Ice hockey and football are national pastimes in Finland. Every day, Europe’s best ice hockey and soccer players take to the ice and field, and every day Streamteam is there to broadcast all the action to Fins at home and across the Baltic.
Located in Helsinki, Finland, Streamteam services two of the leading media groups in the Nordic region – ViaSat Sport Finland and Sanoma Media – with ingest, media management, logging, editing, archiving, material services and playout for the Finnish national ice hockey league, professional football(soccer) games, and various other programs.
A Primestream client since 2009, Streamteam started small with ingesting, material services, and archiving for Finnish national hockey league games and soccer for leagues throughout the Europe.
As technology evolved from standard definition to high definition, new distribution outlets opened up, and clients requested additional and more complex services, Streamteam added two 24/7 Primestream Master Control Playout channels, DAC storage for archiving and a Chyron Hego Graphics system. On the production side, Streamteam upgraded to the latest version of Workflow Server, as well as adding Logger and Live Assist to their workflow. For outside access to Streamteam’s Media Asset Management database and archive, Streamteam added Xchange for automation control, restoring content from the archive and requesting the high-resolution source material.
“Every system, server, and production computer on the 10 GB network is connected to the core layer, so a healthy IT infrastructure means everyone can do their job,” explains Kärkkäinen.
Streamteam’s 10G local area network features a 2G in/out redundant Internet connection. The server room is divided into a production network and an office network – people working with Primestream are on the production side, while administrative departments such as marketing and accounting use the office side.
Streamteam employs three dedicated system admins to support the operation at all times: Sami Peltovuori, senior systems developer; Kari Kantanen, system specialist and technical support; and Olli-Matti Kärkkäinen, system management supervisor.
Streamteam uses Primestream to automate HD signal ingest from satellite, fiber, and studio camera sources. 15 stadiums across Finland have direct fiber runs to Streamteam. The in-house ingest runs on four Apple MacPros using Sonnet’s xMac Pro Server and 7 AJA Kona cards. Media is housed on a Harmonic MediaGrid with 100TB allotted for production.
During live broadcasts, Streamteam loggers working on MacMinis with two LCD monitors and two broadcast monitors add descriptive metadata, subclips and markers to incoming feeds. To increase logging speed and accuracy, Streamteam uses Primestream Logger, a customizable application for adding pre-defined metadata. System specialist Kari Kantanen customized Streamteam’s Logger with his own theme.
“With our predefined metadata, you can click on a player and get a list of all the other players on that team, which simplifies things for our operators,” Kantanen adds.
Nonlinear editor integration is a big deal at Streamteam. Editors using Adobe Premiere Pro have access to clips from games in-progress through a Workflow client, allowing them to assemble between period highlights and post show recaps even while the game feed is still being ingested. Incoming files also contain markers and metadata added by the logging team – making it fast and easy for editors to locate a specific part of the game and import it into a Premiere Pro timeline. Giving editors the flexibility of working with the live production team means they spend less time on finding assets and more time being creative.
Streamteam is home to a state-of-the-art production studio where pre-game, half-time and post-game shows are recorded and played out in HD. In the control room, Live Assist software integrates seamlessly with existing hardware in the Newsroom Control System.
“The benefit with a software-based system is that we can quite easily modify and expand it by ourselves. I can go to the shop and buy whatever we need, and Primestream supports it,” said Sammy Peltovouri, Senior Systems Developer at Streamteam.
Upgrading the Streamteam system to handle playout for Sanoma’s PRO1 and PRO2 sports channels was a matter of allocating 30TB of storage on the MediaGrid and adding two MacPros with AJA I/O 4K playout devices running Master Control Playout.
FILE-BASED INGEST, MATERIAL SERVICES, ARCHIVE, AND CLOUD ASSET MANAGEMENT
“Workflow Server, Xchange, Harmonic WFS, FTP and render farms run in a VMware virtual server environment. These applications drive Streamteam’s Material Services department, which is primarily tasked with receiving media from Sanoma — movies, commercials, and promos — and preparing it for broadcast delivery.
Content Navigator and Workflow Server rely on watch folders for file-based ingest via FTP, Arkena, and Sanoma’s M4 traffic system. “Actions” automatically populate Smart Bins based on metadata properties, and files are transcoded to MXF in Harmonic WFS (for editing and playout) then archived and also placed into a mirrored 200TB network attached storage for playout.”
“It used to be that when Sanoma pulled footage from the Streamteam archive, they had to request a tape. Now with Xchange, Sanoma has instant Web access to Streamteam’s 864TB ALTO archive from any PC. Sanoma can browse and request downloads of proxy files or source content to repurpose in promos or other marketing and sales activities.
“This new version of Xchange provides Sanoma with a more efficient way to access the content we produce for them,” says Kärkkäinen. “They also needed automation control over scripts to trigger things like restoring an asset from archive.”
As Streamteam continues to grow and evolve, Primestream helps them quickly and easily adapt to bigger jobs for bigger clients. “Our client’s needs are always changing and Primestream give us the scalability and customization we need to keep our system one step ahead,” says Peltovuori. “We’re looking to grow our playout services and invest in developing applications for video-on-demand platforms like Apple TV.”
Two channel playout:
- 2x MacPro
- 2x AJA IO4K Video cards
- 4x Mac Pro
- 20 FORK ingest ports
- 2 Live Assist
- 2 Direct Out
- Online: Harmonic MediaGrid 100TB Producti on,
- 30TB Playout
- Archive: Alto DAC 864TB Mirrored
- NAS for data transfere, FTP etc. 200TB Mirrored
- 1x Harmonic WFS server
- 2x Harmonic WFS node servers
- 15x Edit workstations (iMac, MacMini)
- Adobe Premiere Pro
- FORK client
vSphere Essentials Plus, ESXi 5.5.0
3x HP DL380 G7: 2x Sockets, Xeon E5645 2.4GHz – 6 Cores \ CPU, 64Gb RAM
vSphere Essentials Plus, ESXi 5.5.0
HP DL 560 G8: : 4x Sockets, Xeon E5-46400 2.4GHz – 8 Cores \ CPU, 128Gb RAM
HP DL360p G8: 2x Sockets, Xeon E5-2643v2 3.5GHz – 6 Cores \ CPU, 64Gb RAM
Several virtual servers on both clusters. For example, PDS, WFS server and Render/E2P/Drone.
2x Arista 7050T-64 (Core layer)
4x HP 2920-48G with 10G module (Distribution layer)
8x HP Switch (Access layer)
10G Production LAN* 2G in/out redundant Internet connection
Arena network: 10G connection to 15 ice hockey arena