Sur Networks

The Client:

The oldest Hispanic television programmer in the United States.

The Project:

Very fast deployment of four US Spanish language general entertainment and news networks.

The Challenges:

Must receive content daily from over 32 different TV channel feeds on over 10 different satellites.

Must also receive content via FTP, portable hard drive, digitized from videotape, and Live from Studio

Must re-compile in real time to create four new 24/7 satellite-distributed channel services.

Must launch very quickly, including rapid deployment of all new satellite decoders to network affiliates.

The Solution:

Upcom Technologies UC-MP automated ingest/playout solution, and Upcom Technologies MPEG4/2 Advanced IRD UC-IRD+

The Story: 

Two years ago SUR approached us with a need to originate four television networks, SUR , SUR Peru, Mexico TV, Estudio 5 , TV Venezuela, to be distributed by satellite to the US market. Content for these four services needed to be a complete re-assembly of programs taken from 40 other services. Time from Sur’s new service request to hard channel launch was a very short 30 day deployment time.

UC-MP : To make this type of downlink/compile/playout/uplink service reliable, it had to be automated. Our own UC-MP system was clearly the answer. UC-MP’s Ingest servers have 16 simultaneous capture ports. UC-MP’s automation can control any size SDI router; we chose in this case a 40 x 40.  UC-MP allows cut editing of ingested material, which is critical to the channel workflow.  UC-MP is also “file format agnostic”, so content taken in via FTP or portable hard drive in file formats other than those created by our own direct baseband ingest do not need to be converted for air, saving critical time when content arrives last minute. And of course UC-MP can control any size fileserver, for short or long term storage.

Workflow : A daily UC-MP playlist for each of the four networks is created by United Teleports operators, using Scheduling information electronically imported from Sur’s Broadview Traffic system. UC-MP’s Ingest module reads these playlists and automatically ingests content from 40 different incoming satellite feeds. United Teleports skilled operators then make sure all material was recorded, perform Quality Control, and when necessary mark and trim each piece of content so its duration exactly fits the daily playlist for that content’s network. UC-MP playout automation then plays each element frame accurately to air for the four networks with “5 nines” reliability. Operators can override UC-MP at any time, for example to switch in and out of TV Venezuela Daily News Live feed which arrives at United Teleports via IP.

Satellite Distribution:  These four networks are encoded in H.264 (MPEG4) and uplinked by United Teleports in Miami, Florida to Galaxy-23 and Satmex-6, also with “5 nines” reliability. Signal is received at cable head ends throughout the United States by United Teleports rapidly deployed MPEG4/MPEG2 transcoding satellite receivers, which were built by United’s sister company Upcom Technologies and provide very high quality transcoding at very affordable prices. United Teleports manages all satellite receiver/decoder authorizations as well as provides 24 hour NOC and Teleport phone and email technical support.

Conclusion:  When a new television network needs to be compiled from so many different sources, often in real time, with no room for error, and launched into multiple markets very quickly, United Teleports was able to supply a true end-to-end solution using its own equipment. For Channel Origination, UC-MP Automated Ingest/Playout system offered a fast, reliable and effective solution that has been functioning with more than 5 nines reliability since launch. For Channel Distribution, United Teleports’ own cost-effective Upcom satellite decoders offered excellent quality, were rapidly deployed, and have been extremely reliable in the field.

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