Snell Systems Drive Playout and Quality Monitoring at Manhattan Neighborhood Network
"The Snell systems are a quantum-leap improvement over our previous automation and routing equipment, which was difficult to program and operate. With Morpheus, for instance, playing out a promo is as simple as dragging and dropping a file," said Hector Pena, manager of broadcast operations, MNN. "I am always happy to recommend Snell equipment for its ease of use and ease of setup, and its ability to work and play with all of the other systems in our operation. The Snell technical support team is truly committed to our success, showing time after time that they're willing to do what it takes to meet our requirements with little or no downtime in operations."
In the MNN digital operation, Snell's Morpheus provides front-facing program ingest and playout, controlling devices that include Snell's ICE channel-in-a-box system and Harmonic Spectrum servers.
Another critical link in MNN's strategy for redundant playout and quality of experience is Snell's Hyperion monitoring system, which continuously monitors and logs aired content on all four channels. When the system detects an audio or video error, it generates an email notification to the on-call engineer — who can then log into the system remotely and make the necessary corrections to the signal. Since ICE is constantly mirroring the playout, the engineer can instantly switch to the backup server without any interruption in the broadcast and therefore buy time to troubleshoot and correct issues with the main server. With the ICE-Hyperion combination, MNN has been able to operate without personnel physically monitoring the system during the late-night and early-morning shifts, with the increase in unmanned hours resulting in dramatic cost savings. The latest innovation in Snell's monitoring family takes this one step further. Signal Sentri combines Hyperion's sophisticated content monitoring tools with an intelligent 2 x 1 changeover switch. It automatically checks if the failover partner has valid video and audio before the switch is made and then triggers the appropriate changeover.
"The MNN has a well-deserved reputation for being on the technological forefront of public access programming in the U.S. — and it's gotten the attention of public access networks from all over the country for its digital broadcast infrastructure," said Jonathan Goldstein, president, Americas at Snell. "With Snell's award-winning automation, routing, and monitoring solutions playing such an integral role, MNN has built an operation that is truly a model for delivering top quality experience to viewers in a manner that is as efficient, cost-effective, and reliable as possible."
In operation since 1992, the Manhattan Neighborhood Network (MNN) is one of New York's premier public access networks — giving citizens of Manhattan a powerful voice through the medium of cable television on an open, uncensored, and equitable basis. MNN broadcasts 24/7 on four community access channels that reach more than 620,000 cable subscribers on the RCN, Time Warner Cable, and Verizon FiOS systems. The network also offers free training and certification classes in video production, editing and broadcasting, and its studios, editing facilities, and camera equipment are available free of charge to Manhattan residents.
Snell is a leading innovator in digital media technology, providing broadcasters and global media companies with a comprehensive range of solutions to create, manage, and streamline the distribution of content for today's multi-screen world. Specializing in TV Everywhere, Broadcast Infrastructure, and Live Production applications, Snell provides the necessary tools to transition seamlessly and cost-effectively to HDTV, stereoscopic 3D, and 3Gbps operations, while enabling broadcasters to monetize and deliver their media assets across multiple distribution platforms. Headquartered in the U.K., Snell serves more than 2,000 broadcasters, post facilities, and global media companies in more than 100 countries through its worldwide team of sales and support personnel.