IP-based production infrastructure supports cutting-edge content company’s popular news program
Imagine Communications, empowering the media and entertainment industry through transformative innovation, is providing critical processing, playout, monitoring and control technology behind an IP-based production infrastructure for Vice News, the recently launched television news program from Vice Media. Vice News is produced at the Brooklyn headquarters of Vice Media, a fast-growing digital content company that enjoys significant brand loyalty among millennials.
When Vice Media decided to extend its unique brand of journalism to television audiences, the company recognized the need for a flexible and responsive technology foundation that would support the company’s avant-garde ethos for edgy and timely content. A production infrastructure able to leverage commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) IT-based platforms would provide Vice Media with the agility it currently desired, as well as the ability to seamlessly incorporate new technologies to support future workflows and business models.
“Vice Media lives on the cutting edge and it was imperative that we adopt a technology platform for Vice News that would give us the flexibility and responsiveness to deliver the type of content our audience expects of us,” said Charlie Travis, VP of Technical Operations, Vice Media. “We knew that Imagine Communications was an early advocate of transitioning demanding media operations to next-generation architectures and has a history of helping other unique brands push technology and content boundaries. We were confident that Imagine could provide the technology innovation required to support our vision and creativity.”
The Vice News production operation is set up to accept video and audio feeds from essentially anywhere in the world, primarily over IP circuits running in and out of the facility. With the workflow composed of a mix of prepared and live signals, Vice News required a flexible real-time infrastructure capable of converging live and pre-produced video and audio signals into a common IP infrastructure for routing, switching and mixing. The IP-based network equipment forms the core of the new infrastructure, transporting video, audio, and timing signals in a converged infrastructure, with full 1+1 redundancy at the core switching level.
Imagine Communications’ Selenio™ MCP media processors, equipped with UCIP modules that serve as on- and off-ramps to IP networks, were selected to move media in and out of the IP domain, encapsulating legacy SDI signals into the IP network based on the SMPTE 2022-6 and AES67 standards, coordinated via VSF TR-04. Vice Media selected Nexio+® AMP™ media servers, running on HPE hardware platforms, for some of its ingest and playout requirements. Nexio+ AMP is UHD- and HDR-ready and its comprehensive range of software-based codecs and formats can be seamlessly expanded through software upgrades, futureproofing Vice News against an aggressive technology curve.
Vice Media’s production infrastructure is operated through Imagine Communications’ EPIC™ MV multiviewer. Powered by Zenium™, the company’s pure microservices workflow management platform, EPIC MV is capable of scaling to meet the monitoring requirements of the largest and most complex installations. Each EPIC MV deployed in Vice News’ infrastructure supports 36 unique PIPs of SMPTE 2022-6 traffic.
The Vice News production environment is based on the Alliance for IP Media Solutions (AIMS) roadmap technologies, and includes audio mixing and processing equipment, video production switching, and editing systems from other AIMS members. The multivendor nature of the new Vice News network required a single control system capable of managing the IP signaling domain and integrating third-party devices into an IP-based routing system. Vice Network selected the Imagine Communications Magellan™ SDN Orchestrator, the software-based control system that simultaneously supports hybrid and all-IP routing environments, to manage the end-to-end installation and ensure operational transparency.
“Vice Media is quickly becoming one of the most recognized content brands in the world and Imagine Communications was pleased to have been given the opportunity to collaborate with Little Bay Broadcast Services to help Vice Media realize its vision for the next-generation of television journalism,” said Imagine Communications CEO Charlie Vogt. “Vice News is one of the very first news organizations to adopt a pure IP-based technology infrastructure that is designed to evolve and expand to meet video consumption requirements for years to come.”
Vice News Tonight currently runs on HBO in the US and on Viceland internationally.
For more information, please visit www.imaginecommunications.com.
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, future-proof, 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 www.imaginecommunications.com for more information, and follow us on Twitter @imagine_comms.