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Huawei Media Cloud Enables Omnimedia for TF1

2016/12/20 0:00:00

Background

Founded in 1935, Télévision Française 1 is the largest TV station in France and one of oldest operating TV stations globally. For 28 years, Télévision Française 1 was the only TV station in France. In 1975, it was renamed TF1 and began enterprise operations. With many specialized cable TV stations, TF1 enjoys a 24% audience rating, making it the number one TV station in France and one of the most popular in Europe, also employing among the most modern technology on the continent.

Challenges

TF1 uses digital, IP-based program production to broadcast the news. News production and the network support broadcasting of programs in HD or SD. Mobile Internet development is driving the transformation of traditional TV news, because original production modes can no longer meet requirements for timeliness.
  1. Low utilization of media assets: Independent IT infrastructures of the multiple channels block information sharing. For example, under the original architecture, if the news channel needs to use some video resources from the sports channel, the applicant must use an additional server to copy the videos to the storage system of the news channel. The process is both time- and bandwidth-consuming.
  2. Frequent switchovers between office and production desktops seriously deteriorate news production efficiency. A journalist usually needs two desktops, one for processing emails and Internet searches and the other for media editing, which is usually located in another area. During media editing, the journalist must move between these two areas, which wastes time and impacts deadlines.
  3. Low resource utilization of the original IT system results in long Time-to-Market (TTM) of services and channels. In traditional architecture, major services, including ingestion, editing, broadcasting, media asset management, and content archiving, are independent, isolating IT resources. As a result, delivery of new services is delayed and the process is complex. Procurement of new hardware and software also takes longer.

“We have seven channels, but resources cannot be shared between the channels; therefore, first, we want a unified news factory built on a private cloud, similar to that of SZMG, to implement resource sharing and scalability. Our seven channels are located at different sites. We are expecting evolution from the current structure to a new one that supports sharing of media assets based on hybrid cloud.” — Nicolas, TF1 IT Architecture Director.

TF1 is, therefore, in urgent need of a converged production platform that can support development of omnimedia services.

Solution

Huawei provided an end-to-end integrated media cloud solution that covers underlying servers, as well as upper-layer cloud platforms and desktop software and hardware. Huawei Media Cloud Solution builds a private cloud IT platform for TF1 to support media-service-defined IT resource pooling, service automation, and intelligent management. The platform enables omnimedia content production and broadcasting anytime and anywhere, bringing customers a smooth and convenient program production and broadcasting experience. With agile business operation, TF1 can easily address challenges from omnimedia transformation.

Hyper-converged architecture provides IT resource pools and supports service automation, remarkably reducing the time required for service rollout. E9000, a hyper-converged architecture blade server, is used to achieve on-demand resource allocation and automatic scaling. Resource generation and allocation are based on the ISV service template, which improves deployment efficiency for HD editing, media broadcasting, and rendering software on the media cloud (such as Dalet news editing software, Adobe image processing software, and IMAGINE broadcasting software).

A GPU + VDI unified OA platform, for ingesting and editing, notably improve news production efficiency. The desktop cloud system provides an 80 GPUs + 160 VDIs solution. Each user is allocated two virtual desktops on the cloud. The news editing desktop not only provides the same user experience as physical workstations but also ensures information security using DMZ security isolation technology.
Distributed storage enables efficient content sharing. The Huawei converged resource pool adopts a distributed architecture and contains all media materials, which means data copies will no longer occupy bandwidth. With global data sharing between multiple channels, free data flow within the resource pool replaces traditional data migration.

Benefits

TF1 built a converged news production platform based on the Huawei Media Cloud Solution, which supports current service requirements while enabling future development:
  • Access efficiency to shared media data is improved by 90%.
  • Full-time production of editing journalists significantly improves news production efficiency by 50%.
  • TTM of new services is shortened by 50%.

“VDI technology from Huawei allowed us to put workstation power into the datacenter and access it more quickly. In such a way, we can operate the same application software but with a very simple terminal, the thin client, or run through the software client. We were able to deploy an economical solution in the newsroom and allow our staff to work more flexibly.″ — Guillaume Lemoine, Senior Broadcast Architech, TF1 group.