blue Rohde & Schwarz taps for studio production and storage technology


MUNICH—Rohde & Schwarz announced that its high-performance intelligent storage network, as well as its media servers for content preparation, have been deployed on Swiss broadcaster blue, a popular subscription service offering films and entertainment content to alongside a popular sports service.

Key factors in the decision to select R&S VENICE and R&S SpycerNode for the project were reliability, redundancy, small form factor and ease of installation, the broadcaster reported. Future-proofing and scalability were also important considerations, allowing Blue to migrate from current 1080/25i to 50p to 4k and HDR/Ultra HD with outputs already configured for Ultra HD.

As it began planning to upgrade its ingest and studio rigs, blue recognized that to meet the needs of sports viewers, high availability and redundancy were essential, along with the need to modify quickly content as it arrived for halftime reviews and other programs. .

Time constraints also required that playlists and clips be ready for immediate release.

Finally, since rack space was limited, it was necessary to design the highly redundant, small form factor system in a way that was convenient to use without any complex configuration procedures.

To meet its current and future needs, blue installed an extensive storage and preparation network with seven R&S VENICE S8s as well as mirrored storage on two R&S SpycerNode 5u84 units.

Each VENICE device is capable of acquiring, transmitting or transforming eight HD signals or two Ultra HD signals simultaneously, for a total of 56 simultaneous HD streams. This includes the ability to edit in place and stream while ingesting. The new configuration achieves all of this in just 34 units of rack space, including IP switches and panels – a much smaller footprint than other systems.

“blue has invested heavily in sports rights, and we need to ensure that our assets are carefully managed, archived and preserved,” said Daniel Meyer, project manager for blue. “Rohde & Schwarz is a long-time trusted company, and the combined VENICE/SpycerNode solution is flexible, secure and cost effective. The company was also able to guarantee us an SLA for at least seven years. So we know we have an effective platform on which to build our future growth. »

The two fully populated SpycerNode devices provide security through redundancy, ensuring there is no single point of failure in the content management system. R&S offers state-of-the-art resilience through erasure coding and a disaggregated matrix as well as hardware redundancy, the company said.

Monitoring is provided by VENICE View, with dynamically assigned sources to ensure operators are always aware of content streams. VENICE’s built-in tools allow operators to create subclips, trim material, and transwrap files without generation loss. In situations where craft editing is required, Adobe Premiere can begin editing work as files are ingested or played back by VENICE, enabling faster production workflows by enabling work to begin at when file ingestion begins.

“We are proud that blue has recognized the determination in our design of VENICE and SpycerNode to deliver non-stop, highly resilient and mission-critical storage,” said Jörg Fries, Vice President of Broadcast, Amplification and Media Solutions. at Rohde & Schwarz. “This is exactly the type of application we envisioned for the technology, delivering seamless operational efficiency today with the ability to scale in the future, not just in terms of the number of channels, publishers and of supported processes, but allowing to scale to higher resolutions as blue audience requires.

The system was implemented by Jordi AG, Rohde & Schwarz’s systems integration partner in Switzerland. Together, the two companies designed, installed, tested and commissioned the system during the first months of 2021, while maintaining social distancing and other protective practices for all personnel involved.

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