The ProSiebenSat1 Group is the leading private television broadcaster in Germany, and one of the leading television service providers in Europe. As a technical service provider, ProSiebenSat1 Produktion (PSP) is responsible for the playout of its free and subscription TV channels in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. PSP manages all production units of Sat1, ProSieben, and Kabel Eins, including concept development for OnAir design, advertising, and audio design, as well as production of trailers and marketing. As part of the broadcaster’s expansion, all tape-based processes had to be switched to file-based processes to increase the efficiency of broadcasting operations, and transferred to a highly-automated environment. The foundations were laid in two subprojects – the material pool and the playout center. The new tapeless workflow was used for the first time in these areas.
The overall project encompassed two phases.
During the first phase, BFE helped PSP select a suitable manufacturer for a Media Asset Management system (MAM), created the necessary workflows, and defined the technical requirements.
In phase two, BFE worked closely with IBM to build the overall broadcasting infrastructure, as well as the video server, editing, and automation systems.
Tasks were assigned by outsourcing the infrastructure, including personnel, to IBM. IBM procured IT storage components, network components, and the MAM system, and was assigned the service orders for the MAM and archive system.
BFE was tasked with establishing the new tapeless playout center. Firstly, this comprised the central material pool for file-based storage of films, advertising, and trailers. Secondly, it consisted of the new scalable, multichannel playout automation for the broadcasters ProSieben, Kabel Eins, and Sat 1, incl. window programs for Austria/Switzerland, and special-interest channels.
BFE was also commissioned to integrate the new control center in the playout center.
The central broadcast platform consists of three Harris server systems with corresponding Raid memory to ingest the material from up to seven Sony flexicards. Harri Velocity editing systems are responsible for quality assurance, which are connected directly to the server systems.
Five operation units and two supervisor places form the heart of the playout. Harris servers for the main and back-up playout are controlled by Harris ADC 100 transmission automation. All basic structures are HD-ready, and intended for the integration of future expansions.
The integration of the new control center is based on the KSC Manager from BFE. To optimize the technical infrastructure, a central SNMP-based monitoring system was also integrated.
As part of a later project, the systems were extensively expanded and upgraded.
Upgrading of transmission channels for simultaneous broadcasting in HD
Establishment of a complete broadcasting channel to integrate a further free-to-air channel
Establishment of emergency channels for a disaster recovery site to cover all broadcasting from the back-up site if the main site fails
Establishment and integration of a new server pool (10 Harris Nexio video servers, 6 Raid systems) as successors to the previous back-up system. Subsequent replacement of the main server system
Renewed expansion of the POC and addition of a further operation unit: Automation, main and back-up Nexio video servers expanded with additional channels, establishment of a further SD/HD broadcasting channel incl. monitoring
Upgrading of the disaster recovery site
Relocation of the subscription TV channel to the new channel-in-a-box platform
ProMams production management system
ProSchedule broadcast scheduling system
IBM WebSphere enterprise service bus
vizrt Ardome MAM system
Harris ADC 100 broadcast automation system
2 Crossbar Controller BFE KSC
2 Crossbar probel Cygnus
QC Editing Pool Harris Velocity, Pro Tools
File QC Tool Textronix Cerify
Transcoding Telestream FlipFactory
Ingest VTR Robotic Sony FlexiCart
Ingest Server Pools Harrsi Nexio
Archive IBM Admia, TSM, Robotnik
Playout Server Pools Harris Nexio
Standalone Ingest VTR Sony IMX
Standalone Ingest VTR Sony HDCAM SR
Central Storage IBM GPFS
Master Control evertz QMC-2
Compliance Editing Pool Avid Interplay/Isis
Promo and Trailer Editing Pool Avid Interplay/Isis
Graphic System vizrt Content Pilot
Subtitle Insertion FAB
10 Nexio Video servers
6 Raid systems