ERT Playout System facilities upgrade
ERT was one of the 23 founding broadcasting organizations of the European Broadcasting Union in 1950. Today, it runs four digital terrestrial television channels and one international satellite channel. This includes around the clock broadcasting from Athens for ERT-1, ERT-2 and ERT-SPORT. ERT-3 focuses on regional broadcasting for Northern Greece and surrounding areas, and comprises premises 500km away, in Thessaloniki. Undergoing an HD upgrade on all studio areas as well as the playout facilities, ERT was faced with the challenge of upgrading the outdated 10+ year old infrastructure that would revolutionize playout for a national multi-site delivery. With equipment provided by manufacturers such as Pebble Beach Systems, Harmonic Inc, EVS(Axon) and Ross Video, Systems Integrator PTS, was chosen through a tender, by providing the most suited solution for the project, that offered scalable architecture and flexibility that enables ERT to utilize resources over multiple servers, and for servicing the agility of its users across the country and meet the evolving needs of any media environment. Additionally, a strategic multi-site installation, was deployed. One system is situated at the Athens HQ, which will facilitate up to five channels, and the other will transform the regional playout of ERT-3 which is located in Thessaloniki. ERT has made a strategic decision to keep ERT-3 as a separate operational unit, maintaining its own continuity and autonomy servicing the regions. Michael Nugent, Head of Technology for Hellenic Radio & Television (ERT) said, “We’re delighted to be working with a partner who has the knowhow to provide the most reliable and latest technology solution for ERT’s new playout facilities.” This project was planned and executed in an extremely tight schedule and through the challenging restrictions imposed by the covid-19 pandemic which affected the delivery of equipment and the access to the facilities. However, it was managed to remain on track and should be able to migrate to the new system on time. This will enable ERT to move forward with its plans to offer more of its services in HD as well as improve its performance and services by utilizing the new capabilities of the upgraded playout system.