Omneon Aims To Lower Per-Channel Cost

Omneon Networks went to NAB 2003 with new software and media tools but no new hardware. That will change at the International Broadcasting Convention in Amsterdam next month, when the company introduces three products.

"We're trying to offer customers increased flexibility, particularly those who want to do multichannel playout," says Vice President of Marketing Geoff Stedman. Topping the list is the MultiPort MIP 3000 Series, media interface adapters that integrate into the Omneon Media Server System to provide playout for up to six channels of MPEG-2 video (each with up to 16 audio channels) within a single 1RU device. Modular design enables the MultiPort Series to support a range of configurations, including three- or six-channel playout, with support for additional formats planned.

"It's available at much lower cost per channel than our past products," adds Stedman. "In the past, a single RU would have had two Media Ports with one in or out. Now, in that same space, the user can have six channels. So it's roughly a three-times gain in performance."

Also new will be the MediaServer MCP 2100, replacing the MCP 2001 server, integrating Gigabit Ethernet and providing 2-Gb/s Fibre Channel throughput into entry-level configurations. It has four 1394a busses on eight connectors, one Gigabit Ethernet port and two 2-Gb/s Fibre Channel loops. It can be integrated with any Omneon MediaPort, MultiPort, MediaStore or MediaServer MCP 2101.

The new MSC 4400 server can hold four disk drives (either 73-GB or 146-GB) in 2+1+1 (the last drive being a hot spare) or 3+1 array configurations.

"The 2+1+1 capacity has a little less capacity but more resiliency while the 3+1 has more storage capacity as there are more active disks," he says. "It works well for stations that need to receive content and play it back out quickly. It's perfect for those looking to hold 24 to 36 hours of content."

Taken together, he says, the three products improve cost per channel. A six-channel MultiPort MIP 3000, a MediaServer MCP 2100 and a MediaStore MSC 4400 with four 146-GB drives in a 3+1 RAID configuration is capable of six-channel playout with 72 hours of 12-Mb/s video in only 3RUs.

"Stations looking to embrace a video-server environment but unable to afford a full-blown server system can effectively have a full-blown playback server in a 4RU configuration."