German broadcaster Sky Deutschland has invested in a robust new workflow, with built-in redundancy and no single point of failure, for its coverage of premium sports content that includes the Bundesliga and Champions League.
Sky has invested in six new Rohde & Schwarz VENICE ingest and playout units, plus a new SpycerNode storage system, delivering a total of 24 channels of scalable centralised and external storage capability, as well as support for UHDp50. The resulting upgraded workflow handles ingest into VENICE and transfers files directly into SpycerNode, which the Sky Deutschland team uses to access and edit growing files, pull out clips for highlights packages and playout directly.
To avoid errors in the delivery chain, VENICE also looks after flagging and handling of UHD and HDR material, without relying on external tools.
“Consistency and quality are the bedrock of our brand. As we meet our viewers’ demands for higher volumes of richer content, having a solid 24/7 channel playout workflow that can meet evolving needs is essential,” said Christian Barth, Director of Production Platforms & Playout at Sky Deutschland. “With this new generation of VENICE and SpycerNode, we have all the scalability we need for now and into the future. This upgrade also gives us the redundancy necessary in our playout environment.”
VENICE is specifically designed to support professional broadcast applications, such as group ingest and playout to studio and master control, managing complex signal processing and storage requirements. The system supports scheduled recording, clip transforms and playout, integrating with Rohde & Schwarz SpycerNode shared storage as well as certified third-party systems. This system supports 4K Ultra HD signals, using either single link 12G SDI or quad link 3G SDI, and is also capable of SMPTE ST-2110 connectivity.
SpycerNode employs High Performance Computing (HPC) file systems for scalability and full redundancy of even very small units. Designed to be configurable to meet broadcasters’ capacity and bandwidth requirements – including during operations – this system encompasses shared storage to support fast turnaround workflows.
Rohde & Schwarz VSA (Virtual Storage Access) is being deployed at Sky Deutschland. VSA is a software component that achieves maximum fail safety and seamless redundancy for all R&S applications for ingest and playout. It gives virtual storage access by virtualising a single mount point to prevent interruption of media transfers, file encoding and file decoding processes during playout or ingest. The virtualisation layer covers errors and long latencies on the storage system, and allows flexibility for further deployments and system expansion. www.rohde-schwarz.com