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IBC2008: Omneon Bows New MediaPorts

Video-server and storage supplier Omneon introduced at IBC2008 a new series of MediaPort input/output modules for its popular Spectrum and MediaDeck video servers.

The new 5320 (HD) and 5220 (standard-definition) MPEG-2 MediaPorts are based on the same codec technology as the existing MediaPort 5200 and 5300 series, but now offer double the ingest density -- four channels, compared with the previous two.

They also have the ability to generate low-resolution (1-megabit-per-second) MPEG-1 proxies in real time to provide fast access to proxy material for low-resolution previewing, browsing and editing.

The Omneon MediaPort 5320 series offers up to four channels of HD/SD record and play, in any combination, in a compact one-rack-unit package. It supports HD bit rates from 18-100 Mbps (with either 4:2:0 or 4:2:2 color-sampling) and all varieties of Sony’s XDCAM HD acquisition format. Recorded material can be stored as MXF or QuickTime files to provide interoperability with third-party editors and storage.

The 5220 has similar capabilities for SD video, and it can handle MPEG-2 encoding and decoding at rates from 3-50 mbps. It may be upgraded to an HD-capable model through a simple software upgrade. Both products will be available in October.

Omneon used its press event at IBC2008 to detail the remote-production system it created for NBC’s Web coverage of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games on, which made heavy use of Omneon’s MediaGrid storage and ProCast content delivery product.

Despite a bumpy economy, Omneon’s business is “as good as it’s ever been,” president and CEO Larry Kaplan said. While the credit crunch in the United States impacted business from some smaller station groups, large companies continue to invest in Omneon’s servers and storage, he added, both in North America and internationally.

“We’ve got a lot of big projects with good momentum,” he said.