MediaHub Australia now manages the entire playout operation for the UK’s right wing conservative GB News. The MediaHub team had just two months to make the full television service operational for the channel and bring it to air. Regardless of the opinion-led, divisive nature of the content, the project was significant for the company. CEO Alan Sweeney remarked that it serves to prove that MediaHub can now manage playout from Australia, no matter where their clients are based around the world.
The project requirements were for three linear channels – free-to-air, OTT and radio – to be delivered to various third parties, and included automated commercial insertion driven by the GB News studio in London.
MediaHub Australia chief digital and information officer Simon Scott said, “Based on MediaHub’s experience in managing live linear channels, we built a new infrastructure, customised for these channels. All the live video feeds are SRT encrypted streams, aggregated and distributed by GB News’ telco partner Arqiva. The feeds are then sent over discrete public internet and private cloud connections for more efficient, reliable delivery and greater security.”
MediaHub takes GB News’ content – including live-to-camera, pre-recorded, TVCs and promos – for each channel and uses their proprietary workflow to distribute the content back to the UK as a linear channel. MediaHub’s workflow is developed as separate components, comprised of services focussing on different aspects of content delivery.
In this case, GB News is using FibreHub secure, high speed managed fibre connectivity services, and PresHub, delivering multi-channel linear broadcast playout services round the clock, managed by broadcast operators. PresHub gives GB News access to integration and monitoring of scheduled programming ranging from promo content and on-air graphics to voiceovers and closed captioning.
ArkHub is MediaHub’s secure, scalable, high bandwidth data storage and archive facility. All ArkHub data is encrypted and stored onshore in Australia in a single, multi-application environment. ArkHub’s WebConnect service is available for fast, secure file transfer and data storage over the Internet.
Optimising for Low Latency
Simon said, “We receive the GB News studio camera feeds via redundant SRT IP streams, and all promo and commercial content is delivered to our ArkHub storage. From there, MediaHub’s playout system then generates the channel, which will include a live ticker overlay generated from Viz Flowics and other elements as needed. SCTE triggers are inserted for the various providers working downstream from MediaHub.
“The playout outputs then go to our Ateme Titan Edge encoding platform where a number of versions are generated for the various GB News destinations, as well as return feeds back to GB News for confidence monitoring.”
Over time, MediaHub has learned to control the overall latency of feeds between the UK and Australia through optimisation of several factors, keeping it low enough for a live environment. For example, since encoding is an essential step and can’t be compromised, they work with the lowest latency encoder, Titan Edge, that fits their workflow and combine it with SRT connections. Meanwhile, the MediaHub team monitors and takes advantage of ongoing improvements to internet connectivity as far as possible.
Alan Sweeney said, “This workflow and playout system is, in fact, a culmination of MediaHub’s ten-year vision that has resulted in the ability to manage and play out any content, anywhere in the world, entirely from MediaHub’s HQ and data centres in Australia.” www.mediahubaustralia.com.au