TV Azteca is one of the largest producers of Spanish-language television programming in the world, attracting 30%+ of the national broadcast market. Operating four television networks in Mexico — Azteca Trece, Azteca 7, adn40 and a+ — through more than 300 owned-and-operated stations across the country, the company also operates Azteca Web, an Internet company for North American Spanish speakers.
TV Azteca continues to grow in terms of the number of programming hours they produce, as well as by expanding to create content for OTT and other digital platforms. With plans to make a gradual transition to IP distribution, cloud-based operations and 4K UHD, the company was looking to replace aging playout and master control infrastructure with flexible technology that would enable them to efficiently run their current business and easily evolve to meet future requirements.
While continually evolving to create the best television experience for their audience, the ultimate goal at TV Azteca is an end-to-end IP workflow. The company wanted to take an innovative but practical approach to this transition, preserving their investment in legacy equipment, while gradually shifting into a purely IP-based operation.
TV Azteca worked with Imagine Communications to implement a scalable, software-based channel origination solution running on commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) hardware. The system features 20 Nexio+™ AMP® media servers that support uncompressed and compressed IP and UHD/HD/SD SDI I/O. Reliably managing content from ingest to playout, the software-based servers provide a flexible infrastructure platform for cost-effective future enhancements and expansion.
Three Imagine Versio™ IOX SAN high-performance online storage systems provide a total of 528 TB storage, and allow scaling of storage and bandwidth without affecting existing media or interrupting on-air operations. Nine Nexio® Media Gateway appliances enable high-speed file transfer of large quantities of data to and from the shared storage system using standard Ethernet connectivity.
By deploying agile, software-defined playout technology, TV Azteca now has a robust platform that provides exceptional reliability, flexibility, and format transparency to support their current broadcast operations, and cost-effective expansion as the business evolves. High-performance, online storage provides a fast-turnaround editorial environment and a shorter time to air today, and the ability to seamlessly transition from a SAN implementation into a multi-use NAS appliance as TV Azteca moves to an IT-centric ecosystem.
TV Azteca is currently using Imagine hybrid baseband/IP media servers to drive 120 channels and is expanding to create content for OTT. With multiple paths available for migrating to Imagine’s cloud-native, microservices-based modular playout solution, TV Azteca is able to maximize their legacy equipment while making a gradual transition to full IP and cloud-based operations.