Sky Deutschland Upgrades Sport Production To UHD With Rohde & Schwarz

Rohde & Schwarz has supplied the latest version of its R&S VENICE media server and R&S SpycerNode intelligent storage solution to Sky Deutschland. The German broadcaster will now benefit from a highly robust workflow, with full built-in redundancy and no single point of failure, for its coverage of premium sports content, such as the Bundesliga and Champions League.

The broadcaster has invested in six new VENICE units, along with a new SpycerNode, delivering a total of 24 channels of scalable centralised and external storage capability as well as support for UHDp50. The upgraded workflow handles ingest to VENICE and transfers files directly into SpycerNode, allowing the Sky Deutschland team to access and edit growing files, pull out clips for highlights packages and playout directly. VENICE also ensures correct flagging and handling of UHD and HDR material, eliminating errors in the delivery chain without the need for external third-party systems.

“Consistency and quality are the bedrock of our brand and two things we pride ourselves on. As we meet our viewers’ demands for higher volumes of richer content, having a rock-solid 24/7 channel playout workflow that can meet our evolving needs is a must have,” said Christian Barth, Director of Production Platforms & Playout at Sky Deutschland. “Rohde & Schwarz has a clear understanding of our requirements and with this new generation of VENICE and SpycerNode, we have all the scalability we need now, and in the future. This upgrade also gives us the redundancy necessary in our playout environment.”

VENICE is specifically designed to support mission-critical broadcast applications, such as group ingest and playout to studio and master control, managing complex signal processing and storage requirements. The system provides scheduled recording, clip transforms and playout, integrating with Rohde & Schwarz shared storage, SpycerNode as well as certified third-party systems. This solution offers support for 4K Ultra HD signals, using either single link 12G SDI or quad link 3G SDI (incl. 2SI option), and is also capable of SMPTE ST-2110.

SpycerNode leverages High Performance Computing (HPC) file systems for high scalability and full redundancy with even the smallest unit. Easily configurable to meet broadcasters’ capacity and bandwidth requirements – including during operation – this solution offers shared storage to support fast turnaround workflows.

In addition, Rohde & Schwarz VSA (Virtual Storage Access) technology is being deployed at Sky Deutschland and provides maximum fail safety and seamless redundancy for all R&S applications for ingest and playout. This software-based solution ensures maximum flexibility for further deployments and system expansion.

“Today broadcasters need efficient ways of working in high-pressure live environments. They also need solutions that deliver an unmatched level of reliability and the scalability to ensure their operations can keep pace with the growing demand for high quality content.,” said Andreas Loges, Vice President of Media Solutions. “At Rohde & Schwarz, we are focused on developing solutions that meet our customers real world challenges today but will also grow with them in future. We are extremely proud that Sky Deutschland has chosen to implement the latest iterations of our VENICE and SpycerNode solutions and extend our long-standing partnership.” 

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