SKY Italia Launches File-Based HD Platform With Omneon MediaGrid™ Active Storage System and Omneon Spectrum™ Media Servers


Last Updated: September 3, 2008 6:13 pm GMT
(Sunnyvale, California--September 3, 2008) Omneon, Inc. today announced that SKY Italia, the Italian pay-TV provider owned by News Corporation Limited, has deployed the Omneon MediaGrid™ active storage system at the heart of its new file-based HD workflow.

The HD platform, located at SKY Italia's new central facility in Milan, also relies on Omneon Spectrum™ HD media servers for ingest. SKY Italia offers 24/7 broadcast of more than 170 news and entertainment channels, including movies, sports, and original programming, to more than 4.5 million subscribers. The new HD platform will meet growing viewer demand for HD content.

"At a round-the-clock operation like ours, the proven reliability and resiliency of the Spectrum servers is essential," said SKY Italia Director of Broadcast Susan Wakefield. "Combined with the high performance of Omneon MediaGrid active storage, we have an efficient file-based workflow that integrates with our legacy SD Profile systems, enabling a cost-effective transition with minimal disruption. We are pleased both with our technology choice and the dedicated support and training we have received from the Omneon team."

At SKY Italia, both live and recorded SD and HD content is ingested to five Spectrum media servers that provide a combined total storage of 31 TB. The 54-TB MediaGrid active storage system, the first in operation in Italy, provides a nearline cache and media processing via the Omneon ProXchange™ application, which transcodes content for other applications as needed. The MediaGrid system, under direction of TMD asset management, interfaces with an SGL archive manager controlling a Spectra Logic archive system. Playout is currently shared between a fully redundant Spectrum system and SKY Italia's legacy system, all controlled by ADC automation. The Spectrum and MediaGrid systems were installed by local systems integrator and Omneon partner Video Progetti, and went live in June 2008.

SKY Italia also has been using Spectrum servers for ingest and playout of SD programming at its regional facility in Rome since 2004.

"SKY Italia's innovative engineering team sought the most efficient and streamlined file-based workflow possible, and the processing power and flexibility of the MediaGrid system will support that goal," said Geoff Stedman, Omneon senior vice president of products and markets. "Omneon has a long association with News Corporation through our partnership with SKY Italia's UK-based sister company, BSkyB, where Spectrum media servers have been in operation for a number of years and are central to HD service provision. As HD becomes more prevalent in Italy and throughout Europe, we look forward to extending these mutually beneficial relationships."

About Sky Italia
SKY Italia is the Italian pay-TV provider owned by News Corporation Limited. Launched in 2003, it has grown so rapidly as to achieve 4,560,000 subscribers as of June 31, 2008. SKY currently offers more than 170 thematic and pay-per-view channels, with a rich offering of cinema, sport, news, entertainment, and programs for children. SKY can be received by satellite and by IPTV through the broadband services of Fastweb, Alice Home TV Telecom Italia, and Wind's Infostrada TV. Moreover, in partnership with Vodafone, H3G, and Tim, SKY distributes channels for mobile TV. More information is available at

About Omneon
Omneon Inc. is a leading provider of scalable media server and active storage systems that optimize workflow productivity and on-air reliability for the production, distribution, and management of digital media. Omneon is a pioneer in the use of advanced IT technologies and open systems for broadcast applications, producing a modular and expandable video server architecture in the Omneon Spectrum. The company's MediaGrid active storage system delivers centralized content storage that is scalable in capacity, bandwidth, and media-processing power. The company has an extensive global presence with customers in more than 50 countries on six continents. Omneon is on the Web at


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