Facilis TerraBlock Drives Accelerated Playout for SonLife Broadcasting Network
More than 30 years ago Reverend Jimmy Swaggart pioneered televangelism with the launch of his weekly telecast, which evolved into a daily show and eventually SonLife Broadcasting Network (SBN) – a Christian multimedia network with TV, radio and Internet broadcasts reaching more than 80 million viewers around the world today.
Michael Gaspard, head broadcast engineer, SBN, manages multiple aspects of the network including post production, live TV, web satellite transmission, technology selection and more. In 2010 Gaspard realized the limitations of SBN’s existing storage system and began to explore alternative solutions. “We needed a system that could handle the playout of large HD and Pro Res video streams, and one with both Fibre and Ethernet connectivity. After a bit of research and consultation from a friend who saw a demo of TerraBlock at NAB, it seemed like the most affordable and logical solution for us,” he said.
The SBN team now relies on TerraBlock for the playout of graphics and final files from post – pulling out multiple streams of Pro Res simultaneously. “TerraBlock is crucial to our workflow; it’s fast, has great connection options and gives us a centralized location for storage that we can access remotely,” Gaspard added. “We couldn’t run the network without it. If we need a file to air the same day, we’re able to get it to the right system faster because of TerraBlock.”
Prior to installing TerraBlock, Gaspard and his team lost a significant amount of time sorting through logs on an older SAN system to identify the root of any problems. Gaspard noted, “TerraBlock works any way you want it to and doesn’t have an extensive learning curve. Its logs are informative and easy to read, so if something happens, you know about it right away and can fix it.”
TerraBlock also enables SBN to manage one system rather than multiple external metadata controllers. “The metadata controller is built into the drive array on the TerraBlock, which reduces the footprint inside of the actual rack – saving us space and money,“ he said. “It gives us built in redundancy and enhanced data protection.”
“TerraBlock is really low maintenance and hasn’t given us any problems; we check up on it about once a month, but there hasn’t been a major issue yet,” concluded Gaspard.
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