ProSiebenSat1 Produktion – Material Pool and Playout Center

Tapeless Workflow for Material Pool and Playout Center

  • ProSiebenSat.1
  • TV
    Markets & Industries
  • Munich, Deutschland

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.


Material Pool

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.

Playout Center

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.

Later Expansions/Modifications

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

  • Mulitviewer Barco

  • 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