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12/09/2008

TSL Wins Red Bee Media Contract For Channel 4 Operations Move

Following a competitive tender, TSL has announced a major contract with Red Bee Media, which will see Channel 4's playout facility move from the broadcaster's current premises in Horseferry Road to Red Bee Media's Broadcast Centre in White City.
The new system, designed in conjunction with Red Bee Media, will be built by TSL and will be ready for transmission in summer 2009.
TSL will build a dedicated state-of-the-art file-based facility at Broadcast Centre, which will deliver significant improvements in the overall efficiency of the operations of Channel 4. It will further provide the broadcaster with the latest technology and innovation in media management and delivery.
The move encompasses the transfer of the entire Channel 4 Channel Operations Department with library, media management, QC, playout and transcoding relocating to Red Bee Media's Broadcast Centre. The Post Production and Graphics Services will remain at Horseferry Road under the management of Red Bee Media.
The new system installed by TSL will include four Omeneon Spectrum media systems, in a main and back-up configuration for playout of Channel 4, More4, Film4 and E4. The Channel 4 Spectrum will deliver both SD & HD output. Niels Thomas, Omneon's VP Sales EMEA commented: "For Red Bee Media and other leading service providers, the Omneon Spectrum media system consistently delivers, allowing expansion of operations and functionality as business requires it, without broadcast disruption."
Automation (Morpheus), routing (HD Cygnus), master control (HD Masterpiece) and the new version of Morpheus Control and Monitoring will be supplied by Pro-Bel. The company's next generation Morpheus automation solution allows complex sequences of events to be packaged together, instantly providing simple presentation for the Red Bee Media operator and easy manipulation within the Channel 4 schedule.
Graham Pitman, CEO of Pro-Bel, explained: "Pro-Bel has a long history with Channel 4 and we are very pleased that it is continuing. We have also worked extensively with Red Bee Media and we are excited that such a comprehensive range of our technology is being deployed in this leading-edge installation."
A Snell & Wilcox Quasar Ph.C provides Channel 4 with a motion-compensated HDTV upconverter that delivers twice the resolution of some other systems, to produce clear and sharp HD outputs from a variety of SD inputs. Quasar Ph.C is a key component in Channel 4's strategy to bring HD programming to the market as quickly as possible, while laying the groundwork for future delivery of native HD content.
Joe Zaller, VP Marketing of Snell & Wilcox, said: "The Snell & Wilcox Quasar Ph.C is the only HD Upconverter that uses motion compensation technology improving the traditional delivery workflow."
AXON Digital Design is supplying the modular infrastructure equipment (glue) for this project. The equipment is used throughout the main play-out, back-up and linking facilities. Over 600 Synapse modules will be used and these will be placed in 45 SFR18-frames.
The Synapse modules for Channel 4 includes down converters, cross converters, aspect ratio converters, audio description processors, back-up switchers, logo inserters, signal integrity checkers (HD & SD), video delays (HD & SD), frame synchronisers (HD & SD), distribution amplifiers (HD, SD, analogue video, analogue audio & AES) and Dolby E encoder and decoders.
David Philips, CEO of TSL, commented: "This is one of the largest outsourced playout projects in recent times and we are delighted to be working with Red Bee Media again. This installation will provide Channel 4 with a sophisticated facility that will take advantage of the latest technical innovation and further improve its services.
"The Red Bee Media project is being overseen by TSL Project Manager Andy Appleyard who is available at IBC2008 on TSL's Stand 10.B41."
Further information is available at: www.tsl.co.uk.
(KMcA/JM)
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