The project, which was originated by Christian Augereau, technical director, Réseau France Outre-Mer, consisted of Thomson Video Networks and ProConsultant Informatique collaborating to develop a tightly integrated solution for the French national broadcaster.
The disaster recovery system provides backup for 19 channels at the headquarters of France Télévisions in Paris. The Sapphire servers from Thomson Video Networks provide a comprehensive feature set within the compressed domain, operating under the control of the ProConsultant Informatique Louise software package. The Sapphire supports MPEG-2 and H.264 formats, re-encoding audio and video dynamically to guarantee seamless frame-accurate transitions, and provides additional master control switcher, graphics inserter, and character generator functionality.
“The combination of Thomson servers and the ProConsultant Informatique Louise solution has produced a dynamic and flexible system for scheduling, media asset management, and playout,” said Augereau. “This gives us a highly compact and dense disaster recovery solution, which will be efficient to operate and will provide considerable energy savings.”
The Sapphire transport stream server combines Thomson expertise in MPEG processing with a modular software and hardware design. It offers a particularly high-performance MPEG I/O, a scalable storage capacity, and a wide range of control interfaces. This architecture enables operators to record, store, and play back multiple streams, and functions as a versatile TV-on-demand platform.
“The cooperation between Thomson Video Networks and ProConsultant Informatique has resulted in an innovative and cost-effective system for performing compressed linear playout,” said Christophe Delahousse, president, Thomson Video Networks. “Broadcasters particularly appreciate a dense feature set along with the resulting space efficiency in this current climate, where they must contain costs while simultaneously developing new services.”