Harmonic Enables Economical, Reliable HD Playout for The Museum Channel

France’s Secom media group has deployed the Harmonic Spectrum MediaDeck integrated media server and ChannelPort integrated channel playout systems along with the Harmonic Polaris Play channel-in-a-box automation software to enable flexible, cost-effective playout for The Museum Channel. In addition to providing integrated playout, graphic branding, and automation in a compact 1-RU chassis, the Harmonic infrastructure enables the broadcaster to operate multiple HD channels with greater reliability and at a significantly lower cost per channel than with its previous playout solution.

“In migrating to a new playout solution for The Museum Channel, we required an economical and stable solution that would enable fully automated scheduled playout with minimal operator intervention,” says Vincent Charley, chief operating officer at The Museum Channel. “Given our success using the Spectrum MediaDeck system to support our local TV news channel Grand Lille TV since 2009, we were confident that a Harmonic solution could best meet these requirements while providing other compelling benefits, such as space savings and simplicity of operation.”

For The Museum Channel, the new Harmonic infrastructure supports efficient ingest of clips and content via the MediaDeck system and branded HD playout of original content via Polaris Play automation software. Polaris Play provides Harmonic’s Spectrum playout solution with a rich set of automated ingest, media preparation and playout workflow capabilities that facilitate efficient and cost-effective management of three fully branded HD channels: an international feed of The Museum Channel with French, English, and Russian audio tracks; a Russian feed of The Museum Channel with Cyrillic script and a Russian audio track; and My Nature TV, a landscape channel. These channels are available to subscribers on pay-TV platforms and on connected devices.

Coupled with the Spectrum MediaDeck and its high-density I/O capabilities, integrated file services, and native codec and file wrapper support, Polaris Play simplifies The Museum Channel’s end-to-end workflow, from ingest to playout. Leveraging the clip playout functionality and channel-branding capabilities of the ChannelPort system, the Harmonic solution simplifies key functions such as the triggering of complex sequences and transitions. With these tightly integrated Harmonic capabilities, Secom has been able to streamline system integration and workflow, reduce equipment purchase expenditures, and ease maintenance and operations costs for The Museum Channel. Going forward, this Harmonic infrastructure also offers Secom the option of launching a fourth HD channel for The Museum Channel with a low-cost automation control license rather than further infrastructure investment.

“Secom’s use of Harmonic infrastructure for The Museum Channel demonstrates the very attractive financial and operational benefits for multichannel operations delivered by our Spectrum server systems and Polaris Play automation software,” says Ian Graham, vice president of sales, EMEA, at Harmonic. “Working with these systems, operators can easily oversee ingest, branding and playout of visually rich HD broadcasts with the sophistication and continuity that viewers expect of visually impactful programming.”