Pebble Beach Systems Marina automates Germany’s ZDF

Pebble Beach Systems has been selected by German national public television broadcaster ZDF (Zweites Deutsches Fernsehen) to supply a Marina enterprise level automation system that will control six high-definition channels from ZDF’s playout centre in Mainz.

This is the first installation of the Marina system since its introduction at IBC 2009. It includes multiple redundancy options, full Unicode compliance, a highly agile playlist engine and an architecture that enables fewer operators to control more channels.

ZDF is in the midst of upgrading and centralizing the transmission infrastructure across six of its channels to coincide with the start of regular HD transmissions on Astra, scheduled for early this year. The transmission center will control the ZDF Main Channel, ZDF Info, ZDF Neo and ZDF theatre channels, each of which has a high degree of live content, as well as the 3Sat channel. ZDF have specified that the migration to the new technology should take place during normal operations, with the first control room scheduled for completion in time for ZDF’s HDTV launch and the Vancouver Winter Olympics in February.

The prime contractor for the project at ZDF’s Mainz-Lerchenberg headquarters is German system integrator Studio Hamburg MCI.

The Marina platform will be used by ZDF for playout where the system will control Harris Nexio video servers, Evertz transmission mixers and routers, subtitlers, keyers, VPS, graphics and many other devices used by ZDF in their transmission chains. The system will also integrate with the Blue Order Content Management System and ZDF’ own in-house traffic system to provide a workflow that minimizes the need for operator intervention.