Network News Service falls for SSL MediaWAN Gravity

Solid State Logic has taken an order for a MediaWAN Gravity solution from Network News Service (NNS). An important factor in the decision to install MediaWAN was SSL’s ability to customize aspects of the Gravity solution to meet the client’s requirements and existing infrastructure. Design modifications that led to the adoption of MediaWAN include creation of custom links to databases for News and Satellite operations and the development of tools that allow third-party craft editors to operate with the Gravity system.

Gravity displays real-time incoming content across a client’s entire IP network. This feature allows multiple live feed monitoring, or LFM. LFM allows users to select multiple incoming feeds and displays them on the desktop simultaneously, thus eliminating costly cable and monitor infrastructure. Using the multi-monitor function, operators can create up to four additional windows that look at any of the 20-plus incoming feeds.

SSL’s unique live timeline capability, Live Edit, was another essential feature. LiveEdit allows the user to work on a timeline within an editor that continues to expand as more content is streamed into the file. The user is not required to re-load the clip or refresh the screen in order to see additional video. The SSL LiveEdit solution provides users with a continuous, ever-growing timeline. In a fast-paced news environment, this kind of feature is critically important.

The MediaWAN Gravity solution purchased by NNS is comprised of 20 encoders and can store 32 terabytes of video on a fully mirrored Gravity server. Content is prepared for distribution at approximately 30 workstations within the facility. An additional 30 workstations nationwide connect to the client’s network via SSL’s Backhaul video distribution solution.

The Gravity Web client featured in this MediaWAN Gravity solution allows producers to remotely access, play back and manipulate content from their bureau or remotely via personal computer at any location. Solid State Logic has also created a custom module that allows all metadata to be transmitted to the news production server of the client’s numerous headquarters.

These headquarters feature MediaWAN Gravity editors that allow them to create finished pieces for distribution to affiliates. The client’s partner networks are then able to automatically schedule the transmission of these clips for distribution to their affiliates, using the Gravity automated scheduling software.

The result is fast and efficient creation and distribution of content to existing in-house infrastructures and broadcast. The MediaWAN Gravity solution also allows the creation of licensing and embargoing structures for all of the client’s subscribers.

“The Gravity system supports the creation of multiple media formats simultaneously,” comments Solid State Logic Group Commercial Director Piers Plaskitt. “For our client, this means that Gravity will process audio and video content into three different formats as required by each of its partners’ transmission and file transfer systems. All metadata from the Gravity system is likewise transported via an SSL adaptation of MOS. Gravity is a MOS-compliant production solution which means that we can fully integrate with the client’s newsroom information systems and satellite scheduling software.”

MediaWAN is also format agnostic, allowing it to read and combine or edit any file sent to it. This feature allows the combination of 4:3 and 16:9 content on the same timeline while allowing for compilation to either format.

The MediaWAN technology platform represents a major expansion of Solid State Logic’s business. Encompassing all aspects of digital video acquisition and storage technologies, MediaWAN Gravity is a complete, scalable broadcast production system that utilizes a suite of specially designed applications running on standard high-performance PCs and servers.

Geared to the fast-moving, multi-format nature of today’s media operations, the software provides encoders to import video from a variety of sources including HD, a preview and job allocation interface for production co-ordinators, editing software for journalists and management tools for news producers. An asset management database and user interface also provide for seamless information lifecycle management in the video domain.

MediaWAN Backhaul allows media networks to install encoders at remote locations and automatically ingest video and audio content to central servers where it is immediately available for use. The system operates over a private MPLS network that provides a very high QoS and highly efficient use of the bandwidth enabling broadcast-resolution video to be delivered at a fraction of the cost of traditional satellite transmission. The system operates at very low latency, which significantly improves the performance of the circuit for remote interviews.

Previewed at NAB in 2006, Solid State Logic’s MediaWAN project has been under development for three years. SSL has assembled a team of highly experienced designers, including developers of leading newsroom content management systems currently in use. Collectively, the team has developed products that have won three Emmys and an Oscar in this field.

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