The Ramoji Groups Eenadu Network, more popularly known as ETV, has made
significant developments in the past few years to provide quality entertainment
to the varied multi-cultural and multi-linguistic audiences. With a bouquet of
around twelve regional channels in India (also airing in the US) and growing
manageability of data and storage of videos and clips was the biggest challenge
for the channel.
Imagine the kind of storage that is required for an electronic TV
channel.With viewers needing their daily dosefrom news, soaps, music, sports,
etcstorage and archival have been the biggest challenge for the IT heads and
CIOs of electronic media. Says G Venugopal, DGM, IT, ETV Networks "One of the
biggest challenges as the DGM, systems of channel is the requirement for
bandwidth for news feed gathering from all bureaus in Indiawhich is really
expensive. However, in the past I have managed the feasibility by strategically
establishing news gathering centers and using the latest compression
technologies to keep the bandwidth requirements optimal."
Non-linear editing (NLE) based near real-time production and server based
automated play out of programs are some of the daily tasks managed and
controlled by the IT department at ETV. One of the key implementations from an
IT perspective has been that even if they get an offline breaking news visual
while the news is on air, they are able to incorporate it in the same bulletin
after packaging. ETV has multiple data pool clusters situated at geographically
dispersed locations with redundancy in power supply and even air conditioning.
All these storage are RAID based with load balancing and fail-over system. These
clusters are interconnected with fire walled redundant fiber channel networks.
ETV uses multiple paths to multiple data mirrors. For backups a multi-mirroring
system is used. To ensure 100% availability and 0% downtime, the company has
three levels of disaster recovery system.
Security issues in satellite transmission
has been addressed by encryption
|G Venugopal, DGM-IT, ETV Networks
What Moves ETV
Maximum live inputs in news using IT based communications technology changed
the traditional news and programing formats to a great extent. Automated
newsroom workflow made it possible to produce news packages very fast. Virtual
sets are replacing conventional news studio sets rapidly. Increasing use of
2D/3D animated real time graphics has transformed the appearance of all types of
With demand for storage increasing, ETV has embarked on a new intelligent
online archival system that incorporates high compression codecs, helping the IT
implementers to minimize storage requirements.
According to Venugopal, "We use all latest network and data security measures
to maintain data and network security. Security issues in satellite transmission
has been addressed by encryption and bandwidth issues by using the latest
compression methods like H.264.
ETV has been able to generate real-time simultaneous video streaming into
multiple formats for HDTV, DTH, CAS, web, IPTV and mobile TV. Interestingly,
they have seen a growth of viewership from these new mediums specially the DTH
and CAS. In coming years, the company is strongly focusing on HDTV as the new
medium to air their programsespecially now that they are all looking forward to
watching the Commonwealth Games 2010 in HD format. IT implementation would again
be a big challenge for this new medium, but Venugopal is now used to deal with
such challenges and sees it as an opportunity.