SKY NZ UPGRADES TO LARGEST ROUTER IN SOUTHERN HEMISPHERE WITH MAGNA SYSTEMS
AUCKLAND, 3 February 2014 – SKY is the leading pay television service in New Zealand, entertaining over 2 million Kiwis. Listed on NZX and the ASX SKY's principal business activity is the distribution of both local and international programme content to its customer base, predominantly through a digital satellite network. Recently this innovative broadcaster went through a major technology upgrade which saw Magna Systems and Engineering supply and install the largest router of its kind in the southern hemisphere at SKY’s Auckland headquarters.
Magna Systems and Engineering NZ Sales manager Keith Brewer explained, “SKY has been using NVision routers as their main switching solution since their major SBC (Sky Broadcast Centre) rebuild in 2006. They had four NVision router systems (a Network Operations Router, Production Router, Studio Router and Lab/test router) working flat out but due to the rapid growth of their services, Network Operations and Presentation had been approaching a point where they were unable to expand the routers simply by installing additional cards. Essentially they were full with no room for any additional expansion so a major router upgrade was required.”
Due to the size and complexity of the router installation, SKY needed a solid router that they could rely on to maintain control of their growing, complex facility plus versatile, operator friendly control panels. The broadcaster knew that the Miranda NVision Routers had proven very reliable over many years.
Brewer continued, “Although SKY needed initially only to expand their Net Ops router to 876 crosspoints, they also wanted to allow plenty of room for future expansion. Replacing router systems is not an easy undertaking, and thus they needed to futureproof themselves as much as possible. The 3G-ready NV8576-Plus which offered a maximum of 1152 crosspoints fitted the bill perfectly. The added bonus with these routers is that their cores are 3G compliant so should SKY require this functionality in the future they can enable it by simply upgrading their HD-SDI I/O cards.”
In addition SKY required timecode and machine control switching upgrades. They previously used small individual switchers to take care of these functions but now wanted to amalgamate these signals into a single router. The broadcaster also needed to significantly expand both their production and studio routers.
Magna Systems’ successful proposal was comprehensive. According to Brewer the router was key but the level of service and support offered was also critical. He added, “At the centre of the Magna offering was the NV8576-Plus router with its maximum of 1152 crosspoints and easy upgrade pathway to full 3G signal capability. In addition to supplying the router Magna was able to offer the option of incorporating the old and soon to be replaced Network Operations NV8256-Plus router into SKY’s existing Presentation and Studio routers. This gave the benefit of expanding the routers and maintaining a common control system without the requirement for additional hardware purchase. Based on our 45 years in the industry Magna was also able to offer full system integration and project management of the installation and all associated cabling of the new plant – something that was key in SKY’s final decision making process.”
With Magna Systems and Engineering their chosen equipment supplier and systems integration partner SKY purchased an NV8576-Plus router populated to 876×876 HD-SDI, an NV5128 populated with 64 RS422, data ports and 32×32 timecode, an NV8144 populated with 72×72 DH-SDI for lab use, two NV967 dual redundant NV9000 control systems and multiple NV9462 LCD control panels to augment their existing control panels.
The project, one of the largest of its kind also saw the Magna team assist in the presale, configuration and technical design of the router system.
Keith Brewer concluded, “We were also heavily involved in the SI proposal, assembly and management of the install team and associated installation design and testing. Without question what was critical to the installation’s success was our professional service and fully committed first-class support.”