In 2020 Foxtel started a project to exit the aging television centre facility at Macquarie Park. The plan involved migrating their entire technology platform across two sites in Sydney to an all-IP platform encompassing video routing, satellite, OTT and more.
After more than 12 months of market research, testing and trialling various vendor IP monitoring solutions, Foxtel chose a TAG solution for all their IP monitoring requirements. This TAG monitoring solution, supplied by Magna Systems & Engineering, is thought to be the largest solution of its kind in the southern hemisphere and in the top ten solutions of its kind globally.
Starting with an RFI in 2020, progressing to an extensive RFP in 2021 and followed by a POC, the TAG solution ticked all the boxes for Foxtel’s new multiviewing and monitoring for all of their IP sources across multiple sites.
The TAG solution is now monitoring over 2,000 sources across multiple sites with all types of IP signals including uncompressed HD and UHD, compressed HD and UHD, OTT - HLS, CMAF and DASH including DRM, NDI and any combination of these signals can be monitored on just one server. TAG is also a software solution running entirely on COTS hardware.
When the RFP was concluded Foxtel also opted for the latest DELL R650 server with dual ConnectX6 200GE cards. Each server is capable of monitoring up to 128 uncompressed SMPTE ST2110 HD inputs with -7 seamless switching protection.
The new TAG IP solution is used across the entire Foxtel platform, from the ingest of the signal from playout or third parties, pre-compression and post compression. It is also used across multiple departments including MCR, Presentation and Foxtel’s Service Assurance teams across two sites under one control environment. A great example is how Foxtel use the TAG solution comes in the form of the monitoring of their event-based OTT streams. Using the fully open API Foxtel have integrated this into their resource scheduling platform to provide operators with verification of customer delivery. Foxtel’s automation system, in turn, then supplies TAG with the necessary CDN details associated with an event to start decoding and probing. This now means that the once cumbersome workflows of checking a physical device for the event start are no longer required as there is now a continued monitoring of the stream from start to finish.
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