ZDF, Germany

5 highly complex channels

German national public television broadcaster ZDF (Zweites Deutsches Fernsehen) selected Marina automation to control 5 High Definition channels from their playout centre in Mainz. Their specification document encompassed an exacting range of required features, including a guarantee of seamless transition between the main and backup systems without visible interruption, and for non-specialist personnel to be capable of running the system.

In May 2015 ZDF achieved a significant milestone, transferring the playout of ZDFneo, ZDFkultur and ZDFinfo channels to Marina automation control, meaning that all of ZDF’s ingest and playout across its five channels is now being handled by Pebble Beach Systems’ flagship automation solution.

In addition, they launched a new Marina ingest system to enable file-based workflows alongside the digitization of assets from video tape.  Following the successful implementation of a temporary Marina ingest solution, this new system now serves all five channels, using the Marina web-services API to interface with ZDF’s in-house traffic and media management systems. Managing Director, Peter Hajittofi, confirmed:

Building on the rich handling of media metadata that was already in service at ZDF, the new Marina ingest system now manages automated file ingest processes, driven by multiple external systems and a number of complex custom rules configured to match ZDF’s business requirements. We are proud to have reached this major milestone with ZDF, one of the leading broadcasters in the world, enabling them to continue their migration towards a file-based workflow.

Marina’s distributed architecture allows a total of 35 multi-functional operator positions to have rights-controlled access across multiple segregated systems, alongside the new Marina Web Client for safe and cost-effective remote access.  This important installation now controls a total of 146 server ports and showcases Marina’s capabilities as a robust and flexible platform to support the most demanding operational requirements. It is an ideal fit for state broadcasters such as ZDF.

Like the ZDF and 3Sat channels that are already in service at ZDF, the playout facilities for ZDFneo, ZDFkultur and ZDFinfo feature Nexio servers under VDCP and API control, nearline attached storage from EMC, switchers and keyers from Evertz, router control from BFE, graphics from Viz, and logo and subtitle inserters from Miranda and FAB. Marina controls all these in addition to Sony and Panasonic VTRs for ingest and playout, and other sundry devices via Pebble Beach Systems’ own generic driver.