Network18, one of India’s largest media groups, has deployed Grass Valley’s highly flexible and scalable iTX integrated playout platform to underpin the transition to a standardised playout model across all its facilities. The solution was chosen for its proven future-proof features, and enables the Mumbai-based company to manage and operate multiple playout channels – across multiple platforms – with greater scalability, flexibility and efficiency.
Network18 operates a large mix of news and entertainment channels in addition to multiple digital products of the biggest names in media, such as News18 Network, CNBC-TV18, CNN News18, Colors, MTV, Moneycontrol, Firstpost and Forbes India. To meet the needs of the fast changing and rapidly growing market, the organization needed an agile solution capable of handling large-scale integrated playout and over 25 formats and resolutions natively, from SD to 4K UHD, managing content natively as SDI baseband as well as IP, without additional transcoding. Grass Valley’s iTX solution is a highly advanced, integrated playout platform for broadcast television, delivering IP/SDI flexibility and scalability for future readiness, along with end-to-end workflow tools for greater process automation and lower OPEX.
Rajat Nigam, Group Chief Technology officer, Network18 commented: “We at Network18 constantly explore and evaluate newer technologies and solutions aligned with our business objective of value leadership. We look towards standardizing the technologies across our group and implement cost-effective solutions and workflows to meet the demand for real-time access to news and entertainment, anywhere, on any device, in the fast emerging digital world. Our system design has always adhered to the fundamental principles of flexibility, reliability and versatility that enables us to easily add more channels, deliver services to online and social platforms or support 4K UHDTV content compatible with today’s multi-platform distribution environment. Working with a technical partner that can provide the tools and expertise to meet these demands and deliver the flexibility, scalability and future-proofing we need to evolve our business is critical to getting the system that is right for us. Based on techno-commercial in-depth evaluation, we made the choice for the iTX system from Grass Valley.”
Grass Valley’s iTX platform delivers an intuitive multipurpose operator interface that provides end-to-end workflow tools, such as file and lines ingest, asset management and preview functions. The Network 18 team gains all the functionality needed, from high-end graphics to subtitling, SCTE, and voice over (VO), in one flexible platform. Network18 also deployed GV ION storage that ensures reliability across applications from playout to news production.
Farzin Najmi, vice president, broadcast technology and operations, CNBC-TV18 added: “In a rapidly evolving market, tools that are robust, easy to deploy, intuitive and future-ready are essential to staying ahead of the curve. Working with partners that have the right expertise and technical know-how, both during integration phase and post commissioning support, is also critical, and we look forward to a long-term partnership of Network18 and Grass Valley.”
Network18 has already gone live with more than 36 channels with iTX, with full migration slated for completion by the end of 2020. This is part of a facility consolidation as all locations pan-India will be brought to a central location having standardized technology solution using iTX.
“Broadcasters increasingly have to address a wide range of digital OTT platforms in addition to traditional linear services,” said Somu Patil, vice president of sales, APAC, Grass Valley. “Our iTX solution is a workhorse for large-scale integrated playout, encompassing file/live IP/SDI playout, captioning/subtitling, audio processing and graphics branding. The system also enables Network18 to deliver services across multiple platforms without the need for separate encoding. We are proud to have expanded our partnership with Network18 and to help the company meet its business needs today and in the future.”
For live demonstrations of Grass Valley solutions, visit booth 9.A01 at IBC 2019.