NRK builds transcode workflow platform on Telestream Vantage

Norwegian national broadcaster NRK has updated its transcoding platform, moving to a highly automated network based on Telestream Vantage. The networked system is implemented in the broadcaster's Oslo headquarters and in 18 other regional centers. The system is responsible for hundreds of individual transcodes each day.

The latest release of Vantage software provides such a high level of quality that the system is used for primary format conversion between HD and SD. In the past, no software system had been able to meet NRK's quality requirements for this task.

According to NRK system administrator Jarle Igeltjørn, the system architecture and the workflows were designed in-house by NRK with support from Telestream. In total, there are 47 Vantage licenses in the network, with 29 of the servers in Oslo. The system includes 20 Telestream Lightspeed Servers: 1RU hardware devices designed with multiple CPU and GPU capability for the specific purpose of accelerating digital encoding and maintaining quality.

The new Vantage system provides a common platform for virtually all transcoding tasks within the broadcaster, including ingesting content, converting user-generated material to the house format, and providing multiple outputs and adaptive bit-rate streaming for online and mobile content delivery. In some workflows, graphics are automatically inserted, or content is replaced where NRK does not have the rights to transmit it online.

"In our main installation in Oslo, we have about 70 active workflows, which routinely process up to 700 encodes in a single day," said Egil Ljøstad, Head of File-based Production at NRK Technology. "We have seen as many as 1500 jobs in a day. In general, workflows are initiated automatically, either by the OmniBus asset management system or by the Signiant content delivery platform, but there is a drop folder system available when NRK staff need to initiate a process manually."