France 24 has deployed an Omneon Spectrum media server system to support tapeless operations in its new headquarters in Paris. The fully mirrored Omneon Spectrum server stores content that is used for both television broadcast and an interactive website under the direction of Harris media asset management.
France 24 is the first and only 24-hour, all-news channel in the country, with 200 reporters in Paris and correspondents all over the world feeding stories and pictures to a 3,000-square-meter facility that opened in December 2006.
"In our ultramodern environment, video servers must guarantee constant availability of content to satisfy our television and Internet audiences," said Frederick Brochard, director of technology at France 24. "The Omneon Spectrum is meeting our expectations now and, because of its uniquely scalable open architecture, we anticipate it will continue to meet them long into the future."
In February 2006, the challenge for France 24 and systems integrator Avid Technology was to install a cutting-edge, all-digital infrastructure in only 10 months. The technical specifications required video servers capable of running the DVC Pro 25 codec and of broadcasting while simultaneously monitoring continuity. In addition, France 24 sought to satisfy not only a large television audience, but also to create an audience for interactive content on the web.
The Omneon Spectrum solution was chosen because it is a time-tested solution, with an open architecture that enables seamless integration with other best-of-breed technologies, and because it fulfilled France 24's demanding technical specifications.
At France 24, content is produced in an Avid News environment. Using an Omneon ConformTool software plug-in installed on two transfer managers, the file editor sends content to playback, allowing the edited sequence to be transferred automatically to the broadcast server. When Harris MAM detects the content's arrival on the primary server, it sends a duplicate to the backup.
France 24's system handles input/output ports, as well as read/write access to clip databases via Video Disk Command Protocol (VDCP). File transfers between video and storage servers for third-party platforms are executed using FTP and CIFS protocols.
"Besides providing a storage solution built on open IT standards, the Omneon Spectrum media server fulfils the crucial requirement of reliability," said Geoff Stedman, Omneon vice president of worldwide marketing. "Omneon's dependable operation plays a significant role in today's 24/7 broadcast environment, allowing companies such as France 24 to meet viewers' expectation that the news they need will be available to them at any time."