Russia’s Channel One Transitions To IP With Evertz

​Russia’s premier television broadcaster, Channel One, has transitioned from HD-SDI technology to full IP after installing an Evertz Mediator playout and content distribution system at its Ostankino Technical Centre in Moscow.

The system incorporates the latest state of the art broadcast technology, and is a powerful and highly integrated ecosystem that spans a large number of workflows. It is now being used to broadcast 12 channels of news, sports and entertainment to more than 250 million viewers worldwide.

Over the last four years, the Ostankino Technical Centre has been transferring its own technical infrastructure to IP, using Evertz SDVN technology and equipment. Continuing to adopt this more modern approach to video/audio stream routing and transmission was just one reason why Channel One decided to upgrade its playout facilities. Other factors included doubling the number of channels broadcast from six to 12, a desire to transition to ‘channel-in-a-box’ technology for on-air programs and a need to improve compatibility with the output format requirements of satellite and cable providers. Channel One also wanted to improve its playout system integration with its business applications and make maximum use of complex graphical capabilities.

Igor Yadykin, Deputy Chief of the Technical department at Channel One, says: “Making major changes to our playout facility is not something that we do often so we wanted to be sure it was a good investment. We are now the first broadcaster in Russia to embrace SMPTE ST2110 (IP) and we have modernized our channel distribution and playout by installing a more software driven, adaptable workflow.”

The Evertz Mediator system installed at Ostankino includes 29 Overture (ORT) Live integrated playout engines; 14 ORT Media Client record servers; 2 Render-X proxy generator servers; an advanced multi-node virtualisation environment hosting Mediator core and computer nodes; 15 VUE CUBE workstations and two Isilon storage clusters (main and backup), each with 9 nodes.

The IP infrastructure consists of two Evertz EXE routers (main and backup) with MAGNUM SDVN and Client Host servers, and an EQX router with MAGNUM for ingest.

Other components include monitoring tools such as VistaLINK PRO with graphics for the network management system (NMS) and inSITE for real-time data analytics; four TR4800E tally routers; two 5700MSC-IP Grand Master Clock and Video Master Clock systems; a 5601AC02 Automatic Changeover and a host of frames with modular products incorporating converters, amplifiers and infrastructure equipment.

Igor Yadykin adds: “The new playout system was created for our Channel One time zone channels, of which there are 12 – each generating SD and HD signals at the same time. Previously, some of the time zones were doubling up but when we changed the system, we added five more hourly zones so that each zone had its own playout. We now have full redundancy, with separate racks and equipment for each channel, plus two spares.” 

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