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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.


Storage Challenges

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

TV channels.

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.

Going Forward

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.

PC Suraj