Photos: inside ABC, WIN MediaHub

Photos: inside ABC, WIN MediaHub

Summary: We took a trip down to Ingleburn to Australia's largest media broadcast facility, MediaHub. ZDNet Australia had a chat with its chief, Andrew Hogg, and dived behind the lines to have a peek at its server-heavy backline.

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  • (Credit: Colin Ho/ZDNet Australia)

    It's a futuristic facility, with loads of clean white walls and automatic doors that make "swooshing" noises.

  • (Credit: Colin Ho/ZDNet Australia)

    Staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week, the operations floor is where the video files are sent from WIN and the ABC studios around Australia to MediaHub via FTP.

    The video is then managed, re-encoded and then delivered to broadcast servers. Almost everything in MediaHub is built on IP- and server-based technology.

    "This is where all the signal and product comes together. It's aggregated here. The operations floor is one of the two hearts of the MediaHub facility," said Hogg.

  • (Credit: Colin Ho/ZDNet Australia)

    These screens show, among other things, the outgoing signals and regional feeds.

    MediaHub employs around 60 staff. Manning several stations around the facility and often responsible for dozens of feeds, the operators work around the clock to prevent and fix problems with the broadcast should they arise. The operator is also responsible for placing the ABC and WIN station logos into the broadcast, as well as inserting relevant commercials and hourly news broadcasts, which differ from region to region.

Topics: NBN, Broadband, Government AU, Hardware, Tech Industry

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3 comments
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  • pitty they have no quality control capabilities with the centric design. they are trying to do three different networks without any seperation between the suites. you failed to mention that there are 5.1 surround audio systems (for monitoring!) in the breakout suites, making it virtually impossible to listen to the audio at a reasonable level. the lack of a physical switcher means that if the automation cracks the shits ... there is no chance that the operator can bypass the automation and manually switch on the desk (a craft lost on most of the new operators in the industry, sadly).

    The inergen gas is a nice touch, if you are too slow in evacuating the building all of your oxygen gets sucked out and you die...bit like quality for the stations huh?
    SMW5
  • SDI is not secure digital interface - it's Serial Digital Interface. This is effectively a unidirectional serial link over coax that carries uncompressed, unencrypted digital video signal with time code and embedded audio. It can be clocked as high as ~3Gbps, but most commonly would be used at 360Mbps or ~1.5Gbps.

    SDI can also be routed/switched, so when dealing with facilities such as this, it's important to be clear and always make the distinction between SDI routers/switchers, Ethernet routers/switches and where appropriate Fibre-Channel switches.
    peteru-5eb08
  • hahaha this place is pathetic and i bet you my post will either be edited before it is posted, or not posted at all. why?

    mediaHub has screwed over our national broadcaster, the ABC so many times since signing up, it is just a massive wreck! mediaHub is an embarrassing piece of junk.

    visit this episode of ABC's media watch (they also mention mediahub in other episodes - the massive technical problems have been going on for SOOOO LONG):

    http://www.abc.net.au/mediawatch/transcripts/s3053767.htm

    haha i've worked in massive IT places before and they pi$$ all over this piece of crap. looks like a goddamn tinshed from the outside. something a dog would lift its leg up against.

    australian IT stories - lame and you and i know it, let's not pretend we're big.
    justthething-a7ce1