NRK updates transcoding platform to Telestream Vantage

Norwegian national broadcaster NRK has updated its transcoding platform, moving to a highly automated network based on Telestream Vantage. The networked system has been implemented in the broadcaster’s Oslo headquarters and in 18 other regional centres, and will facilitate primary format conversion between HD and SD.

According to NRK system administrator, Jarle Igeltjørn, the system architecture and the workflows were designed in house by NRK with support from Telestream. In total there are 47 Vantage licenses in the network, with 29 of the servers in Oslo. The system includes 20 Telestream Lightspeed Servers: 1RU hardware devices designed with multiple CPU and GPU capability for the specific purpose of accelerating digital encoding and maintaining quality.

The new Vantage system provides a common platform for virtually all transcoding tasks within the broadcaster, including ingesting content, converting user-generated material to the house format, and providing multiple outputs and adaptive bitrate streaming for online and mobile content delivery. In some workflows graphics are automatically inserted, or content is replaced where NRK does not have the rights to transmit it online.

“In our main installation in Oslo we have about 70 active workflows, which routinely process up to 700 encodes in a single day,” says Egil Ljøstad, head of file-based production at NRK Technology. “We have seen as many as 1500 jobs in a day. In general, workflows are initiated automatically, either by the Omnibus asset management system or by the Signiant content delivery platform, but there is a drop folder system available when NRK staff need to initiate a process manually.”

Paul Turner, VP of enterprise product management at Telestream, adds: “This is an excellent example of the way that a well-designed platform can provide a simple, fast and largely automated transcode network. NRK wanted to be able to design the system to meet their very specific needs, and then to develop the workflows on top of it. With little direct support from us they were able to do this, and to create a networked solution that moves content around the country and around the broadcaster smoothly, seamlessly and without compromising quality.”

The system was supplied by Video4, the Telestream distributor in Norway.

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