Channel One, Russia’s leading television broadcaster, switched from HD-SDI to full IP after installing an Evertz Mediator content distribution and broadcast system at its Ostankino technical center in Moscow.
The system, which incorporates the latest cutting-edge streaming technologies, is a powerful and highly integrated ecosystem that covers a large number of workflows. It is now used to broadcast 12 news, sports and entertainment channels to over 250 million viewers worldwide.
Over the past four years, the Ostankino Technical Center has moved its own technical infrastructure to IP, using Evertz SDVN technology and equipment. Continuing to take this more modern approach to routing and transmitting video / audio streams was just one of the reasons Channel One decided to upgrade its broadcast facilities. Other factors included the doubling of the number of channels broadcast from six to 12, the desire to switch to channel-in-a-box technology for live programming and the need to improve compatibility with the requirements of the channel. output format from satellite and cable providers. . Channel One also wanted to improve the integration of its broadcast system with its business applications and make the most of complex graphics capabilities.
System integrator OKNO-TV and his service company Telerent worked with Evertz to implement this project. Dmitry Cheykin, project engineer for OKNO-TV and CTO of Telerent, says a number of suppliers were considered, but the decision to use Evertz technology was based on good previous experiences with the company.
“Channel One and Evertz have previously collaborated on the installation of a special 4K channel with Dolby Atmos which was designed for the broadcaster’s coverage of the 2018 FIFA World Cup,” he said.
“Making major changes to our broadcast facility is not something we do often, so we wanted to be sure it was a good investment,” says Igor Yadykin, Deputy Head of Technical Department at Channel A. “We are now the first broadcaster in Russia to adopt SMPTE ST2110 (IP) and we have modernized the distribution and delivery of our channels by installing an adaptable and more software-driven workflow. “
The Evertz Mediator system installed in Ostankino includes 29 Overture (ORT) Live integrated delivery engines; 14 ORT Media Client recording servers; 2 Render-X proxy generation servers; an advanced multi-node virtualization environment hosting Mediator’s core and computing nodes; 15 VUE CUBE workstations and two Isilon storage clusters (primary and backup), each with 9 nodes.
For the IP infrastructure, OKNO-TV installed two Evertz EXE routers (primary and backup) with MAGNUM SDVN and Client Host servers. An EQX router with MAGNUM was also installed for ingestion.
Other components include monitoring tools such as VistaLINK PRO with graphics for the Network Management System (NMS) and inSITE for real-time data analysis; four TR4800E tally routers; two 5700MSC-IP Grand Master Clock and Video Master Clock systems; an automatic 5601AC02 change and a multitude of chassis with modular products integrating converters, amplifiers and infrastructure equipment.
“The new broadcast system was created for our Channel One time zone channels, 12 in number, each generating SD and HD signals at the same time,” Yadykin explains. “Previously, some time zones doubled, but when we changed the system, we added five more time zones so that each zone had its own broadcast. We now have full redundancy, with separate racks and equipment for each channel, as well as two spare parts. “
The switch to a new technology required retraining for more than 200 people whose roles covered ingestion and archiving as well as dissemination.
“Getting to know the new system was initially difficult, but once the staff understood its capabilities, they were delighted with what they could accomplish,” says Sheykin. “The main highlight is having all the control of the air fix and edit processes done through a modern HTML5 web client. In the automation system’s client application, users can now schedule and view a copy of low-resolution broadcast programs with down to image accuracy.
“The Channel One project has been a steep learning curve for everyone, and we are delighted that this close collaboration has enabled us to meet the demands of our customers,” says Robert Peter, Vice President of International Operations at Evertz. “It is satisfying to know that our Mediator system has been so well received by an internationally recognized broadcaster for its very high technical standards.