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Pebble Beach drives Suomi TV

28 July 2010
Pebble Beach drives Suomi TV

Leading Finnish network operator, Digita Oy, has chosen a Neptune Lite from Pebble Beach Systems to provide playout automation for Suomi TV, Finland’s newest national channel.

Playout is provided by Digita Oy, which also distributes Finnish radio and television channels and is part of the international TDF Group. Digita plans to expand the service to also provide playout for other channels in the future, so undertook a detailed analysis of automation solutions before selecting Neptune for Suomi TV. They cite its HD capability, versatility and excellent reliability as key factors in their choice. “Our experience with the system and customer support so far has been very encouraging,’ confirmed Service Manager at Digita, Ari Parkkinen.

Jukka Keski-Loppi is the Project Manager of Helsinki broadcast systems integrator TV Tools, which supervised the installation of the technical infrastructure. "As a brand new channel, Suomi TV was effectively a greenfield site. Pebble Beach Systems was chosen because it allows for expansion as their operation grows, and because the company has an excellent reputation for post-sales support.”

Suomi TV is aimed squarely at a family audience, with programming including documentaries, lifestyle shows and nature programmes. Following its successful launch late last year, the channel added news and current affairs programming to its offering in March.

The channel is owned by Canada-based Ontario Inc., a company specialised in providing funding for television companies, and by minor shareholders from Finland. In addition to Neptune Lite automation, the installation features two Omneon Mediadecks, each with 2 HD ports, Evertz routing, keying, and down-conversion, and Harris graphics. Suomi TV is currently planning the next expansion to the system to accommodate a datatape library and subtitling functionality, and has now won the license to launch another HD channel, possibly later this year.

Suomi TV’s Senior Vice President of Technology, Antti-Jussi Kotakorpi, explained: “I was already familiar with Pebble Beach Systems’ products, having worked previously at YLE and Nelonen, both of which used Pebble Beach automation, and have always been impressed by its reliability and ease of use. For the high profile launch of a new channel, they represented a risk-free choice.”

Director of Sales for Pebble Beach Systems, Tom Gittins, explained why Neptune Lite was such a good fit for Suomi TV: ‘”Neptune Lite has been designed precisely to meet the needs of smaller broadcast operations such as this. It provides frame accurate, reliable and user friendly playout and ingest tools that can be used to run up to four television channels. And as it shares the same core technology as our proven and widely installed Neptune automation system, broadcasters can upgrade to a full Neptune system when needs arise, without losing any of the initial investment. As a company we are committed to offering as wide a choice to the market as possible, and our automation products are currently in use at broadcast facilities in over 40 countries worldwide, with installations which range in size between 1 and 112 channels.”

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