November 29, 2018

Russian broadcaster moves to multichannel, uncompressed IP playout

Imagine Communications has implemented a new playout system for CTC Media, a leading independent broadcaster in Russia. The new platform is fully software-based, running on commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) hardware and carrying media as uncompressed video signals using the SMPTE ST 2022-6 standard.

CTC Media operates a number of channels in Russia, as well as international versions which are popular in the surrounding regions and as far afield as North America and Australia. It ran an existing playout centre provided by Imagine Communications, and now needed to expand its operations to provide for new channels and for streaming and VoD services.

The new playout centre is designed and implemented by Russian systems integrator Corporation DNK in cooperation with engineers from CTC Media and from Imagine Communications. It uses proven software from Imagine Communications including ADC™ automation, Versio™ virtualized playout, Versio™ IOX storage, Nexio® IP ingest and Nexio® Motion™ asset management. The system is rounded out by Selenio™ MCP encoding and the EPIC™ MV hybrid IP multiviewer for system monitoring, with control and data networks and SDI/IP conversion under the control of Magellan™ SDN Orchestrator, which allows CTC to design its own workflows. Both the EPIC MV and Versio are powered by Zenium™, Imagine Communications’ pure microservices-based software architecture.

In phase one, which is already on air, CTC is using the new playout platform to deliver seven SD and two HD channels. Phase two will add 26 channels, including eight simulcast SD/HD services. The whole platform is fully redundant to ensure a high level of playout security. The software approach ensures a much higher density of channels than a traditional installation, and future expansion can be accomplished simply and quickly.

“We needed to expand our facilities, and we wanted to be as efficient as possible in our operations,” said Alexei Frolov, chief technical officer, CTC Media. “DNK and Imagine showed us that, using a software approach and the industry standard SMPTE ST 2022-6, we could achieve a flexible and highly productive solution that is compact and power-efficient. We are proud to be one of the first in the world to implement uncompressed IP playout on this scale, and we appreciate the work of our partners at DNK and Imagine for their efforts in creating this groundbreaking solution.”

Maxim Krivtsov, IT director of DNK Corporation, added, “The implementation of an uncompressed IP multichannel playout system was a key project for everyone involved. We won this project because, together with Imagine Communications, we demonstrated that the flexibility and security of the Zenium-based software could provide broadcast-quality playout performance from uncompressed HD over IP, using industry standards. This installation is a showcase for the world.”

Mathias Eckert, SVP and GM EMEA and APAC, Playout & Networking, at Imagine Communications, said, “This innovative and highly productive solution could only be achieved using our virtualised software approach. CTC Media has been a valued customer of ours for a long time, and we truly appreciate the opportunity to work with them, along with our partner in the region, Corporation DNK, to develop something remarkable. Already, this project is delivering significant operational and capital savings for CTC, and it gives them the springboard for future growth. We are proud to be a part of CTC’s continuing journey.”

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About Imagine Communications
Imagine Communications empowers the media and entertainment industry through transformative innovation. Broadcasters, networks, video service providers and enterprises around the world rely on our optimized, futureproof, multiscreen video and revenue enablement solutions every day to support their mission-critical operations. Today, nearly half of the world’s video channels traverse our products, and our software solutions drive close to a third of global ad revenue. Through continuous innovation, we are delivering the most advanced IP, cloud-enabled, software-defined network and workflow solutions in the industry. Visit for more information, and follow us on Twitter @imagine_comms.

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portatif of Steve Reynolds


Steve Reynolds

Steve Reynolds is President of Imagine Communications, a global leader in multiscreen video and ad management solutions that broadcasters, networks, video service providers and enterprises around the world rely on to support their mission-critical operations.

Steve brings 25 years of technology leadership in the video industry to Imagine Communications. He has served as the CTO at Imagine Communications and Harris Broadcast, Senior Vice President of Premises Technology at Comcast, Senior Vice President of Technology at OpenTV, and CTO at Intellocity USA.

Steve earned a MS in Computer Engineering from Widener University and BS in Computer Science from West Chester University. As the Chairman of the AIMS Alliance and a member of SMPTE and SCTE, he has participated in numerous standards-making bodies in the cable and digital video industries. Steve also holds over 40 patents relating to digital video, content security, interactive television and digital devices.