European Culture Channel Stays On-Air with Pebble Beach Automation

ARTE, the European culture channel, has upgraded its playout automation and the handling of file-based playlists across multiple locations as part of a new disaster recovery infrastructure. To help synchronize all its broadcast operations, ARTE recently purchased a Marina automation system from Pebble Beach Systems.

The French-German channel broadcasts its cultural programming in HD, managing its main playout operations from its offices in Strasbourg, France, with a disaster recovery (DR) center located just across the border in Germany. Since its inception in 1991, ARTE has broadcast the same programs in two languages, in France and Germany. It was the first broadcaster to create a bi-lingual television channel for two distinct audiences.

Jean-Michel Roy, Technical engineering service manager at ARTE, said they maintain three transmission lists for each channel: one main, one back up and one for DR. Each channel’s main playlists and back up playlists are located in the main building in Strasbourg, while the French and German channels DR playlists are located in Germany. 

Pebble Beach Systems also developed an easy-to-use interface between the station’s in-house proprietary traffic system and Marina, to ensure a smooth integration into ARTE’s existing infrastructure.

ARTE is planning a phased implementation of the new automation system. Roy and his team anticipate that the move to Marina in the DR site will be completed by October 2016 while the main site will be finalized by April 2017.

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