Scripps Launches HD Channels on Omneon Spectrum System

Scripps Networks is using Omneon Spectrum media server systems to launch its Food Network HD and HGTV HD networks, as well as its Great American Country (GAC) SD network.

The Omneon systems, which support ingest and play-out, allow Scripps to intermix SD and HD content. Scripps is using one 24-TB Spectrum system to support ingest of HD content and two 12-TB Spectrum systems for redundant play-out operations. Video shot for Food Network HD and HGTV HD is ingested to the Spectrum server system and then archived via a Masstech Hierarchical Storage Management system to a StorageTek nearline archive. HD material is encoded through a Snell & Wilcox Memphis HD MPEG-2 encoder, and interstitial content originated in SD is upconverted via a Teranex Volare. When content is needed for air, the system restores it to both the main and backup Spectrum playout servers, which run under OmniBus automation.

"The Omneon server systems are fully MXF-compliant and able to handle closed captioning and audio tracks independently. They allow us to intermix HD and SD content and are very flexible in terms of ports and storage, which are essentially hot-swappable," said Scripps Senior Vice President of Broadcast Operations and Maintenance Engineering John Ajamie. "The ability to expand the system while we're on-air is an enormous advantage, as it will allow us to extend the capabilities of the system farther on down the road."

When complete at the end of this year, Scripps' Omneon-based transmission infrastructure will support play-out operations for all of its networks, both SD and HD.