September 4, 2014

Software-Defined Networking (SDN) solution enables seamless integration of IP and legacy workflows

Imagine Communications, a market leader of media software and video infrastructure solutions serving the global broadcast, multichannel video programming distributor and enterprise markets, today announced that Sky Italia has taken a major step forward in shaping the future of broadcast infrastructures by deploying Imagine Communications’ MagellanTM SDN Orchestrator. The Imagine Communications solution enables Sky Italia to tightly integrate and transparently manage a fully redundant distribution system for both ASI and IP transport streams across broadcast routers and commercial IP switches, all within a common SDN infrastructure.

“Sky Italia remains at the forefront of innovations in broadcast and we have been seeking a managed transition to an all-IP infrastructure that minimizes disruption and preserves our workflow processes,” said Massimo Bertolotti, Head of Innovation & Multimedia distribution at Sky Italia. “After discussions at NAB, it became clear that Imagine Communications is leading the industry in creating solutions that enable this transition. Their Magellan SDN Orchestrator allows us to work simultaneously in both IP and ASI realms by providing the ability to switch transport streams with complete operational transparency, facilitating our path forward to IP.

Sky Italia is the leading pay-TV provider in Italy, with operations centres in Milan and Rome where individual feeds and multiplexed ASI streams are transported within each centre as well as between the two locations. This state-of-the-art solution includes Imagine Communications’ Platinum™ IP3 routers and Sky Italia’s high performance 10GbE network switches, with the entire workflow managed by the Magellan SDN Orchestrator.  The Platinum IP3 routers will be deployed in fully redundant 1+1 configurations at each centre, handling both ASI as well as baseband signals. These routers are matched with commercially available IP switches, also in 1+1 redundant configurations, that switch the IP-encapsulated ASI streams.  With advanced techniques that transparently map IP signals into the existing workflow, the Magellan SDN Orchestrator provides a seamless, unifying layer of control for both the Platinum routers and the IP switches, allowing operators to utilize familiar hardware and software control panels to accommodate both signal types in the hybrid workflow environment.

“Broadcasters are eager to benefit from the rapidly declining costs and expanding capabilities of commercial IT/IP equipment, but they want to transition with as little risk and disruption as possible,” said Charlie Vogt, CEO of Imagine Communications. “We are developing the products, solutions and services that will help our customers seamlessly migrate from ‘here to there,’ and the Magellan SDN Orchestrator is a great example of innovations that we are creating to enable this transition.  This announcement is just one more indication of our commitment to IP and software-defined, virtualized networks, and we are very pleased to work with Sky Italia in this cutting edge deployment.”

A key element in Imagine Communications’ SDN framework, the Magellan SDN Orchestrator enables media companies to maximize their investments in high-quality video processing via baseband/SDI/ASI signaling using familiar controls, while also managing on-ramps and off-ramps for this signaling over IP using the orchestrator’s software control layer. The Magellan SDN Orchestrator controls stream flows and mappings across commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) IP switches, providing the bandwidth management and Quality of Service (QoS) required for professional broadcast performance. This approach also supports frame-accurate switching by ensuring that COTS IT routing and networking solutions integrate seamlessly with deterministic baseband video networks.

The Magellan SDN Orchestrator and other components of Imagine Communications’ SDN framework can be seen at IBC2014 (Amsterdam, 12 – 16 September) on stand 7.G20, alongside Imagine Communications’ broader solutions portfolio.

To learn more about Imagine Communications’ SDN framework and Magellan SDN Orchestrator, visit


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.