Omneon ProXchange eases transcoding burden

Omneon’s ProXchange, a high-performance transcoding system designed for high-volume, multiformat media environments, is the first media processing application specifically designed to run on Omneon’s MediaGrid active storage system. The company says the integration of transcode processing within the MediaGrid active storage system streamlines file-based workflows by eliminating the need for external processing systems and multiple file copies.

ProXchange performs conversion between a wide variety of video and audio formats, including all formats supported by the Omneon Spectrum™ media server, as well as low-resolution formats such as H.264. Conversion and re-wrapping between wrapper formats is also supported (QuickTime and MXF), with preservation and accurate placement of all metadata through all conversions. The system can be configured to process individual items manually or to run in an automated mode based on user-defined settings for “watch folders” and other triggers.

As media files move from acquisition to production to playout, these files often need to be converted in order to be compatible with each application in the workflow. ProXchange streamlines the process of converting files to the appropriate format for each application, making workflows faster, more efficient, and more consistent. The combination of MediaGrid and ProXchange also simplifies the process of repurposing media. For example, ProXchange can take MPEG-2 50 Mbps I-Frame content, automatically create a transmission copy in MPEG Long GOP, and concurrently create an H.264 clip for distribution to IPTV or the Web.

ProXchange works by harnessing the unique combined storage and processing architecture of the MediaGrid, eliminating time-consuming file copying required by traditional transcode servers that rely on separate storage and processing resources. In a typical MediaGrid system, ContentServer storage nodes have spare CPU cycles, even when nodes are being utilized for file read or write operations. ProXchange utilizes those extra processing cycles to run transcode operations, accessing multiple nodes simultaneously to achieve faster-than-real-time transcode performance.

“Grid processing is still a new concept in our industry, and broadcasters are going to be amazed when they see the power it can bring to applications such as transcoding,” said Geoff Stedman, vice president worldwide marketing for Omneon. “The ability to combine storage and media processing in a single system brings a fundamental change to the workflow, helping to eliminate separate application islands and allowing all parts of a facility to function as a cohesive whole.”

The Omneon MediaGrid is a high-performance storage system that has been optimized for media content and digital media workflows. In addition to acting as a central shared storage repository for digital content, MediaGrid supports grid-processing capabilities, allowing applications like ProXchange to utilize multiple processors. More information about ProXchange, MediaGrid, and other Omneon products is available at www.omneon.com.