ARTE, a Franco-German TV network, has signed an agreement with EVS-OpenCube for the management of its entire MXF AVC-Intra HD production. EVS-OpenCube, part of EVS group, provides MXF systems for broadcast production and archive migration.
Most of the programmes that ARTE broadcasts are ingested and controlled in Paris and then sent to Strasbourg as files for broadcasting.
When ARTE decided to migrate to HD, it was critical for them to be able to continue producing in SD with their existing format while they set up a completely new installation and workflow in HD. In addition, ARTE’s specific workflow – ingesting at one site and then broadcasting in different geographic locations – made choosing the right file format a matter of strategic importance.
The choice of MXF for media production was obvious not only because of their cross–country workflow, but also because their new HD play-out centre in Strasbourg is based on MXF AVC-Intra 100 Mbps. The combination of MXF Op1a for ingest and exchange, and MXF Op1b for playout simplifies multi-audio HD channel management for ARTE. This is an important aspect of their operations as they produce programmes in both French and German, and broadcast them in a variety of different countries.
ARTE France found EVS-OpenCube to be the suitable for ingesting and mastering its HD workflow in MXF. The OpenCubeHD ingest server offers comprehensive MXF AVC-Intra support – and full compatibility with final playout servers – as well as AVI Mpeg-2. This ensures that SD programming can continue without a hitch while they seamlessly transition to HD.
The flexibility of the EVS-OpenCube solution and its easy integration into new IT environments enables companies to make the most of their new HD workflows. All OpenCubeHD ingest units are directly connected to EMC/Isilon production storage. The MXF AVC-Intra files – mostly digitised from tapes – are directly dropped into the network and checked by ‘Vérificateurs’ (Quality controllers) on the fly using OpenCube XFReaderHDSDI in a confidence mode.
The new HD production system has been implemented at ARTE France for several weeks with remarkable success. The versatility of the MXF files generated is highly valued as the network repurposes each digitised programme in up to 100 different versions and codecs for multiple screen display.
“EVS-OpenCube has come up with the perfect solution for mastering our transition to HD production. The company has provided us with high–performance, easy–to–use MXF technology and the flexibility needed so that it adapts to our requirements. We’re all delighted with the new HD ingest and quality control solution, in particular our team of Vérificateurs,” said Denis Grison, digitisation centre project manager at ARTE Paris.
“We’re proud to have this prestigious pan-European TV network as a new reference, and that they’re using our solution for everyday programme digitisation, a major part of the value–chain,” added Benoît Février, EVS-OpenCube’s managing director. “It shows that our innovative solutions are indeed in line with market expectations, notably in the area of MXF ingest process management.”