Las Vegas, April 13, 2015 — Sony Electronics and flagship PBS station WGBH are launching Public Media Management (PMM), a first-of-its-kind centralized media management and content distribution service that gives public TV stations new tools to engage with their communities now and into the future. The new cloud-based service went live on April 1, following a year-long pilot program between the two organizations.
“This new system is designed specifically by WGBH and Sony to allow public broadcast stations to serve their audiences with much greater efficiency and flexibility,” said WGBH COO Ben Godley. “With PMM we can minimize the expenses of master control and focus on our mission of community engagement, providing content when, where and how audiences want it as we move into the future.”
The PMM service uses the latest cloud computing and network services, and a range of proven Sony technologies including Media Backbone Enterprise Management System, Ci Cloud and Optical Disc Archive that have a track record supporting leading companies in broadcast, production, entertainment, sports, corporate and more.
“These technologies will be used together in new ways as part of PMM, empowering public TV stations to tap into more flexible, reliable and secure approaches to content management,” said John Studdert, vice president, sales, and marketing, Sony’s Professional Solutions Americas. “It’s a completely new way of looking at traditional programming models that has the potential to transform an organization.”
PMM orchestrates the entire content management and distribution processes for a public broadcaster’s programs — from transcoding, ingest, and quality assurance to content distribution from the cloud to the local station’s master control. The station retains control over vital daily operations like scheduling, branding and local programming decisions.
By distributing the full range of PBS content through the cloud, PMM gives users access to browse and manage media from any web-enabled device — PC, tablet or smartphone — through the Sony Ci media management platform.
“A great deal of thought went into designing and building this system to provide stations with solutions for today, but also to meet the challenges of tomorrow,” said Stacey Decker, WGBH Chief Technology Officer. “We are thrilled to be working with Sony to create a system that will benefit public TV stations and enhance their service to audiences.”
PMM replaces the stations’ existing master control with new technology for a low monthly fee, alleviating capital expenditure burdens for public broadcasting stations that struggle with limited resources. The PMM’s monthly fee also includes labor, service contracts, and software updates, further reducing expenses for the station.
The PMM service is made possible with the Network Operations Center (NOC) located at the WGBH facility in Boston. The NOC captures national PBS content, conducts automated quality control, adds necessary metadata and uploads the content to the cloud. The facility is equipped with high levels of redundancy to ensure no single point of failure. The NOC also provides 24/7 exception monitoring of low-resolution return video. In addition, Sony’s SystemWatchsm network monitoring technology continuously monitors the health of a station’s PMM hardware and software, as well as the environmental conditions affecting system performance.
At the node, the system’s replacement master control technology at the station, the system automatically pulls national content down from the PMM cloud to the local station by simply entering the event into the station’s Myers ProTrack traffic system. Local content stays local, assuring fast turnaround times and the ability to get on the air quickly.
The Node technology includes new routing, automation, and graphics tools to improve the station’s on-air look. PMM also provides on-site storage for 10 terabytes of content (approximately 30 days of programming) to safeguard against data feed disruptions.
Cloud distribution for PMM is hosted by Amazon Web Services (AWS™), with Sony’s™ Ci cloud collaboration software operating as the front end.
The PMM service also includes technologies developed by leading players in the broadcast and content production industries, including:
- Crispin automation
- Harmonic™ MediaDeck™ 7000 broadcast video server
- Myers ProTrack traffic software, familiar to many PBS stations
- Utah Scientific™ 3G/HD/SD SDI router with 20 inputs x 20 outputs, BPS panel control
- Aspera file acceleration 100 Mbps system for best-of-breed efficiency and intelligence in HD file transfer, hosted on redundant HP® ProLiant™ servers.
- Wohler™ audio/video monitoring with analysis tools and Dolby® support.
- Evertz™ remote STB monitoring.
- Evertz H.264/AVC Pro+ Alarm Monitoring.
- Cisco™ Catalyst™ redundant switches
- TRIPPLITE™ KVM System
WGBH Boston is America’s preeminent public broadcaster and the largest producer of PBS content for TV and the Web, including Frontline, Nova, American Experience, Masterpiece, Antiques Roadshow, Arthur, Curious George and more than a dozen other prime-time, lifestyle, and children’s series, reaching nearly 75 million people each month. WGBH also is a major supplier of programming for public radio and oversees Public Radio International (PRI). As a leader in educational multimedia for the classroom, WGBH supplies content to PBS LearningMedia, a national broadband service for teachers and students. WGBH also is a pioneer in technologies and services that make media accessible to those with hearing or visual impairments. WGBH has been recognized with hundreds of honors: Emmys, Peabodys, duPont-Columbia Awards and Oscars. Find more information at www.wgbh.org.
About Sony Electronics
Sony Electronics’ Professional Solutions Americas group develops and manufactures video and audio technologies for a range of professional production applications – These include broadcast television and motion picture production, live event production, event videography, ENG/EFP, digital cinematography, digital cinema, videoconferencing, medical, visual imaging, digital signage, remote system diagnostics and monitoring, and IP surveillance and security. Sony professional technologies are used in a range of market segments including houses of worship, government, healthcare, and education.