IBC 2010: Omneon Intros ProXchange Version, Application Services for MAS, and Contract With M6 Group

Omneon Inc. used the occasion of IBC 2010 in Amsterdam to make three announcements: the new ProXchange 1.6 grid-based transcode application adds support for the Apple ProRes 422 media format; new application services expand the functionality of the Omneon Media Application Server (MAS); and French media company Métropole Télévision Group (M6 Group) has picked an Omneon video infrastructure for an end-to-end file-based workflow for on-air delivery.

ProXchange
Leveraging the combined storage and processing architecture of the Omneon MediaGrid active-storage system, Omneon ProXchange 1.6 is capable of faster-than-real-time transcoding of content between ProRes and popular mezzanine production formats, such as Avid DNxHD. This capability enables more-efficient collaborative editing in facilities that use both Avid and Apple edit systems.

ProXchange 1.6 also converts media in the ProRes format to broadcast transmission formats, such as MPEG-2, as well as to low-bitrate distribution formats, such as Flash, WM9, and h.264, with faster-than-real-time processing that speeds delivery of edited content to PC and mobile platforms.

At IBC, Omneon is demonstrating a collaborative editing environment including Apple, Avid, and Adobe edit systems, all operating on a single shared-storage system; its integrated instant production and media-storage workflow built on EVS server systems working with the Omneon MediaGrid; and a studio production environment.

Media Application Server (MAS)
Operating as specific media-processing engines within the Omneon MAS, application services provided by third-party partners Starfish and Softel (captioning), Interra Systems (QC), and XenData (archive) enable automation of critical tasks in content production, verification, and archiving and significantly reduce the time and complexity of media workflows.

Omneon MAS automates workflow tasks and eases media-management functions. Users can set rules that automatically trigger actions by the new services and use Omneon ProXplore to view the status of the processing tasks. As the third-party services complete their actions, they pass metadata and job reports to the MAS server, which then can automatically move media through the next step in the workflow.

Both Starfish and Softel captioning services automatically extract caption data and associate it with the appropriate clip, creating subclips on timecode boundaries of the text from the captions and showing time-specific metadata from captions with the storyboard of the content. As a result, content owners can quickly find the right point in the right media clip.

Baton, the QC service from Interra Systems, automatically checks content after each type of conversion and routes content to the next automated step based on preset rules and the outcome of the QC report. It updates clip metadata to show current QC status, groups clips according to QC status, and flags issues that require attention.

The archive service from XenData allows users to archive files, clips, assets, and groups of clips with a single click. The archive queue is managed by the Omneon MAS but executed by the archive service, which updates the metadata of each clip or asset to specify its current archive location. It also extends the Omneon system’s storage-management capability to tiered storage and offline storage.

Métropole Télévision Group (M6 Group)
French media company M6 Group is using seven Spectrum media servers, MediaGrid active storage system, and six ProXchange transcoding systems to support M6 and W9 digital terrestrial channels, Paris Première and TEVA pay-per-view channels, three music channels, and preparation and distribution of content for video-on-demand (VOD), IPTV, and iPhone. Serving as the core platform for the M6 Group’s tapeless workflow, the highly integrated Omneon systems enable a high degree of automation and faster, more–cost-effective processing from media ingest to content repurposing and playout to multiple platforms.

Two Spectrum systems are used for ingest and are connected to Avid postproduction tools to enable editing and repurposing. The other five Spectrum systems are deployed in a redundant configuration to support playout of ads and programming. The MediaGrid storage system provides an active all-in-one storage platform for a variety of content-production applications along with media production and distribution workflow support. The ProXchange transcoding systems provide automatic transcoding of files as required, generating low-resolution copies of media for efficient internal review and formatting content for delivery to over-the-air broadcast, the M6 Replay VOD service, IPTV service, and iPhone distribution.