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TVNZ selects Omneon for tapeless

23 April 2007

TVNZ, New Zealand’s national television public broadcaster, has selected Omneon to provide the principle storage and playout devices for the television network’s transformation to a completely tapeless digital operation.

TVNZ has been using an Omneon Spectrum server since early 2006 for production storage and playout, and is now adding a 34-TB, 1000-hour MediaGrid for central storage, collaborative production, and archiving. In addition, three MediaDecks, Omneon’s new fully integrated compact video server, will attach to the MediaGrid to provide ingest and playout of both SD and HD content.

“This is the culmination of a vision I have had for the past five-to-six years: a completely tapeless environment handling all programme content from ingest through to playout,” said TVNZ’s Head of Broadcast Engineering, Khalid Naseem. “Before Omneon’s MediaGrid, nothing else available would allow us to accomplish this. The MediaGrid, combined with Omneon’s Spectrum and MediaDeck servers, delivers the complete package.”

TVNZ is the largest broadcaster in New Zealand and currently operates two free-to-air TV channels, TV ONE and TV2, that can be viewed throughout the North and South Islands. TVNZ recently announced ambitious plans for major expansion and divergence into alternative digital media platforms including the Internet and mobile phones. In addition, TVNZ will be launching two new digital channels in the next year, to be delivered via both a new satellite link and a terrestrial network.

The Omneon solution provides a file-based IP environment, allowing for content and proxies of any resolution to be distributed around the network at speeds faster than realtime, providing a significant improvement over traditional videotape-based workflows and timelines.

The MediaGrid active storage system is designed to meet the large-capacity and high-bandwidth requirements of media production and broadcast applications. It will be the centre point of all TVNZ’s collaborative production, editing, storage, archiving, and playout. A variety of applications (still under evaluation), including automation, editing, graphics, and backup, will utilise MediaGrid’s shared storage for improved efficiency in the multichannel workflow. In addition to the storage and server functions, Omneon will also deliver ProBrowse, the company’s comprehensive media proxy system that automatically organises clips within MediaGrid and the servers, and makes them available to networked workstations at all times.

The system sale was done through Gencom Technology, an Omneon distributor in New Zealand, who also provides local customer service and engineering support. The Omneon systems will be delivered in May 2007, and Naseem expects the fully integrated digital operation to be live by September 2007.

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