Weybridge, UK and Broomfield, CO., USA, February 23rd, 2017 – Pebble Beach Systems, a leading automation, content management and integrated channel specialist, has been instrumental in helping The Digital Media Centre (DMC) become one of the first television network operations centers in the world to successfully embrace virtualized playout from the cloud.
A leading European media gateway, DMC provides a full range of media services from media preparation to storage and delivery for a wide range of clients in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. The company originates 100 linear streams and provisions around 50,000 VOD assets to MVPDs (multichannel video programming distributors) per year and in a typical day, DMC delivers 5000 hours of media. Today DMC is successfully playing out 10 channels from Fox, Scripps, AMC, A+E, and others all via a virtualized private cloud based on Pebble's Orca virtualized IP solution from DMC’s location in Amsterdam.
With such a large operation, careful consideration was necessary to migrate and expand the capabilities of the facility. DMC’s original vision was to build an agile system that could bring channels to market faster than ever before. The DMC team wanted to get rid of their SDI infrastructure entirely and focus instead on IP-based solutions that could run on COTS (Commercial off-the-shelf) IT hardware that DMC would source and maintain.
“We were able to demonstrate that Pebble Beach Systems' Orca had the maturity to meet our needs,” said Jean-Louis Lods, director of business development at DMC. “Pebble’s ability to work closely to further refine and tweak the development of Orca based on our requirements sealed the deal.”
After a thorough vetting of solutions offered from five separate vendors, Pebble Beach Systems was awarded the contract for its Orca integrated channel devices controlled by Marina automation. Orca represents a software-only, virtualized implementation of Pebble’s Dolphin “channel-in-box” integrated device capable of running in private or public clouds, with IP inputs and outputs. Orca provides equivalent functionality in a pure software environment to discrete hardware video servers, graphics, audio processing, and subtitling systems.
The main benefit for DMC was in the reduced time to deliver a new channel. “Traditionally we would have a 12 to 14 week lead time to deliver a new channel including procuring all the SDI glue, the playout system and CiAB and compression,” said Lods. “With virtualized playout we can launch a channel in 10 minutes. This means clients can deliver pop-up channels, for example to test the market for a period of time."
Orca's flexibility, portability, and ease of maintenance has enabled DMC to react more quickly to their clients' needs, while reducing overall costs. An additional 24 channels are in the process of being migrated to virtualized playout now, with all remaining channels slated for migration during the reminder of 2017.