Pixel Power, a Rohde & Schwarz company, the global leader in advanced playout and automated channel branding, has worked extensively with ITV Creative to successfully deliver its dynamic new identity. ITV is the largest commercial broadcaster in the UK with six linear channels and the UK’s freshest new streaming service, ITVX.
ITV is a long-term user of Pixel Power’s advanced graphics and automation technology. Its previous branded programme promos and idents were all generated on Pixel Power systems, including the highly automated trailer production, jointly developed as Project Phoenix. Now it has built a refreshed identity on the same core technology, relying on expertise from the Pixel Power creative services team, which has been working with the broadcaster over recent months.
“ITV Creative engaged design agency DixonBaxi for the visualisation of the new identity,” explained Charlie Cooke, Senior Graphic Designer at Pixel Power. “We worked with them to realise their concepts as dynamic graphic templates for the Pixel Power platform. This involved us in creative discussions to ensure the vision is completely captured, ensuring the graphics can be delivered with all the impact they require.”
The big challenge with these graphics is defining the large amount of graphic logic. Each type of graphic needs to update based on the channel name and programme information determined in the schedule whilst also maintaining the brand guidelines. Once this logic is in place, the collaborative team could move on to the vast number of graphics to be realised.
The strength of the Pixel Power platform is that it is highly automated and data driven. This means that the various ITV channels can each retain their own distinctive look and feel within the new brand, delivered reliably and automatically through smart templates.
“Pixel Power has always given us efficiency and ease of use,” said Mark Dietz, Broadcast Graphics Systems Operator at ITV Creative. “A scheduler simply adds the programme information like title, time, and a promo image, and then a whole suite of clips is automatically generated and dropped into the right places in the appropriate playlists. It is a simple and reliable process that we are very comfortable with.”
“This is the biggest rebrand that ITV has ever undertaken, and it is by far the biggest creative services project we have done. It clearly demonstrates that we have the skills and creative flair to ensure that huge jobs like this are delivered successfully and cost-effectively. The new results are stunning, and we wish ITV well with the new look," Cooke added.
ITV’s refreshed identity, powered by Pixel Power graphics, went live on 15 November, 2022.
2022 ITV Brand Refresh | ITV video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I6HJlp5CPTY&feature=youtu.be
Rohde & Schwarz, a global leader in broadcast transmitter and media technologies, and Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., the driving force behind the development, launch and expansion of 5G, have once again joined forces to underline the potential of 5G Broadcast to drive new business models, transform the way content is delivered and open up new revenue-rich multicast opportunities. IMC 2022 will witness a full end-to-end live 5G Broadcast streaming demonstration showcasing the format’s capabilities for the first time in India.
During the show, live content will be transmitted using a 5G Broadcast signal over-the-air, giving visitors a taste of an advanced live mobile experience. The demonstration will offer insight into how network operators and broadcasters can leverage the new standard to create innovative services across a wide range of business segments, while benefitting from high spectral efficiency and reduced costs. 5G Broadcast is part of the 3GPP release 16 feature set, and is capable of operating in a receive-only mode for free-to-air transmission without the need for a SIM card.
The IMC demonstration will run in partnership with Qualcomm Technologies, the world’s leading wireless tech innovator, which has provided prototype mobile 5G Broadcast receivers. Rohde & Schwarz will operate a state-of-the-art TLU9 transmitter running 5G Broadcast software and operating in the UHF band, managed by the BSCC 2.0 control platform.
Live content will be encoded for the stream by Ateme. “The battle for attention is getting tougher, and those who deliver video are constantly looking to improve the user experience,” said Mickaël Raulet, CTO at Ateme. “5G Broadcast brings the experience to a whole new level, and we are thrilled to be working with Rohde & Schwarz and Qualcomm Technologies to make this happen.”
Manfred Reitmeier, VP broadcast and amplifier systems at Rohde & Schwarz, commented: “5G Broadcast technology has the potential to transform the way content services are delivered without compromising existing mobile cellular services. We are excited to show IMC visitors what is possible today with the current technology, and give them a taste of a real-world 5G Broadcast scenario. We are proud to continue our collaboration with Qualcomm Technologies as we work to drive the technology forward and show partners and customers exactly what they can achieve.”
Lorenzo Casaccia, VP of technical standards & intellectual property at Qualcomm Europe, Inc., added “We are delighted to bring this collaboration with the Rohde & Schwarz team to IMC 2022 and show how the delivery of digital TV content over 3GPP standardized technology can look without the need for additional chipsets. 5G broadcast is here today and can be experienced first-hand.”
Broadcast/Multicast over 5G opens up a variety of service models beyond linear and live content distribution, giving network operators and media content access to a new world of content and data delivery options. The technology can also reach large numbers of consumers without affecting the existing cellular 5G mobile network. Venues and the automotive sector are particularly suitable for new consumer applications, while the high power, high tower free-to-air/no-SIM operation enables emergency services and national authorities to more securely deliver public messages during natural disasters or emergencies.
Join Qualcomm at Stall 4.17, Hall 4 to experience this new era of live media delivery and discover more about the benefits of 5G Broadcast technology.
Give clear demonstration of the potential of 5G Broadcast/Multicast to redefine content delivery and create new revenue streams
Rohde & Schwarz, a global leader in broadcast transmitter and media technologies, and Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., the driving force behind the development, launch and expansion of 5G, have once again joined forces to underline the potential of 5G Broadcast/Multicast to drive new business models and transform the way content is delivered. At IBC 2022, the two companies will deliver a full end-to-end live 5G Broadcast/Multicast streaming demonstration showcasing Broadcast/Multicast capabilities over 5G. During the show live content will be transmitted using a 5G Broadcast signal over-the-air giving visitors a taste of an advanced live mobile experience. The demonstration will offer insight into how network operators and broadcasters can leverage 5G Broadcast/Multicast to create new and innovative services across a wide range of business segments, while benefitting from high spectral efficiency and reduced costs.
The live 5G Broadcast streaming demonstration is formed by Rohde & Schwarz’s end-to-end 3GPP compliant solution, comprising a 5G Broadcast RAN enabled with R&S TLU9 transmitter and the Broadcast/Multicast Core Network powered by the Broadcast Service and Control Center (BSCC2.0). During IBC 2022, a live signal will be transmitted over-the-air from the Rohde & Schwarz booth, using Kathrein antenna systems to a smartphone form-factor test device from Qualcomm Technologies. The workflow will also leverage a filter provided by Spinner.
Built on the 3GPP Rel-16 feature-set, the 5G Broadcast solution operates in a Receive-Only Mode (ROM), Free-To-Air (FTA) and without the need for a SIM card (SIM-free reception). Rohde & Schwarz will show the 5G Broadcast dedicated mode in action, with a standalone transmitter, operating within the UHF band.
Manfred Reitmeier, VP broadcast and amplifier systems at Rohde & Schwarz, commented: “5G Broadcast technology has the potential to transform the way content services are delivered without compromising existing mobile cellular services. We are excited to show IBC visitors what is possible today with the current technology and give them a taste of a real world 5G Broadcast scenario. We are proud to continue our collaboration with Qualcomm Technologies as we work to drive the technology forward and show partners and customers exactly what they can achieve.”
“We are delighted to bring this collaboration with the Rohde & Schwarz team to IBC 2022 and show how the delivery of digital TV content over 3GPP standardized technology can look without the need for additional chipsets," said Lorenzo Casaccia, VP of technical standards & intellectual property at Qualcomm Europe, Inc. “Together with our new 5G R&D technology demonstration we have repeatedly proven that 5G Broadcast is here today and can be experienced first-hand.”
Broadcast/Multicast over 5G opens up a variety of service models beyond linear and live content distribution, giving network operators and media content creators access to a new world of content and data delivery options. The technology can also reach large numbers of consumers without affecting existing cellular 5G mobile network. Venues and the automotive sector are particularly suitable for new consumer applications, while the high power, high tower free-to-air/no-SIM operation enables emergency services and national authorities to more securely deliver public messages during natural disasters or emergencies.
Join Rohde & Schwarz at Booth 7.B21 to experience this new era of live media delivery and discover more about the benefits of 5G Broadcast technology.
Future-ready architecture prepares broadcast network operators for coming challenges and opportunities Future-ready architecture prepares broadcast network operators for coming challenges and opportunities
Rohde & Schwarz, a global leader in broadcast media technologies, has introduced the R&S®TH1, the first in a new generation of transmitters. The innovative design throughout the transmitter supports the broadcast network operator in delivering traditional and new services in the streaming era.
The R&S®TH1 is a liquid-cooled high power transmitter, with software-defined operation and the ability to work across all bands of UHF transmission. The design philosophy is to support the three critical challenges and opportunities for broadcast network operators: to reduce energy costs and carbon footprint; to increase operational efficiency and resilience; and to unlock new broadcast applications, thereby creating new revenue opportunities for the operator.
The improved power amplifier design delivers a dramatic increase in energy efficiency, representing a 15% reduction in power consumption over even the most efficient of current designs, with a consequent reduction in carbon emissions. The sophisticated liquid cooling concept, allowing more than 90% of all heat generated to be dispersed to the outside atmosphere, further reduces the energy requirements and total cost of ownership of an installation.
Internally, the design eliminates all single points of failure making the transmitter highly resilient, and enables self-repairing and remote monitoring, reducing the cost of routine maintenance, another significant saving in cost as well as boosting reliability.
The R&S®TH1 is ideally placed to deliver new services which are best handled by broadcast rather than mobile streaming. 5G Broadcast is a powerful solution for content to large numbers of concurrent users on mobile devices, either on a wide area basis or as a pop-up service, for example around sporting events or music festivals. 5G Broadcast is also the route to deliver timely data to IoT applications: for example, updated mapping and traffic information to autonomous cars.
“The R&S®TH1 delivers sustainable broadcasting in the connected world,” said Manfred Reitmeier, Manfred Reitmeier, VP broadcast and amplifier systems at Rohde & Schwarz. “Consumers still watch linear television – two or three hours a day on average – and broadcasting is the best way to deliver it. What we have done with our revolutionary R&S®TH1 transmitter is to enable broadcast network operators to continue serving that key market with much greater cost-efficiency, reduced maintenance costs and higher resilience, and a much lower environmental impact.
“At the same time, we have enabled broadcasters to seize the advantages of new services,” he added. “As well as taking the advantages of linear multicast to mobile devices, this opens up new and valuable opportunities in the Internet of Things and in booming markets like the automotive industry.”
The R&S®TH1 transmitter is launched at IBC2022 (9 – 12 September, RAI Amsterdam, booth 7.B21 at 2pm CEST). It will be available for demonstration and delivery immediately.
The flexible PRISMON multiviewing and monitoring encapsulates how the company helps customers futureproof and evolve from SDI to IP
At IBC 2022, Rohde & Schwarz, a global leader in broadcast transmitter and media technologies, will demonstrate how broadcasters can benefit from its software defined media solutions that are flexibly deployable, futureproof and support the evolution from SDI to IP.
Front and centre at the Rohde & Schwarz booth will be the R&S®PRISMON multiviewer and monitoring solution which will form part of a display that echoes a typical control room environment. The company’s playout solutions will also be highlighted as part of this multiviewing wall set-up.
PRISMON is a multihead, highly flexible, scalable, and multi-capable system designed to support multiviewing and monitoring for studio production and playout. The solution is fully software based, IP ST2110 ready and is gaining traction with customers looking for a futureproof investment that will see them through their evolution from SDI to IP. PRISMON is already deployed in both SDI and IP environments by several customers, such as SRF and Red Bee, across Europe.
The new Multiviewer Control Centre (MCC) is now available for PRISMON and will be demonstrated at IBC. MCC provides a single point of control for a network of multiviewers. This gives instant reconfiguration of multiple displays, either in response to the intuitive user interface or on command from a system-level automation system. It perfectly combines with the PRISMON Scalable Distributed Multiviewing (SDM) functionality. SDM enables any input on any output across system boundaries and allows PRISMON to share resources across a network, for instance to create a view with multiple Ultra HD signals, beyond the decoding capacity of a single system. Combining both MCC and SDM, customers can use PRISMON to build highly efficient and scalable large multiviewing systems based on COTS hardware.
James Gilbert, Director of Product and Solution Management, Media commented: “IP is the road our whole industry is travelling down, albeit at different speeds. Today, customers are seeking to futureproof any technology investment they make, so a proven multiviewer and monitoring solution that supports both SDI and IP makes enormous sense. We look forward to re-connecting with customers and industry colleagues at IBC and showing them how Rohde & Schwarz can help create flexible, agile workflows that are relevant now and in the future.”
Join Rohde & Schwarz at Booth 7.B21 to see its full range of media solutions from ingest and scheduling to playout, among them the latest CLIPSTER platform and SpycerNode SC storage solution. The booth will also feature a live 5G Broadcast streaming demonstration, with content delivered to smartphones, and highlight the new TH1 liquid-cooled high-power transmitter.
Rohde & Schwarz, a global leader in media technologies, today announces the appointment of Dan Wroth as Product Manager for its Gallium and StreamMaster portfolio of products. With a career spanning over 25 years, Wroth brings deep expertise of the playout domain, along with in-depth know-how of the wider media and broadcast industry. He will draw on his experience to build on the success of these Rohde & Schwarz playout solutions in meeting customers’ needs now, while adapting to their future requirements as they negotiate a changing media landscape.
Dan Wroth, Product Manager, Pixel Power, a Rohde & Schwarz company commented: “Rohde & Schwarz and Pixel Power have an impressive heritage in the broadcast and media sector and both Gallium and StreamMaster have some incredible differentiators assuring them of a very strong future. The company’s comprehensive portfolio puts us in a prime position to provide customer solutions for anything from SDI to IP to Cloud – be that an IP environment running in a private data centre on standard COTs hardware, a cloud solution for temporary or fulltime workflows or a hybrid of both – this directly addresses customers’ pain points today, but they can easily pivot in the future. I am excited to help drive our ongoing success, drawing on my previous experiences to take them to the next level of their evolution”.
Wroth has previously held the roles of Product Owner and Product Manager at Grass Valley, was a product specialist at Snell Advanced Media (SAM) and acted as lead support engineer for all transmission operations at Ascent Media. He has worked with the R&S and Pixel Power teams in the past as a customer and partner.
James Gilbert, Director of Product and Solution Management, Media at Rohde & Schwarz added, “We are delighted to welcome Dan to the team and look forward to drawing on his expertise to drive the next phase of growth in our playout solutions. He will be a great asset to us as we continue to meet customers’ shifting needs, futureproofing their investments and ensuring we deliver the flexibility and agility that are vital to any successful media organisation today.”
DR and TV2 collaborate with Rohde & Schwarz and Qualcomm on live demonstrations of new mobile multicast technology
Rohde & Schwarz, a global leader in broadcast media technologies, has played a leading part in an exciting public demonstration of the latest in mobile content delivery: 5G Broadcast. The presentation was made by Danish broadcasters DR and TV2, with special mobile devices provided by Qualcomm.
The Tour de France is the world’s most prestigious cycling event, and by tradition its Grand Départ stages are held outside the country. This year the first three days of the event took place in Denmark, starting with a time trial in the capital Copenhagen on 1 July.
Host broadcaster TV2, looking to increase audience engagement, offered specially tailored content on 5G Broadcast, a new content delivery standard. It has a broad range of applications including localised broadcasting, public safety and IoT delivery. The advantage is that the content was not streamed over large numbers of one-to-one connections, but broadcast to devices which do not even need a SIM to receive it, eliminating network congestion and allowing broadcasters to retain the transmission rights.
For the TV2/DR demonstration, the transmission used a Rohde & Schwarz TMU9evo medium power UHF transmitter installed in Copenhagen for the project. Content was prepared by TV2 as part of its host broadcaster productions. Viewers saw the live, low latency broadcasts on smartphone-like devices from Qualcomm Technologies.
“5G broadcast is an exciting new way for consumers to connect to live video broadcasts wherever they are, adding to the experience and engagement of events like the Tour de France,” said Manfred Reitmeier, VP broadcast and amplifier systems at Rohde & Schwarz. “This was part of a continuing programme of demonstrations in association with Qualcomm to showcase what this technology can deliver, and we are grateful for the participation of DR and TV2.”
Lorenzo Casaccia, VP technical standards at Qualcomm Europe, added “This was a great demonstration of the way that 5G Broadcast can bring a new viewing dimension. People enjoyed the spectacle of the racing in front of them, while keeping up to date with all the action via their mobile devices, all without the frustrations of network congestion, and creating new revenue opportunities for broadcasters and content providers.”
5G Broadcast is an open standard, built on the 3GPP Release 16 feature set. It offers network operators and broadcasters opportunities to create new consumer experiences, including pop-up services around music and sport events like the Tour de France. The high power, high tower free to air services are also of great potential for public information and safety messaging.
It is not restricted to live and linear video distribution: it offers a completely new range of business models for delivering content or data to large numbers of receivers without affecting the regular cellular 5G mobile network. These include IoT data distribution, such as updated mapping or traffic information to autonomous vehicles and GPS receivers.
See Rohde & Schwarz on booth 7.B21 at IBC 2022, or find out more at www.rohde-schwarz.com.
Underlines 5G Broadcast’s potential to drive new business models and redefine how content is delivered
Rohde & Schwarz, a global leader in broadcast transmitter and media technologies, and Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., the driving force behind the development, launch and expansion of 5G, have joined forces to deliver a full end-to-end live 5G Broadcast/Multicast streaming demonstration at CABSAT 2022.The demonstration will showcase Broadcast/Multicast capabilities over 5G, delivering pre-recorded content transmitted live using a 5G Broadcast signal over-the-air to provide an advanced live mobile experience. 5G Broadcast offers network operators and broadcasters opportunities to create exciting new consumer experiences across a wide variety of business areas – all while enabling high spectral efficiency and reduced costs.
Rohde & Schwarz’s end-to-end 3GPP compliant solution, comprising a 5G Broadcast enabled R&S TLU9 transmitter and the Broadcast Service and Control Center (BSCC2.0) acting as a core network, will form a key part of the workflow being shown during CABSAT 2022. The demonstration will see a live signal transmitted over-the-air from the Rohde & Schwarz booth, using Kathrein Broadcast’s sectorized antenna systems to a smartphone form-factor test device from Qualcomm Technologies. The live stream will rely on latest encoding technology from Ateme and the overall installation and integration performed by Assendive Communications.
The 5G Broadcast solution is built on the 3GPP Rel-16 feature-set, operating in a Receive-Only Mode (ROM), Free-To-Air (FTA) and without the need for a SIM card (SIM-free reception). The 5G Broadcast dedicated mode will be demonstrated with a standalone transmitter while operating within the UHF band.
“We are giving CABSAT attendees a taste of what 5G Broadcast can do, without compromising existing mobile cellular services, and showing how it is possible using technology and solutions that are available now,” commented Manfred Reitmeier, Vice President Broadcasting and Amplifier Systems at Rohde & Schwarz. “We are proud to collaborate with Qualcomm Technologies on this innovative project and offer a view into the potential that 5G offers.”
Lorenzo Casaccia, Vice President of Technical Standards & Intellectual Property, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., commented: “We are proud to bring this collaboration with the Rohde & Schwarz team to CABSAT 2022, showing the delivery of digital TV content over 3GPP standardized technology - without the need for additional chipsets. Thanks to our new 5G R&D technology demonstration we can prove that this isn’t just a far-off possibility, it is here today and can be experienced first-hand.”
Broadcast/Multicast over 5G is not restricted to linear and live content distribution. For network operators and media content providers it offers a completely new range of business models for delivering content or data to large numbers of consumers and without affecting the regular cellular 5G mobile network. Venue and automotive sectors are particularly suitable for new consumer applications while the high power, high tower free-to-air/no-SIM offers emergency services and national authorities more secure ways to deliver public messages during natural disasters or emergencies.
Join Rohde & Schwarz at stand E6-20 at CABSAT 2022 to experience this new era of live media delivery and discover more about the benefits of 5G Broadcast technology.
The Rohde & Schwarz stand will give visitors an up-close look at end-to-end workflows for ingest, transcoding, storage, multiviewing, branding and playout as well as a live 5G streaming demonstration
Rohde & Schwarz, a global leader in broadcast media technologies, will demonstrate multiple end-to-end workflows for broadcasters, highlighting clear migration paths from SDI to IP to the cloud at CABSAT 2022. With the launch of platform agnostic studio production, playout and transcoding capabilities, Rohde & Schwarz provides broadcasters and production companies with all the robustness that they expect from traditional broadcast workflows with added flexibility and scalability that the cloud offers.
In partnership with Qualcomm, Rohde & Schwarz is also showcasing 5G Broadcast with a full end-to-end streaming demonstration at CABSAT 2022. The demonstration will deliver content to smartphone devices and highlight Broadcast/Multicast capabilities over 5G. Content will be re-transmitted using a 5G Broadcast signal over-the-air, giving visitors to the stand a first-hand look at an advanced live mobile experience.
Jörg Fries, vice president broadcast, amplifier and media solutions at Rohde & Schwarz said, “At Rohde & Schwarz we are committed to supporting the growth of our customers in the MENA region and helping them to adapt as our market experiences rapid shifts, regardless of the underlying technology, 24/7 capability and uncompromising quality must never be disrupted; Rohde & Schwarz understands this fundamental business need. At CABSAT 2022 we look forward to showing visitors how our unique combination of robustness and futureproofing can support the evolution of their businesses.”
As part of its commitment to helping customers make their journey from SDI to IP to cloud in ways that meet their specific needs, Rohde & Schwarz offers a comprehensive range of solutions that deliver on-premise and/or virtualizable workflows, allowing broadcasters to handle tasks such as ingest, transcoding and quality control (QC). At CABSAT 2022, customers will see how they can benefit from cloud playout ability to rapidly spin up/spin down channels as and when needed.
Rohde & Schwarz and Pixel Power will together be presenting integrated workflow solutions, from ingest to playout, that include broadcast-wide monitoring, multiviewing and storage.
Studio Production – R&S will highlight its live, multi-camera for ingest, transcoding and studio playout functionality for studio production using existing and software solutions for storage that synchronizes content from the facility with the cloud storage. Within a single workflow, studio content being ingested could be passed straight to master control for scheduled or immediate playout. Monitoring and Multiviewing from the cloud, using SRT, brings multiviewer mosaics and monitoring content back to the studio.
Post Production – R&S CLIPSTER, which has for many years been the gold standard solution for mastering and distribution of feature films and episodic TV, sees a new competitive CLIPSTER MKII release. The new CLIPSTER platform brings greater functionality to a wider audience at a more competitive price. R&S also recently launched its dedicated post production storage solution, SpycerNode SC, bringing high performance computing power, speed, and reliability to post production workflows.
Delivery – Using AWS, directly from the show floor, Pixel Power will present Playout, Branding and Automation workflows via the public cloud as well as demonstrating an on-premise solution. With integrated, software defined, virtualizable monitoring and multiviewing, a powerful portfolio for playout and transmission suites is now available within one system. Fully embedded graphics and branding come with 30 years heritage and experience and offers workflow solutions for a range of sophisticated in-channel and cross channel branding and promotion as well as playout.
Distribution – Television & Radio Transmitters have been at the heart of R&S broadcast technology for more than 70 years. R&S presents its leading-edge software-upgradable TV transmitters as well as the new 5G Broadcast and ATSC3.0 technologies that redefine the future of content delivery on the move. Rohde & Schwarz transmitters fully support ATSC 3.0 core features, including multiple physical layer pipes (PLP), multiple subframes and single frequency networks (SFN) capabilities for optimal spectrum utilization. They also support ATSC 3.0 layered division multiplexing (LDM), helping network operators maximize coverage in different reception scenarios, including fixed and mobile reception.
5G Broadcast – To bring a live 5G Broadcast demonstration together, Rohde & Schwarz will use its end-to-end 3GPP compliant solution that comprises a 5G Broadcast enabled R&S TLU9 transmitter and the Broadcast Service and Control Center (BSCC2.0) acting as a core network. The 5G Broadcast solution is built on the 3GPP Rel-16 feature-set, operating in a Receive-Only Mode (ROM), Free-To-Air (FTA) and without the need for a SIM card (SIM-free reception). The 5G Broadcast dedicated mode will be demonstrated with a standalone broadcast High Power High Tower (HPHT) infrastructure while operating within the UHF band.
Sports, TV and Movie broadcaster blue invests in R&S®VENICE production servers and R&S®SpycerNode high performance storage for multi-feed ingest.
Rohde & Schwarz, a global leader in broadcast media technologies, has today announced the deployment of its high-performance intelligent storage network, as well as its media servers for content preparation at Swiss broadcaster blue. Reliability, redundancy, small form factor and easy setup were key factors in the decision to choose R&S®VENICE and R&S®SpycerNode for the project. Futureproofing and scalability were also important considerations, allowing blue to migrate from today’s 1080/25i to 50p to 4k and HDR/Ultra HD with outputs already configured for Ultra HD.
blue is a popular subscription service, based in Switzerland, offering movie and entertainment content, alongside a popular sport service. The company holds rights to top quality events, including the premier football leagues from around Europe, such as the highly popular UEFA Champions League.
Seeking to upgrade its ingest and studio platforms, blue recognised that to serve the needs of sports viewers, high availability and redundancy were critical. To enable the smooth turnaround that is central to its operations, blue also needed the capability of editing content as it arrives, for example to create highlights packages for half-time reviews. Similarly, the time pressures mean that it is vital for playlists and clips to be ready for immediate playout. Since rack space was limited, it was necessary to design the highly redundant and small form factor system in a way that was convenient to use and eliminate any complex set up processes.
To meet its current and future needs, blue has installed an extensive storage and preparation network. At its heart are seven R&S®VENICE S8s along with mirrored storage on two R&S®SpycerNode 5u84 units. Each VENICE device is capable of ingesting, transmitting or transforming eight HD or two Ultra HD signals simultaneously, for a total of 56 concurrent HD streams. This includes the ability to edit in place and playout while ingesting. The new set-up achieves all this in just 34 units of rack space, including IP switches and panels – a far smaller footprint than other systems.
“blue has invested heavily in sports rights, and we need to be sure our assets are carefully managed, archived and preserved,” said Daniel Meyer, Project Leader for blue. “Rohde & Schwarz is a long-time trusted company, and the combined VENICE/SpycerNode solution is flexible, secure and cost-effective. The company was also able to guarantee us an SLA for at least seven years, so we know we have an effective platform on which we can build our future growth.”
The two fully populated SpycerNode devices provide security through redundancy, ensuring there is no single point of failure anywhere in the content management system. R&S provides industry-leading resilience through erasure coding and a declustered array as well as hardware redundancy.
Monitoring is by VENICE View, with dynamically assigned sources to ensure operators are always aware of content flows. The integrated tools within VENICE allow operators to create sub-clips, trim material, and transwrap files without generation loss. For situations when craft editing is required, Adobe Premiere can begin editing work as files are being ingested or played out by VENICE – this ‘work-while’ function enables faster production workflows by allowing work to begin the moment file ingest begins.
“We are proud that blue has recognised the determination in our design of VENICE and SpycerNode to provide non-stop, highly resilient, mission-critical storage,” said Jörg Fries, vice president broadcast, amplifier and media solutions at Rohde & Schwarz. “This is just the sort of application we envisaged for the technology, providing seamless operational efficiency today with the possibility of scaling in the future, not just in the number of channels, editors and processes supported, but in allowing a move to higher resolutions as the blue audience demands it.”
The system was implemented by Jordi AG, Rohde & Schwarz’s systems integration partner in Switzerland. Together, the two companies designed, installed, tested and commissioned the system in the first months of 2021, while maintaining social distancing and other protective practices for all staff involved.