Harmonic Playout Platform Powers MLB Network Workflow

MLB Network has upgraded its existing Harmonic playout platform with a new software-based Spectrum X advanced media server system. Using the Spectrum X server for MPEG-2 HD playout and recording, MLB Network has achieved increased workflow efficiency, simplicity, and reliability for its extensive studio programming and live game coverage, including 150 regular season games, Postseason game telecasts, more than 150 Spring Training games, and special event coverage. 

“MLB Network is the ultimate television destination for baseball fans, featuring live game coverage, original programming, highlights, and insights and analysis. Given the wide amount of content that we deliver, having an efficient and cost-effective production and playout solution is imperative,” says Mark Haden, vice president of engineering and IT at MLB Network. “Harmonic’s Spectrum X media server offers everything we need: rock-solid reliability, support for a wide range of video codecs and formats, high throughput and low power consumption, enabling us to produce and distribute high-quality content to fans of America’s national pastime.”

harmonic-mlbmastercontrolroomAccording to Futuresource Consulting, IP-based production will become universal by 2025. Harmonic’s Spectrum X advanced media server system streamlines MLB Network’s migration path to an IP playout infrastructure in the future, offering support for both baseband and next-generation internet protocols via a flexible and reliable software-based infrastructure. Moreover, the scalability of the Spectrum X media server architecture will allow the network to quickly adopt new formats such as SMPTE 2022-6, and transition to UHD when needed. An additional benefit of the Spectrum X solution is its open API, which ensured a smooth integration with MLB Network’s existing playout automation system.

“We’re proud to say that MLB Network is a longtime partner of Harmonic. As the network experienced success and growth since its inception eight years ago, the time came to upgrade to a faster, more efficient and flexible media server system,” says Doug Triblehorn, regional vice president of sales, North America Broadcast, at Harmonic. “The Spectrum X media server is our state-of-the-art appliance-based system for playout and production, offering a level of workflow flexibility and cost efficiency that is unparalleled in the industry. Combined with Harmonic’s expertise in sports broadcast deployments, the Spectrum X system provided MLB Network with a win-win situation.”

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