RENNES, France – April 10, 2011 – Thomson Video Networks today announced that Weigel Broadcasting Co. has standardized on a channel delivery system from Thomson for its new Me-TV (Memorable Entertainment Television), the new digital classic television network. Affiliates of Me-TV will utilize a complete solution based on Thomson’s Sapphire broadcast server and ViBE EM2000 encoder.
Me-TV’s library includes series from Twentieth Century Fox Television Distribution and CBS Television Distribution, as well as independent series owners and producers. Me-TV’s programs are some of the best television programs ever produced, including “M*A*S*H,” “Perry Mason,” “The Mary Tyler Moore Show,” “The Dick Van Dyke Show,” “The Bob Newhart Show,” and the original “Star Trek” and “Hawaii Five-O” series, in addition to 60 other programs. A sister network to Metro Goldwyn Mayer Studio Inc. (MGM) and Weigel Broadcasting’s successful This TV, which launched in 2008, Me-TV is designed to air on the digital subchannels of local stations, and is expanding nationally after becoming a familiar part of the Chicago broadcast scene.
The system from Thomson Video Networks provides automated time-delay, network program substitution, frame-accurate ingest, local commercial insertion, logos, and an Emergency Alert System (EAS). The broadcaster deploys ViBE MPEG-2 encoders at the Me-TV network feed before uplink to Me-TV affiliates, where the Sapphire channel-in-a-box server provides switcher, video server, and branding functionality to complete the end-to-end solution. Weigel’s roll-out of systems to affiliates began in March and will continue through 2011.
“We know from experience with Thomson’s Sapphire and ViBE deployments in our This TV network that the package delivers considerable benefits,” said Kyle Walker, director of engineering, Weigel Broadcasting Co. “By standardizing on the solution for all our Me-TV affiliates, we are making the most of its efficiency, as part of a competitive business model for the network.”
The Sapphire transport stream server combines the Thomson expertise in MPEG processing with a modular software and hardware design. Providing high-performance MPEG I/O, scalable storage capacity, and a range of control interfaces, Sapphire’s architecture enables operators to record, store, and playback multiple streams. With frame-accurate switching support for MPEG-2 or H.264 channels and easy integration with automation and traffic systems, Sapphire combines full-blown video server features with the functions of a master control switcher, a graphics inserter, and a character generator, making it a versatile channel-in-a-box or TV-on-Demand platform.
“Weigel Broadcasting and MGM pioneered the very successful This TV concept and is building on that with the launch of Me-TV,” said Christophe Delahousse, president, Thomson Video Networks. “By choosing the cost-effective and versatile Sapphire for Me-TV, Weigel is well equipped to exploit the full potential of a second tier broadcast network.”