Automation technology refresh for ITV North.

After 5 years of continuous service the automated transmission system for the 12 northern regions of ITV1 and all of ITV2, ITV3 and ITV4 have been upgraded by Media IP Networks using Snell’s (now SAM) Morpheus product line. An emphasis has been placed on deployment of native ICE content engines and processors to replace 3rd party GVG K2s and Maestro mixers.

The new system now runs alongside the old with simultaneous transmission of content on both systems until the remaining issues with additional services like Audio Description, multiple audios, EPG notes etc are eliminated. At that time the old system will be decommissioned by Ericsson, the contracted network services provider. Content and commercials are replicated from the southern centre in Chiswick Park and run independently to provide resilience and local branding. Disaster recovery of the south for the north and vice versa is also provided by the expansive and scaleable real-time services running over high performance and resilient IP networks.

Media IP Networks worked under the guidance of Citrus Networks Ltd, based in London and working with SAM in the Ericsson facility in Chiswick Park.

The system has now been handed over to senior engineers in Ericsson in Leeds and they anticipate a migration to the new system in time for the live Rugby World Cup later this year across all ITV1 regions and ITV4. The commercials around live rugby are considered amongst the most lucrative for ITV, there is no margin for error in their delivery through the new Morpheus system in NTC.

“Have you ever had a dream, Neo, that you were so sure was real? What if you were unable to wake from that dream? How would you know the difference between the dream world and the real world?”


“This is your last chance. After this, there is no turning back. You take the blue pill – the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill – you stay in Wonderland and I show you how deep the rabbit-hole goes.”

City Football embraces HDTV for Fanshows and IPTV

Man City’s big plans for the new Academy Centre and its 17 new pitches and Elite training facility just across the new footbridge to the north of their home at the Etihad stadium have grown further still with the integration of their broadcast-standard TV facilities across the diverse departments in the new City Football enterprise.

Media IP Networks is involved in the review of the ambitious needs for the TV production teams working on the pre and post-match live fan show, the new digital platforms to fully embrace original live HD streaming media within the existing IPTV internet channel and in the Etihad and the ‘tactical’ video coverage of performance for the team managers form the 1st team down. This has brought us into consultation with the IT department to support the new fibre infrastructure running the IP networks and Man City’s own project managers with reference to budgets, buildings and procurement.

The principle achievement within this project for Media IP Networks so far has been the reconciliation of the needs and budgets of these three large TV productions within City Football – the matchday fanshow, the IPTV live streams and, to a lesser extent, the review coverage for the sports managers.

Since the revised and budget has now been agreed and a bid from Timeline Television accepted as the contracted integrators and operators, our involvement will now move to the delivery of the merged designs and trials of the IP networks and the new RF and CCTV cameras.

Media IP Networks will also be involved with Barcelona’s own MediaPro in the rebuild and relocation of the edit facilities to the new City Football Academy premises early in 2015.

And more ambitions ideas involve the link up with the other clubs in City Football, notably Melbourne, New York, Yokohama and AbuDahbi to create a 24hr City Football channel with original programming from across the world under the same brand.

Researching a transparent media network for MediacityUK

Although a keystone in the developers’ plans since the first draft back in 2007, a transparent, open, high speed and stable internetwork between producers, facilities and broadcasters in MediacityUK has been elusive up to now and is essential for Phase 2 over the next 10 years.

Market research by MediaIP Networks is underway to clarify business requirements and define sustainable services for a campus-wide media network. The results of this research will in turn enable Media IP Networks to confidently build partnerships with service providers already established in MediacityUK such as Metronet, BT Dock10 and Geo to deliver an integrated network infrastructure.

Studio / Datacentre ‘spline’ topology concept

Currently the research suggests that there is a significant demand for 1Gbps to offices and 10 Gbps to facilities for the storage, processing or replication of extremely media large files, principally in high definition but also in 4K. Similarly early responders have expressed interest in the network to ‘stream’ media in realtime for presentation or editing between facilities and to preview theatres.

Interestingly, several network technologies, old and new, are appearing consistently:

  • Spline planes supporting multilinked distribution switches in studios and edits.
  • FTP for file transfer in the guise of Signiant, Digidelivery et al
  • VLAN over VPNs for easy access to MS Windows shares and LAN apps
  • Traffic Shaping to protect VoIP or remote control protocols.
  • Internet access at minimum of 100Mbps to remote, off-campus facilites.
  • Multilevel firewalls to protect sensitive data whilst still permitting client and remote user access.
  • Integration with global managed networks beyond Mediacity such as Sohonet.

Further notes and interesting results from this research will posted here as appropriate.

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Mediacity Pie Factory internet uplink

Mediacity data connectivity supplier, Dock10, has installed a full 100Mbps internet data uplink to post-production tenants in The Pie Factory.

Consultant Cisco engineers for Media IP Networks have since successfully commissioned a full-featured, ‘layer 2-only’ Virtual Private Network (VPN) over this link to connect remote media and office services to the editor suites, ingest and dubbing theatre in Mediacity’s University of Salford building.

This secure, reliable opensource solution allows full integration of Avid, Editshare and regular TCP traffic across diverse sites with VLAN’d Cisco infrastructure. It also fully integrates with the existing twenty+ PPP VPNs used by remote users and teleworkers to now present the whole IT estate to authenticated users.

Sochi for the Winters

Olympic Broadcasting Services have confirmed the selection of Media IP Networks to provide Venue Technical Management services for the entire curling event in the forthcoming winter olympics on the shores of the Caspian Sea at Sochi, Russia.

Managing director, Rupert Kelly made the announcement in an open press conference at the Knightsbridge offices of Citrus Networks Ltd. Citrus Networks are Media IP Networks close partner for transmission network installation and operational support services.

Venue Technical Mgs: RK with Greg and Lloyd