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Video servers, difficult decision

altThere are several video servers that currently exist in the market, so your choice should be based even on the size of the companies and the thinking of their administrators.

By Richard Santa

 

The changes that the television industry is experiencing have made it a complicated job for a company in the sector, in recent years, to make a decision when acquiring a video server.

Today there are many variables that must be taken into account. Among them are the huge number of file formats, television standards and transcoding capability, which became the number one factor in the decision to buy it.

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Claude Turcotte, president and CEO of the company Maestro Vision, argues that "the television industry is changing drastically. The years of video tape are clearly behind us. Now, the content of the camera, the video editing, archiving, recording and storage, are all made using the format of the archived material."

For this reason, he adds, a television station is not only linear signal going over the air, but also video on demand over the Internet and podcasting.

These changes within the industry mean that television "is not choosing a video service for an amount of storage or input or output numbers. The operational and technical efficiency of the workflows began an important challenge to combat in the competitive market of the sale of advertising, "says Claude Turcotte.

Market trends
There are several companies that offer video servers for the television industry. VSN is one of them. Its VSNstorage product allows you to securely share and manage high-quality digital content in those environments where it is an essential requirement to have high bandwidths and high performance.

This server, highlights the company, is designed to support all stations working at full capacity simultaneously. In addition, with the VSNnetsharer application, it supports the creation of architectures with different servers. Each supports up to 25 users working simultaneously in DV25 high-resolution format.

This system was optimized to send high-resolution and real-time audiovisual content to workstations, with the aim of increasing productivity and reducing costs.

Its development was based on standard and open technologies such as SAN and NAS, which can be installed in both Gigabit Ethernet and Fiber Channel environments with modular hardware.

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The servers are offered in rack format (1U, 2U and 3U) with storage capacity from 75 to 300 hours in DV25 high resolution format.

VSNarchive is another video server from this company. It has an advanced DAM (Digital Asset Manager), which covers all aspects: ingestion, catalog, storage (either on-line, near-line or off-line), search, and tape management and distribution.

You can digitize thousands of hours of on-line video in low resolution, being immediately available for search and preview from any client or through the internet.

The Mediagrid is the server of the company Omneon, which plays an active role in media workflows and is designed specifically for digital media workflows.

It directly supports production media applications and actively performs processing functions on stored content. Consolidating content, reducing workflows, and optimizing management are some of its goals.

It also combines group storage with grid computing, with multiple intelligent nodes, interconnected, but independent of creating a system that adjusts in manageable steps of capacity, bandwidth and processing media power.


Grass Valley's Lx0 K2 server is another market offering that is optimizing broadcast, production, multi-online support, and media-independent storage configurations.

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It is available in non-redundant and redundant configurations, which use the latest information technologies and standards for the best price performance, offer the highest bandwidth available, and allow you to add bandwidth and storage capacity easily.

Some product highlights are inline storage, SAN storage production, standalone storage, among others.

Benefits for the industry
The president and CEO of the company Maestro Vision, Claude Turcotte, points out that thanks to the flexibility of video servers, telecommunications companies can have good benefits. Among them are:
• Save on costs by introducing a central MAM solution for reservation, direction, movement and transcoding of media files.
• Save time: for less dedication of your time to search for existing media material and providing the tools to easily share content and work between users
• Generate revenue: reusing and trying again your valuable asset created in previous projects and serving multiple distribution platforms
• Consistency: Fast engagement of content across global or local business units.
• Increased speed to market: by having the necessary asset ready at your fingertips developing new media projects
• Legacy Investment Protection: Seamlessly integrating into your existing environment that provides the comprehensive gaming instruments to archive and retrieve your valuable asset.

Precisely Maestro Vision offers a video server with native support of digital SD and HD content in a multitude of file formats, which provides a powerful standard VDCP broadcast solution.

It allows you to broadcast in NTSC or PAL with precision referenced reproductions to the frame, with subtitle encoding and embedded SDI temporary codes.

Other servers
Based on the fact that the television environment has become an incredibly competitive market, the company Quantel developed the Enterprise sQ server.

This is used by the BBC, ESPN, Fox, TV2 of Norway, TV3 of Malaysia, TVNZ, TV Botswana, NDR, Red Bee Media, NRK, BSkyB, Sky Australia and Channel 7, which apply the server for news and / or sports.

Enterprise sQ is fully scalable no matter the size of the operation or the scope of work required, and all systems come standard with full HD production capability.

The Enterprise sQ system fully integrates with most computerized news systems (NRCS), automation, Media Asset Management, MAM and file systems.

In addition, it handles a growing number of video formats that television organizations must face. Inputs can be anything from a simple viewing quality video to HD.

Finally, the Harris company offers five video server and storage solutions under the Nexio reference. Among them are the Farad, high-performance storage; the Sbod, of storage nuances and the Nxiq of storage in groups.

Claude Turcotte concludes that the benefits of these developments depend on the size of the telecommunications company and are combined with the vision of the managers.

"Implementing the new technology must have a direct effect on income generation and cost savings. It is sometimes difficult for an administrator to see the direct or indirect benefits of the new technology."

It concludes that for companies in the small sector, the cost of new technology and investment does not benefit. "But now there are many technologies that benefit and can help the medium station in Latin America to improve its process."

Richard Santa, RAVT
Author: Richard Santa, RAVT
Editor
Periodista de la Universidad de Antioquia (2010), con experiencia en temas sobre tecnología y economía. Editor de las revistas TVyVideo+Radio y AVI Latinoamérica. Coordinador académico de TecnoTelevisión&Radio.

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