Scripps Network Taps Omneon

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When the Scripps Networks made the move to HD it also made the move to Omneon Video Networks. Scripps is using the company’s Omneon Spectrum media server systems to ingest and playout HD and SD material.

Scripps is using a 24-TB Spectrum system to support ingest of widescreen HD content and two 12-TB Spectrum systems for redundant playout operations. Once ingested into the server the content is archived on a Masstech Hierarchical Storage Management system to a StorageTek nearline archive. HD material is also encoded through a Snell & Wilcox Memphis HD MPEG-2 encoder, and interstitial content originated in SD is upconverted via a Teranex Volare.

John Ajamie, Scripps senior vice president of Broadcast Operations and Maintenance Engineering, says the integration with the Omneon server systems went well.He also like the fact that the system is fully MXF-compliant and can handle closed captioning and audio tracks independently.

“We can also expand the system while we’re on air, allowing us to extend the capabilities of the system further down the road,” he says.

Scripps, like Turner’s TNT HD network, has made the decision to stretch SD content on the HD channels, using Volare’s FlexView, a system that stretches the left and right sides of a picture by 25 percent on each side, leaving the center 50 percent intact. “It doubles the resolution so that both the aspect ratio and line number are consistent with the HD pictures,” explains Ajamie.

When complete at the end of this year, Scripps’ Omneon-based transmission infrastructure will support playout operations for all of its networks, both SD and HD.

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