TBS, Inc. Invests in Thomson’s MPEG-2 Servers

Turner
Entertainment Group, a division of Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., has
purchased several MPEG-2 compressed network systems from Thomson to use for a
new security model they are calling Business Continuity Planning (BCP).The
systems include a Thomson Sapphire MPEG transport stream servers,

Crystal compressed logo
inserter, and ViBE MPEG-2 encoders.

“Repeated
compression in network expansions risks compromising quality, takes time and
involves additional equipment,” said, Patrick Montliaud, Senior Vice President
of Thomson’s Integration and Networking Solutions business unit. “In today’s
fiercely competitive world we all need to apply intelligent design to broadcast
infrastructures. For Turner, we have provided a highly affordable, extremely
secure, and flexible offsite backup capability, allowing the broadcaster to
stay on-air should a major event impact the

Atlanta facility.”

Compress-Once
Approach Preserves Frame Accuracy, Speeds Workflows, Reduces Costs

The Thomson
Sapphire server features a unique approach in which it ingests and stores
content as compressed MPEG-2 transport stream files that, importantly, retain
frame accuracy. Storing content at distribution resolution greatly increases
the capacity of the server, and eliminates multiple decompression/recompression
cycles of program material, thus preserving quality, simplifying workflows, and
reducing overall operational costs.

The
Sapphire server offers full support of video disk control protocol (VDCP) for
frame-accurate control. Playlists for each channel are assembled in real time
within Sapphire, which is unique in MPEG-2 servers today in being able to
perform seamless splicing between files. The standard Sapphire server has the
capacity to deliver up to 80 channels simultaneously, multiplexed into as many
as eight independent ASI MPEG-2 transport streams.

The
branding of each channel within the transport stream is retained, through the
use of Thomson Crystal logo inserters that also operate in the MPEG-2
compressed domain.

Crystal
can even be used for text crawls and digital advertising messages, all without
converting the compressed content back to baseband video.

The
Sapphire system allows pre-ingested files to be sent to and received at remote
locations and registered automatically via IP interconnection links. Local
content can also be ingested and added to a network program, under the control
of automation or triggered via industry-standard, in-band commands, within the
compressed domain.