Germany’s MCS Deploys Grass Valley K2 Summit Servers at Broadcast Center

Media & Communication Systems GmbH Sachsen Anhalt (MCS), a broadcast company for the MDR in Germany, has deployed a multi-channel, shared storage area network (SAN) based on Grass Valley K2 Summit media servers at MCS’ Magdeburg broadcast center. The tapeless SAN, which went on air this month, is being used as a centralized repository for audio and video clips used for postproduction activities, as well as for distributing content directly to air.

MCS produces news broadcasts, quiz shows, magazine format shows, and smaller-scale entertainment programs.

The new Grass Valley K2 Summit SAN allows MCS, to streamline the handling of SD and HD content as digital files by requiring only a single copy of each file regardless of how many people need to work on that file. Files are ingested once, stored, and made available to producers and editors working on the network –and when programs are finished they are played out via an automation system.

The four-channel K2 Summit media servers natively support AVC-Intra 50 and 100 Mb/s compressed files, which make up the majority of MCS’ new tapeless workflow.

“We’re very pleased because Grass Valley’s engineers were able to design and help us implement a system that will improve operations across all of our many production divisions,” says Dieter Sommerfeld, Managing Director, MCS. “It also allows us to create content and get it to air faster than we ever could before. This helps us stay competitive and realize a fast return on our investment.”

The Grass Valley K2 Summit supports end-to-end SD/HD workflows in DVCPRO, MPEG-2, and AVC-Intra formats. The system features HD super slow-motion capability, bi-directional operation, and, at only 2 RU, space efficiency. Other features include fast record-to-playout performance, making it ideal for sports, news, live, and live-to-tape applications.

“Thanks to an on-going technology development partnership with Panasonic, Grass Valley now offers the industry’s most stable end-to-end AVC-Intra workflow to help streamline a variety of content creation processes,” says Jeff Rosica, Executive Vice President of Grass Valley. “MCS is the latest major media organization to recognize the cost and workflow efficiencies that can be realized with a shared storage K2 Summit environment. Our goal is to develop the right tools and offer the best value for our customers. MCS’ innovative implementation of the K2 Summit server is another example of that.”

To support this K2 Summit SAN deployment, Grass Valley has included a five-year Service Level Agreement providing a hotline during business hours, as well as fast delivery of spare parts via the Grass Valley Distribution Center located in Weiterstadt, Germany, near the customer site. In addition, Grass Valley support engineers will provide on-site support on customer’s request.

In addition to its role in the planning and deployment at the start of the project, Grass Valley also provided training services to the MCS staff on the new SAN system once it was operational. MCS also uses Grass Valley LDK Series cameras in its studios.

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