PLAZAMEDIA relies on Snell Morpheus for playout

PLAZAMEDIA GmbH has extended its installation of Snell’s Morpheus broadcast-automation solution to play out its entire lineup of 16 premium channels, including the full roster of Sky SD and HD sports channels and, most recently, the Disney Channel. With the migration of the Disney Channel, PLAZAMEDIA’s Morpheus installation is now one of the most significant in Europe.

“Our company has been using Snell software and hardware since 1996, and we value our nearly 16-year partnership. Over this period, Snell has consistently applied its insight to develop products that meet the evolving requirements of broadcasters,” says Chris Wieland, director of technology, PLAZAMEDIA GmbH. “Morpheus is the ideal choice for our range of high-end and premium channels, and we look forward to continuing our partnership with Snell well into the future.”

PLAZAMEDIA provides playout services from its headquarters in Ismaning, north of Munich. The Sky sports channels now under Morpheus playout automation are four SD channels, three HD channels, and Sky 3D, as well as an additional “wild card” channel that enables Sky to open additional program slots temporarily during peak periods. In addition, the channels SPORT1 and SPORT1+ are running on Morpheus, along with two channels for Walt Disney Co. Germany (Disney XD and Disney Junior), a new American pay-TV channel called My German TV, and the sports channel My Sports Germany. PLAZAMEDIA decided to migrate the Disney Channel to Morpheus automation in order to meet the specifications of its customer, Walt Disney Co. Germany.

In addition to Morpheus automation, nine Snell Sirius 600 routers —two 64×64 routers, two 256×256, and the rest 128×128 — drive PLAZAMEDIA’s playout operation. “Because 80% of our Sirius routers are controlled by Morpheus automation, it made sense to choose automation hardware and software from the same vendor. Looking back, this has saved us a lot of time during channel design and commissioning, since all consulting and support are handled by the same expert team of Snell specialists,” says Wieland.

“PLAZAMEDIA has a solid reputation in Europe as an industry expert in handling broadcast operations for a wide range of sports channels. The company’s unique production-workflow approach combines the work of a traditional playout suite with that of a live production facility, resulting in more-demanding automation requirements that could only be fulfilled by Morpheus,” says Stefan Geradts, Snell sales director, Central and Eastern Europe. “This large and highly successful installation is solid evidence of Morpheus’ leadership position in Europe for playout automation.”

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