Omneon To Provide Active Storage And Video Servers For NBC's Coverage Of The Beijing Olympic Games


MediaGrid Active Storage, MediaDeck Video Servers, and ProCast CDN to Enable NBC With an Around-the-World Proxy-Based Workflow During Coverage of the Beijing Olympics

Last Updated: April 14, 2008 10:38 pm GMT
(SUNNYVALE, California--April 14, 2008) Omneon, Inc. has been selected to provide Omneon MediaDeck™ media servers, MediaGrid™ active storage systems, and ProCast CDN™ transport engines to NBC during the network's coverage of the 2008 Beijing Olympics from Beijing, China, August 8-24.

The announcement was made today by Dave Mazza, Senior Vice President, Engineering, NBC Olympics, and Geoff Stedman, Vice President of Marketing at Omneon.

The innovative workflow begins with 20 MediaDeck servers located in China that are used to digitize and ingest SD and HD feeds. Each MediaDeck contains both high-resolution and low-resolution codecs to simultaneously create both full-resolution IMX or XDCAM HD files and low-resolution proxy files of all recordings. The resulting files are actively transferred, while still being recorded, to the MediaGrid. Then, using ProCast CDN, the proxies are transferred over 6,000 miles from the MediaGrid in Beijing to a second MediaGrid in the USA, where using BlueOrder's MediaArchive DAM solution producers can search, browse, view, and edit the files. The EDLs created using the proxy files are then used to request only the desired SD and HD high-resolution footage over the network for final production editing. This intelligent use of proxy-based EDLs ensures that only the actual high-resolution footage needed for each new content package is transferred from Beijing to the USA, thereby saving network bandwidth and improving the efficiency of the workflow.

"The workflow used by NBC for the 2008 Games is a perfect example of how Omneon is enabling more efficient file-based workflows by delivering an integrated content platform for ingest, storage, transport, production and playout,”" said Geoff Stedman, Omneon vice president of worldwide marketing. "The tight integration of MediaDeck, MediaGrid, and our new ProCast CDN technology ensures that broadcasters like NBC have a robust solution for their end-to-end workflows, even across thousands of miles."

"Covering the 2008 Beijing Olympics requires us to capture every moment of every competition at every venue in China," said Dave Mazza, senior vice president, engineering, NBC Olympics. "And our audiences now expect the choice to see all of those moments. With this huge increase in New Media requirements we needed a way to produce all of that content differently than we had ever attempted before. The solution involves a long-distance file-based workflow that the Omneon MediaDecks, the MediaGrids, and the new WAN technology are all a key part of."

The key to the collaborative workflow is the Omneon ProCast CDN, a file transport engine with performance that is unaffected by distance, enabling it to accomplish transfers at stunning speeds even when great distances are involved. File transfer speeds achieved with ProCast CDN are orders of magnitude greater than FTP transfers especially over long distances where FTP performance typically deteriorates. For example, a 1 hour DV25 file sent from Beijing to the USA on a 400 Mbit/s connection would take 30 hours via FTP, but takes only 3 minutes with ProCast CDN.

The Omneon MediaGrid system that serves as the core storage platform for both the Beijing and USA-based operations is a highly scalable storage system that provides unprecedented access bandwidth to multiple clients. For the systems being deployed by NBC, both MediaGrid systems utilize Barracuda ES hard drives from Seagate® with all system connectivity based on Gigabit and 10-Gigabit network switches from Hewlett Packard and Cisco Systems.

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