VT Communications Collaborates with Harris Corporation to Build New Multiplatform Programme Distribution System
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Press release date: September 8, 2006
AMSTERDAM, Netherlands, Sept. 8 / -- Harris Corporation (NYSE:HRS) today announced that it is collaborating with VT Communications, an industry-leading broadcast services provider in the United Kingdom, to integrate the Intraplex® NetXpress(TM) audio-over-IP managed platform as a key component in the development of the first phase of VT Communications' innovative new multiplatform global content distribution system. VT Communications has selected Harris to supply a range of products, including the D-Series(TM) Playout Automation system, an application within the H-Class(TM) Application Suite, and the NetBoss® network management system for complete fault management and performance reporting. The system also will use Intelligent Media Mover, a Harris workflow management solution. As part of an overall system, Harris is supplying infrastructure products for an integrated Broadcast Centre located in southern England that will manage the worldwide operation.
VT Communications has provided world-leading distribution and transmission services from a traditional control room infrastructure since its formation in 1997. However, there was a need for a fundamental shift in the company's operational paradigm to develop services to encompass the global, multiplatform, multimedia requirements of today's broadcaster. Consequently, VT Communications built a new media distribution system, equally suited to stream or file-based media, to maximise the benefits of IP and state-of-the-art multicast techniques.
By coupling this technology with distributed asset-management, network automation and custom-developed content management, VT Communications is able to offer a complete, single-sourced, media-management, global distribution and transmission/platform delivery service over multiple media platforms. Live or stream management is facilitated within the Global Media Network (GMN), allowing point-to-point and point-to-multipoint distribution within the network.
"We chose to collaborate with Harris on this major project because it was able to provide a turnkey solution that allowed us to maximise the benefits of a multiplatform distributed network," said Bryan Coombes, general manager, broadcast, VT Communications. "We worked with Harris to architect a system that would develop our capabilities to transport, manage and monitor our audio services. The NetXpress(TM) platform is central to this distributed network, and provides a flexible audio codec that features very low latency when switching from one multicast source to another. High flexibility coupled with a high packaging density allows our customers to benefit from a simplified, cost-effective route to provide global, multiplatform broadcast services."
"We worked very closely with VT Communications to provide a turnkey solution that would support its cross-media broadcast infrastructure," said Dave Dougall, vice president of Europe, Middle East and Africa sales for the Harris Broadcast Communications Division. "Harris' ability to integrate the various components to support a global IP-based solution -- from media management and system automation to media monitoring -- will enable VT Communications to expand its business model to incorporate countless platforms and provide new revenue-generating streams. Unique to this installation is the centralisation of the automation control, which enables the globally located NetXpress(TM) codecs to be controlled by the D-Series(TM) via an SNMP protocol."
This new distributed model removes the traditional audio router as a single point of failure from the workflow, with all routing occurring on a meshed, multiple-route infrastructure. By choosing the best platform to suit their programming needs, broadcasters benefit instantly by getting higher availability and flexibility when it comes to managing their distribution paths.
The Intelligent Media Mover management tool is core to VT Communications' ability to redirect and, if necessary, repurpose media based on user-defined business rules. For example, it is possible to reformat files to suit diverse platforms, including Internet formats for podcasting, streaming, file-on- demand and mobile network delivery. Furthermore, by integrating VT Communications' asset management capability using Harris' Intelligent Media Mover file management tool, program files of differing formats delivered to the Broadcast Centre by FTP for ad-hoc transmission can be utilised for secondary revenue generation. So by providing point-to-point program delivery, ad-hoc program delivery under automation control and secondary IP delivery, VT Communications is able to provide a complete, single-sourced, end-to-end solution for every broadcast output requirement.
NetXpress(TM) is the next generation in the Harris® Intraplex® line of reliable transport solutions, streamlining the broadcast industry's transition from T1/E1 circuits to IP connections. It is a managed networking platform that can send multiple services -- including audio, data and PBX telephone connections -- over a single IP connection. NetXpress(TM) offers IP-based, scalable bandwidth circuits that are less expensive as a result of packetisation, a process in which information is divided into small segments and placed into packets prior to transport over the IP network.
Designed as a mission-critical automation solution for direct-to-home (DTH) satellite delivery services platforms, cable multiple system operators (MSOs), and global and national commercial TV networks, the D-Series(TM) automation solution emphasises workflow efficiency, coupled with the highest levels of system resilience. With complete scalability and redundancy, D- Series(TM) allows stations to manage complex, multi-channel operations, while employing a small number of staff. In addition, D-Series(TM) customers can reconfigure and upgrade their systems while remaining "on air."
NetBoss® is a turnkey, end-to-end Service Assurance solution for broadband, wireless and converged networks. The innovative approach to network and service management employed by the NetBoss network management platform provides a low total cost of ownership for network operations and maintenance, and enables operators to improve quality of service. NetBoss® functions as a scalable "manager-of-managers," enabling users to proactively manage and maintain their entire network from legacy to next generation, from a single Web-enabled view. The NetBoss network management platform is a product of the NetBoss® business unit, an operation of the Harris Microwave Communications Division.
About VT Communications
VT Communications, part of VT Group plc, is a leading specialist communications services company, providing innovative technical solutions and systems integration across the RF spectrum from VLF to SHF from 29 locations around the world. VT Communications designs, builds, operates, maintains and supports mission critical infrastructure for some of the most demanding organisations among them defence organisations, national governments, NGOs, broadcasters and space agencies.
VT Communications has extensive expertise in developing everything from principal infrastructure to delivering unique customised technical solutions. Its core capabilities include Radio Frequency Engineering, ICT, Specialist Vehicle & Container Engineering and Power Generation & Distribution, providing all technical support services, communications facilities management and project management. Currently, VT Communications provides such services for a broad range of customers including the UK Ministry of Defence, the Swedish Navy, European Space Agency and global relief organisations.
Global broadcast infrastructure owned and operated by VT Communications transmits over 1,000 hours of both short and medium wave broadcasts every day for customers including the BBC World Service, NHK (Radio Japan), Radio Canada International, Radio Netherlands, Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) and Voice of America. VT Communications is a founding member of Digital Radio Mondiale (DRM), a consortium of broadcast related organisations working to bring digital AM radio to the market place. Additional information about VT Communications is available at www.vtplc.com/communications.
About Harris Corporation
Harris is an international communications and information technology company serving government and commercial markets in more than 150 countries. With headquarters in Melbourne, Florida, the company has annual sales of $3.5 billion and nearly 14,000 employees -- including 6,000 engineers and scientists -- dedicated to the development of best-in-class assured communications(TM) products, systems, software and services. The company's operating divisions serve markets for government communications, RF communications, broadcast communications, and microwave communications. Additional information about Harris Corporation is available at www.harris.com.
See Harris Broadcast Communications Division
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Source: Harris Corporation
Laura Whitaker, Vice President, Marketing Communications Harris Broadcast Communications Division Laura.Whitaker@harris.com Tel:+1-408-782-1201
Meriam Khan, MKM Marketing Communications, email@example.com +44 (0) 20 8141 4703
Web site: http://www.harris.com/ http://www.vtplc.com/communications http://www.ibc.org/