Sky Deutschland uses LogServer to log and store recordings of its output to serve compliance commitments, updating functionality and fitting in with Sky's IP-based architecture strategy.

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German sports broadcaster Sky Deutschland broadcasts 22 Sports Channels in Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Liechtenstein, including a sports news service and dedicated coverage of the German and Austrian Bundesliga, plus European and international events. A central aspect of this broadcast environment is the company’s legal responsibility to record its output for compliance purposes.

Sky Deutschland operates from a broadcast centre in Unterföhring near Munich, where the company recently undertook a facility-wide overhaul of the technology infrastructure. As part of the upgrade, IP compliance software developer Mediaproxy has supplied its LogServer logging platform to replace Sky Deutschland’s earlier recording set-up for their Sports Channels that had reached the end of its operational life and was no longer supported.

As Sky began looking for a replacement, they were especially keen to find a system that would improve on what they had used before. After seeing what was available on the market, Sky Deutschland selected LogServer because it offers the improved functionality and new features that were needed, as well as fitting in with Sky's IP-based architecture strategy.

The LogServer platform records, reviews and monitors live streams of video, audio and real-time data sources from 4K/HD/SD IP, SDI, SMPTE2022-6, HLS, RTMP, MPEG-DASH and SmoothStreaming sources, across multiple ­channels. For direct access to media, the desktop and mobile user interfaces feature player controls with metadata search, clip export and transcode to many different formats. This functionality can be set up across distributed systems on local or wide area networks.

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As a new user of Mediaproxy's software, Sky Deutschland worked with their team to make sure they would be able to use their existing mezzanine distribution streams for the inputs into LogServer. Part of this task involved developing a plug-in that allowed Sky to utilise its As-Run logs to automate registration of the recordings made in LogServer. This was done to make it easier for people using the system to find, log and extract recordings of the events they are looking for.

Mediaproxy can be integrated with As-Run, traffic and graphics logs, and then use them as data sources to automate searching and quickly identify contents by program ID or name. By extracting clips in this way, users can instantly supply evidence of transmission or accuracy to advertising agencies and legislators.

"The ability to configure our company-wide Single Sign-on also helped us in getting users registered and on to the system securely," said Gerd Riedel, head of origination and on-air graphics development at Sky Deutschland.

"Overall, we've found LogServer to be very user-friendly with an easy-to-use interface and the ability to search for and view ancillary data such as closed captions and SCTE messages. Furthermore, the licence model allows us to have an unlimited number of users with Active Directory authorisation for sign-in. On a technical level the system has good encoding quality at low bit rates - we can encode H.264 proxy media, while recording native MPEG transport streams in parallel."

Mediaproxy's chief executive Erik Otto said the company is pleased to have Sky Deutschland as a new client for LogServer. “They had very specific requirements for recording and logging and we were happy to work with them to ensure that their technical and compliance needs were catered for," he said.