CBC/Radio-Canada taps Grass Valley open standards IP playout for new Montreal broadcast center

The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, CBC/Radio-Canada has chosen the iTX integrated playout platform from Grass Valley, a Belden Brand, for its new Maison de Radio-Canada broadcast center in Montreal, due to open in 2020.

Handling over 100 TV, radio and web channels, and supporting SMPTE ST 2110, iTX will enable the broadcaster’s production teams to seamlessly manage multiple formats – such as 4K UHD – and mix IP live inputs using back-to-back IP sources and file-based clips.

An open standards-based IP approach allows CBC to be fully format and resolution agnostic, while providing needed flexibility and scalability to adapt its services to changing viewer demands. The solution comes with full disaster recovery between the broadcaster’s facilities in Toronto – which handles CBC’s English language services – and Montreal. The second phase of this development will see an upgrade of the Toronto facility, set to commence in 2020.

“Being an early adopter of IP playout has put our business in a very strong position. We already use iTX for playout at our Toronto facility, so the fact that our staff know how the system interface works is a huge advantage,” said Francois Vaillant, executive director engineering at CBC/Radio-Canada in a statement. “Having the same IP technology in Montreal and Toronto means we can unify our workflow between the two locations – sharing expertise between our two language services and simplifying our operation, training and maintenance process.”

Grass Valley was selected after a rigorous RFP and shortlisting process for its ability to deliver a robust system that met the broadcaster’s exacting requirements.

Vaillant added: “Open systems IP technology is the most dynamic playout avenue, enabling us to continue delivering more digital services and reaching audiences through more platforms. The flexibility and agility of IP also enables us to protect our infrastructure investment – even if file formats and service models change in the future. We chose Grass Valley because no other company had the deep knowledge required to accomplish this flagship project, demonstrating unwavering commitment to understanding our needs so this deployment would be as smooth as possible.”

“As broadcasters continue to make infrastructure upgrades – enabling their audiences to engage with more content across more devices and platforms – efficiency becomes increasingly vital to their business models. IP delivers the agility, scalability and flexibility our customers need to take on the challenges of a multiplatform, multiscreen and content-hungry mediascape,” said Tim Shoulders, president, Grass Valley. “CBC has taken a strong step into the future by deploying field-proven, open standards-based IP playout technology for its new broadcast center. Grass Valley and CBC have a long history together and I’m thrilled that Grass Valley will continue to be a key component of CBC’s efforts to delight Canadian audiences with impactful and compelling stories. With a headquarters in Canada and a substantial number of our employees being Canadian, this partnership is very close to the heart for Grass Valley.”

Grass Valley’s iTX provides robust IP/SDI format flexibility and scalability for future readiness, along with advanced end-to-end workflow tools for greater process automation and lower OPEX. With more than 17 million hours of broadcast television delivered by iTX each year, its channels range from national broadcasters and global brands to local stations and live events.