January 30, 2013

Swiss sport and drama channels automated with Imagine infrastructure and workflow solutions

Teleclub, the largest pay-TV operator in Switzerland and among the oldest in Europe, has implemented a major HD upgrade to its facilities at Volketswil near Zurich. The extensions include two Imagine® NEXIO® server systems to support its sports and drama channels, together with Imagine branding, signal processing and workflow systems.

Available on cable TV and IPTV platforms, Teleclub originates many of its own channels and hosts global brands. These include popular sport, drama and movie channels. In sport, the company has the broadcast rights to major events including Swiss football and ice hockey. Key drivers for this project were to manage workflows around live sports and make all coverage available in HD.

The larger of the two NEXIO server systems is dedicated to sports, and includes 19 four-channel Imagine® NEXIO AMP® servers providing a total of 76 HD channels. NEXIO Farad™ shared storage incorporates Imagine’ patented Intrinsic Mirroring™ functionality for full redundancy. On a sports weekend, Teleclub records up to 36 HD channels simultaneously. An extension to the NEXIO edit-in-place capabilities developed by Imagine allows Final Cut Pro® editors to work on growing files as they are recorded, and create instant highlights packages for halftime and after the match.

The second server system is dedicated to playout of the drama channels, and contains six four-channel NEXIO AMP servers, again sharing NEXIO Farad storage. The project also includes Imagine® Invenio® Motion digital asset management software, which allows users to design and automate custom workflows. It also ensures that all databases needing access to content and metadata on the two new server systems are maintained in synchronization without manual intervention. An extension to the existing Imagine® ADC™ automated content management and distribution system controls transmission from the new servers.

The installation also includes the Imagine® Selenio™ media convergence platform, which provides Teleclub with automated signal processing and logo insertion. The Selenio integration helps to control and supervise baseband video and audio signals throughout the facility. Furthermore, its compact design reduces space, power and cabling requirements.

“We needed to build an infrastructure to meet our viewers’ expectations for HD on all our channels, and we took this opportunity to develop a new workflow system which would allow us to operate efficiently and effectively,” said Benno Zimmermann, head of playout and production center at Teleclub. “We have a long and comfortable working relationship with Imagine and its local dealer, Videolink, who were able to demonstrate that they had the technology and could implement it within our timescales. Our live sports operation, in particular, is now very slick and impressive, and we could not have achieved it without the excellent support of Imagine.”

“One of the biggest challenges for us was a very short timeframe between agreeing on the functionality and the start of the new sports seasons, especially since the project involved a significant element of custom development,” added Daniel Meyer, head of technology at Teleclub.

“We already knew the infrastructure and the people at Teleclub, so we were able to deliver the technology they required, including the custom developments and extensions to the live automation system, in the requested time and budget,” said Mathias Eckert, vice president, sales and services, Europe and Africa for Imagine Communications. “The Teleclub team was very impressive — not just in the way they worked with Imagine but also simultaneously refreshing and rebuilding the station’s entire technical infrastructure.”

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About Imagine Communications
Imagine Communications offers products, systems and services that provide interoperable workflow solutions for broadcast, cable, satellite and out-of-home networks. The Imagine ONE™ solution brings together highly integrated and cost-effective products that enable advanced media workflows for emerging content delivery business models. Additional information about Imagine Communications is available at www.imaginecommunications.com.

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