MLB Network Taps Thomson HD Technology

Major
League Baseball’s MLB Network will go live on Jan. 1 with live games and pretaped
programming produced with Thomson Grass Valley K2 HD media servers and Aurora
Edit HD systems handling the entire HD postproduction process from ingest to
browse to playout.
In total,
36 Thomson Grass Valley K2 media servers will be employed in a RAID-protected
storage area network (SAN) for editing and accessing/sharing thousands of audio
and video clips on a daily basis.
A near-line
SAN also will be installed, including 10,000 hours of storage. More than 25
Thomson Grass Valley Aurora Edit HD workstations will work off this network,
allowing editors to collaborate on projects from a single desktop. The entire
system will initially be housed in the former home of MSNBC, in Secaucus, NJ.
“We
always feel confident deploying Thomson’s latest technology, because we’ve used
it for many projects over the years and it has proven its value time and again,”
says Darrell Wenhardt, president of systems consultant CBT Systems, which
helped design the facilities infrastructure. “The new MLB Network needed a
system that is reliable and flexible enough to grow with into the future. This
new SAN environment, based on Thomson Grass Valley K2 media servers and Aurora
HD production tools, will allow MLB Network to achieve its goals and more.”
The postproduction
environment also includes Thomson Grass Valley Aurora Ingest software to
capture incoming satellite feeds and content from VTRs, as well as ingesting of
footage from solid-state media. The Thomson Grass Valley Aurora Browse software
will be used for managing assets and handling file transfers to and from a Sun
Microsystems SL8500 archive system. This archive features storage capacity for more
than 30,000 hours of HD content at 100 Mbps. The Thomson Grass Valley Aurora
Playout software will also be used for playout of finished packages to the
production studios.
“The
tapeless workflow being installed, based on Thomson’s technology, will allow
the MLB Network to be more productive,” says Jeff Rosica, SVP of Thomson’s
Broadcast & Professional Solutions within the Systems division. “This will
allow them to quickly create and distribute HD content to a variety of
platforms that include traditional television, the Internet, and mobile
devices.”