Omnilab’s new digital media hub goes live

14 August, 2009 by IF

Press release from Well Above

The Playroom, a leading facilitator of production infrastructure, content aggregation, broadcast & distribution services and key business unit of Omnilab Media has announced that its new broadcast operations centre and digital media hub is now live, managing and playing out MTV NZ and all 3 Movie Network Channels.


The Playroom General Manager Andrew Hogg said, “The Playroom’s digital media hub was designed from the outset to be a forward facing and adaptive facility that would exceed the changing needs of broadcast and online markets. When planning the new facility, we took the opportunity to completely reassess the thinking of current industry workflows and developed new more efficient digital value chains.

"We now prepare content for a wide range of screens including TV HD/SD, web, mobile, IPTV and other ‘on the go’ handheld devices. Our multi-channel, multi-media, multi-platform operations centre has been four years in the making. It is now the first non-network owned facility in Australia that is able to deliver any kind of content anywhere in the world with the new digital workflows engineered into the final technical solutions to meet both current and future client requirements.”
Due to the global rebranding of MTV Networks The Playroom and their SI partner Magna Systems had to commit to a non negotiable on air date. Hogg explained, “With MTV’s new branding we had to be ready to go live by 1 July 2009. After a monumentous effort on behalf of The Playroom team and Magna Systems I’m delighted to say that at 10pm on 30 June 2009 Sydney time (midnight 1 July in NZ) we officially went live to air playing out MTV NZ to the Sky TV platform.

"This was closely followed with all 3 Movie Network Channels (Movie One, Movie Extra and Movie Greats) going live to Foxtel and Austar on 5 July and to SelecTV on 6 July. It really was a wonderful achievement and one we are all very proud of.”
The Movie Network Channels (TMNC) CEO Tony Forrest said, “We have been in ongoing planning with Omnilab Media regarding our future requirements, migrating our linear channels to HD, developing new media opportunities and distribution alternatives, and launching three new channels in November 2009. The new facility accurately reflects the scope and commitments that Omnilab Media gave TMNC and sets an enviable precedent, and options for many different styles of customer for Omnilab.”
Peter Jenetsky TMNC General Manager Marketing and Strategy added, “I toured a number of international broadcast facilities to gather insights on what is now possible in multi-channel broadcasting, as well as to learn and review ‘best practice’ within such operations and how their relationships worked with their channel partners.

"The gathering of this knowledge assisted greatly in formulating a re-imagining of Movie Network’s business as an aggregator and distributor of premium content in a rapidly changing digital media landscape. This enabled us to then seek a definitive capability from Omnilab in terms of developing a solution to manage, produce and deliver our content to our various platform partners.”
According to Hogg, the new facility is designed around digital workflows, maximum flexibility, ease of storage and the seamless transfer of standards based formats rather than specific devices or platforms. He added, “By capturing at the highest resolutions and being able to transcode to multiple-end platform specifications as required, we enable our clients to grow with their digital delivery needs in a commercially managed way.

"As an IP based facility we manage both the physical media assets and the increasing amounts of metadata relating to those assets. This enables ease of storage and search and increases the value of the assets as they move to non-traditional platforms like websites, mobile devices and other handheld devices such as the Apple range of products including delivery to the iTunes platform.”
Peter Jenetsky added, “The Playroom is a state-of-the-art facility that Omnilab has constructed with first class technology and with a vision of the future. It will allow Movie Network to realise our ambition of presenting an expanded suite of channels for our Subscription Television platform partners which we will launch later this year. It will also enable us to develop new and expanded premium content services on virtually any digital media platform we may be required to supply.

"The facility is truly unique. I don’t know of another facility in this country that can provide us with the capability, capacity, understanding or level of service that Movie Network now requires.”
The Playroom’s new digital media hub successfully integrates post production facilities into digital workflows aggregating and broadcasting content in multiple formats to multiple locations and platforms.
The facility is the centrepiece at Omnilab Media’s Yurong Street headquarters and includes eight workstations, a technical equipment room and an operations equipment room. The operations room houses the broadcast centre, media centre and QC facility.

The broadcast centre, responsible for transmission, also utilises large format monitoring and a multi-functional desk. The media centre has four operational areas handling the ingest process for all channels’ transmission and production requirements and the Quality Control suites also contain Final Cut Pro solutions.
Commenting on the success of the new facility and TMNC’s vision for the future Peter Jenetsky said, “The Movie Network Channels and The Playroom set about re-engineering not just the physical facility, but also the management approach between our two companies. We are both seeking to create a true partnership, an environment of broadcasting excellence and innovation that supports each party’s growth ambitions, delivers world class services and positions both of our organizations for the digital future of media.

"Thanks for this must start with Grahame and Christopher Mapp who showed great faith and desire to ensure Omnilab continued to be The Movie Network Channels key post production and broadcast services partner. With this support, Andrew Hogg and his team at The Playroom tirelessly set about the challenges of devising and constructing the new facility. And it is to Andrew and each and every member of his team that we give a great vote of thanks and congratulations!”
Omnilab Media Managing Director Christopher Mapp said, “The new digital media hub significantly enhances our infrastructure and technology business, an integral part of our growth strategy. I’m delighted to say that the launch of our new operations centre and digital media hub has gone particularly smoothly and our clients are very happy. I would like to give particular thanks to all involved in-house and to the entire team at Magna Systems and Engineering for an incredible effort. We expect to make announcements on the addition of further channels in the near future.”
The new Omnilab Media Playroom Sydney digital media hub and broadcast operations centre was highly commended during SMPTE 2009 at the Content + Technology Awards in the Project/Facility Rollout (TV) category.