video to additional headends,” said Peter Maag, Haivision’s senior vice president. “The installation at ONN demonstrates how simply broadcasters can employ advanced encoding and delivery solutions to realize significant cost savings with virtually no impact on operations or video quality.”