SRG SSR is a public service media enterprise. Its remit is based on the Swiss Federal Constitution, the Federal Office of Communication (OFCOM). SRG SSR is made up of 5 regional Enterprise Units and 6 subsidiaries, with 6,000 employees, 18 radio stations and 7 television SD/HD channels, as well as websites and teletext services.
The dramatic increase in video traffic and new production models, such as seamless workflows, combined with the deployment of new services and network elements poses several challenges for network owners in terms of reliability and manageability. Network owners are constantly constantly searching for a solution that allows them to consolidate their infrastructure to one converged network, to be more efficient and simplify network management, and allows them to capitalize on emerging media and video opportunities.
SRG SSR, Switzerland’s national public broadcasting organization faced the challenge of monitoring and provisioning content distribution over its network to meet insatiable demand for its services. It had separate networks for radio contribution, radio/video distribution and data services, making network management very complex and future needs difficult to anticipate. The broadcaster needed a new service platform in an environment requiring the highest service availability and quality, while simultaneously saving operating expenses. There were stringent requirements for a rapid migration, with minimal service disruption and a solution which not only provided multi-tier redundancy but also integrated reporting to allow for the policing of Service Level Agreements (SLA).
SRG SSR decided to converge all of its services onto a single platform, carried over its own dedicated optical infrastructure. To save time, money and enhance quality, the network had to be expanded and modernized. This for example required the conversion of the entire studio production area to High Definition (HDTV), which needed a massive expansion of the transmission capacities from the previous level of 5 Gbit/s to 40 Gbit/s.
Net Insight with its video, audio and data transport platform, in partnership with upc cablecom GmbH was able to fulfill these needs. Net Insight’s Nimbra platform was selected to deliver a nationwide contribution/ distribution network for all publicly owned radio and video related services in Switzerland for a high-resolution future and with guaranteed QoS.
The Nimbra solution, carrying uncompressed and compressed HD video and audio, including support for legacy peripherals, was designed to link the different facilities throughout Switzerland. To accommodate SRG SSR’s audio requirements, Net Insight also developed a unique solution with support for MADI (Multichannel Audio Digital Interface). The solution was and still is the only one on the market with guaranteed broadcast QoS for both uncompressed and compressed audio and video traffic. MADI is an industry-standard electronic communications protocol that defines the data format and electrical characteristics of an interface carrying multiple channels of digital audio, offering transparent transport of up to 7 MADI signals, each including up to 64 AES/EBU channels.
To meet the SLA’s reporting and operations management needs, Net Insight’s network management tool Nimbra Vision, together with upc cablecom’s fault management system and a third party supplier’s system for provisioning were all integrated to gain unparalleled control of all parts of the network. SRG SSR, the service provider upc cablecom and Net Insight established an efficient project team. With a thorough planning phase, detailed implementation and migration, combined with careful execution, detailed emergency and roll back procedures, the team made the project very successful.
To facilitate an optimal final installation and implementation phase, Net Insight conducted all the pre-testing and pre-provisioning at the company’s premises in Stockholm, Sweden, and was able to successfully implement the solution within the time limits and with minimal service disruption.
One of the major benefits of implementing Net Insight’s Nimbra platform was to give SRG SSR the highest quality of service and control of all video, audio and data services.
Net Insight successfully catered to all of SRG SSR’s requirements. Its media network now has the capability to transport all video and audio services in compressed and uncompressed formats, and a solution that is well integrated for network monitoring and provisioning. The network runs video, voice and data on the very same platform, eliminating the need for any additional external converters. It also supports through-clocks and synchronous clocks which is unique and fits perfectly into a heterogeneous environment.
The solution also runs smoothly thanks to a special setup involving a customized spare part handling process within upc cablecom and next day spare part replacement by the third party supplier. The media network is fully integrated with legacy interfaces, which allows SRG SSR to realize operational savings and utilize investments already made.