News Production & Post

NTV-Plus launches first Russian HD

12 July 2007

Omneon Video Networks has announced that Russia’s only direct-to-home satellite TV system, NTV-Plus, has deployed an Omneon Spectrum media server system to support ingest, storage, and playout for Russia’s first HDTV channel. NTV-Plus offers more than 90 channels, including 15 sports channels and the new HD sports channel, writes Fergal Ringrose.

“Omneon interoperability with other critical broadcast systems has enabled us to implement a flexible and efficient platform for HD playout,” said Oleg Kolesnikov, technical director at NTV-Plus. “The launch of an HD sports channel is a significant achievement in our market, and with Omneon supporting our operations, we are confident in our continued ability to deliver this groundbreaking service to viewers with the best possible quality and consistency.”

With Omneon technology at the core of its operations, NTV-Plus has not only introduced Russia’s first HD sports channel, but also enhanced the efficiency of production and playout throughout its sports broadcasts. Working with systems integrator Okno-TV, NTV-Plus has built a completely automated multichannel master control facility from which all its sports channels originate. The new HD channel uses a separate delivery and distribution platform for transmission, but is otherwise entirely integrated into the larger facility’s a/v routing and automation infrastructure.

The Spectrum system works as an HD content cache server, providing DVB/ASI ingest using external MPEG-2 compression at a 50Mbps constant bit rate. A Snell & Wilcox Memphis encoder captures the HD content, either HDCAM videotape recordings or live-event transmission feeds, and material recorded onto Omneon Spectrum system can be edited and subsequently scheduled for playout.

A Harris ADC100 automation play-to-air system triggers video server operation for selected clips and feeds them through GPI-controlled Snell & Wilcox converters and logo inserters.

“The Spectrum system easily integrates into complex broadcast environments, and this allowed NTV-Plus to launch Russia’s first HD broadcast channel from their existing facility,” said Geoff Stedman, Omneon vice president of worldwide marketing. “With its unique scalability and interoperability with third-party applications, the Spectrum system not only supported the addition of a new HD channel today, but can support continued expansion at this dynamic broadcast facility in the future.”

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