Discovery Communications completes move of US network playout to public cloud

Evertz Microsystems and Discovery Communications, home of global brands including Discovery Channel, TLC and ID, have completed the transition of Discovery’s US networks to public cloud-based origination utilising an Evertz solution running within the Amazon Web Services’ (AWS) Public Cloud.

In partnership with Evertz, Discovery Communications has built a highly resilient, reliable, fully virtualised and scalable linear transmission and media asset management solution. This system uses Evertz’ cloud playout solution, which includes Mediator-X, Overture-RT LIVE and Render-X. Also included are Software Defined Video Networking (SDVN) solutions using IPX Switch Fabrics, Network Address Translators (NAT) and encoding/decoding products from Evertz. The solution includes full support for LIVE events, the first of which went to air between 19 and 21 October where Discovery aired over 40 hours of LIVE program content on Velocity.

Evertz’ cloud playout solution is deployed natively on AWS, a public-cloud based computing platform specialising in on-demand compute and storage. Mediator-X, Overture-RT LIVE and Render-X are hosted across six data centres diversely distributed between two geographic regions including northern Virginia and Ireland.

“Evertz’ cloud-based playout solution has transformed Discovery Communications’ playout operations and has given us the scalability, flexibility and agility to address continuously evolving business and technical challenges,” said Brinton Miller, SVP of technology strategy and architecture at Discovery. “We have seen success this month with Live events utilising the public cloud. The possibilities of this solution are endless.”

Said Dan Turow, VP of file-based solutions at Evertz: “Evertz and Discovery’s committed partnership was the driving force of this venture. This partnership allowed us to collaboratively reinvent traditional master control and playout applications and produce a new cloud native and highly scalable solution. The extensive airing of LIVE events is a key milestone in the project and clearly demonstrates that both file based playout and LIVE events are practical and feasible within these advanced architectures.”

Mediator-X provides Discovery Communications with a media asset management (MAM) and workflow engine to drive advanced file flows as well as comprehensive playout automation. Mediator-X prioritises and automates all file transfer operations to and from Amazon’s S3 storage platform.

Overture-RT LIVE, Evertz’ Software Modular Playout Engine, delivers a list of complex secondary events including logo/graphics insertion, rich SCTE metadata messaging, audio loudness correction, Nielsen watermarking, Dolby D encoding and more. The system also provides the ability to scale up and recover playout instances using automated orchestration methodologies, giving Discovery the agility and flexibility to dynamically scale their operations.

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