Cowles California Utilizes Omneon Spectrum to Integrate Local Stations

Cowles California Media Company is currently using Omneon Spectrum media server systems in conjunction with Omneon ProCast CDN at its California broadcast stations KION-TV/KCBA-TV and KCOY-TV/KKFX-TV in a first-of-a-kind implementation supporting multichannel, multilocation master control. Integrated by Advanced Broadcast Solutions (ABS), the Omneon systems enable the Cowles stations to move high volumes of data from one station to another using a limited amount of bandwidth and, with this capability, drive master control for multiple stations from a single point.

“The data transfer speed and efficiency provided by our Omneon server and content delivery systems have allowed us to leverage existing production and master control resources in expanding the Cowles family of broadcast stations,” says Paul Dughi, president of Cowles California Media. “Working closely with ABS and Omneon, we have successfully applied accelerated content distribution technology at the station level to establish streamlined, cost-effective operations for our geographically distributed stations.”

The ProCast CDN high-performance file transport engine uses unique acceleration technology to enable the high-speed transfer of media files over a 45 Mbps dedicated circuit between KION-TV/KCBA-TV in Salinas and KCOY-TV/KKFX-TV in Santa Maria. With the ProCast CDN transport engine, the Cowles broadcast facilities can send large media files from a Spectrum media server at one station to a Spectrum server at the second station, more than 150 miles away, as quickly as a local transfer. Unaffected by distance, the file transfer speeds achieved with the ProCast CDN are orders of magnitude greater than FTP transfers.

Content ingested and prepped in Salinas is delivered to Santa Maria via the Omneon content delivery platform, which operates in conjunction with Sundance automation to ensure that the appropriate content and data are transferred. This content, stored locally on servers in Santa Maria, is switched and played out from master control in Salinas. The Santa Maria station provides master control only for its local news programming, though operators there can take over switching and playback at any time, as needed. Cowles also uses the Omneon content delivery platform as a backhaul for moving locally produced spots, promos, and other contribution content from Santa Maria to Salinas for prep.

“In helping Cowles bring its new Santa Maria station into the company’s hub-and-spoke broadcast model, we faced the challenge of delivering broadcast content quickly and efficiently over a limited connection,” says Mark Siegel, president of Advanced Broadcast Solutions. “The Omneon ProCast CDN solution was the only tool on the market capable of providing this high level of performance, and the resulting implementation has proved both stable and capable of blasting a lot of data down a very narrow pipe.”

The Omneon platform currently supports a total of six stations across two markets, as KMUV-TV (Telemundo) and NION-TV (CW) also are run out of the Salinas facility. Should Cowles expand its station group further, the Omneon platform can accommodate the addition of new channels or subchannels.