September 9, 2021

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Original article published on MediaWeek

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MediaHub is responsible for the live broadcast of more than 400 TV channels and 90 radio stations around Australia via its playout facility.

The company, founded in 2009, delivers the most TV channels in Australia. Long term CEO Alan Sweeney told Mediaweek: “That’s because we have the ABC and WIN TV plus Prime, Sky News and Imparja, amongst others.”

The audio feeds include every station available on the ABC Listen app.

The business was formed after most of the television broadcasters came together to explore the possibility of having one centralised digital technology centre for playout.

After the exploratory talks, the two parties that joined forces were the ABC and WIN Corp and MediaHub was born.

The playout requirements can vary depending on the client, but it means getting all the digital files that go to make up a TV or radio schedule. When the broadcaster sends through the schedule, MediaHub then matches up all the files, into delivery ready streams for wherever they need to be played out to, either terrestrial transmitters, satellite delivery or the Content Delivery Networks (“CDN’s”) for OTT streaming platforms.

While ABC and WIN Corp remain the shareholders, other MediaHub clients have included SBS, ThoroughVision Racing Network (TVN), Prime, Sky News, Imparja, Southern Cross Broadcasting, Network Ten and FreeTV. SBS now uses Telstra-owned MediaCloud for playout, while Southern Cross is with NPC.

Seven and Nine use the NPC for their playout. It used to be Nine’s playout centre, but that playout centre later combined with Seven. Network 10 does its own playout and is part of the ViacomCBS international platform. Foxtel also do playout internally, although it and the NPC have had a continuous relationship with MediaHub for a number of services and processes.

Over the years, MediaHub has added to its capabilities, releasing multiple new products and services for the broadcast industry.

One of the recent launches was the ArkHub digital storage solution which utilises the Hewlett Packard Enterprises (“HPE”) Technology Server Platform and Scality’s incredible Storage software.

“We took our long term expertise in storage and our ability to move video files around and created a product that can be used by all,” said Sweeney. “We developed the product to be agnostic to all industry. It is something totally different compared to the public cloud offerings.”

MediaHub and HPE

The HPE Apollo Platform and Scality’s storage software powers MediaHub’s new Storage-as-a-Service offering aimed at all industries, not just the Australian broadcast market, enabling easy data management at any scale.

“We use a lot of storage and we are specialists in storage,” said Sweeney. “In recent years there has been a massive growth in storage needs as every business moved more into the digital world. We had a good look around and came to the conclusion the best platform was HPE’s Apollo server base combined with Scality’s proven Storage Software.”

HPE will be supporting ArkHub, MediaHub’s new low-cost data storage service, using this Scality storage software, providing customers with storage and access to their rapidly expanding archives, without additional ingress, egress and retrieval fees. This enables MediaHub’s customers to create, store, and retrieve all file types, including high-quality video content to viewers, ahead of their competition.

“Any industry, be it finance, education, manufacturing or government, can put their content into the Ark and feel confident it will be very safe,” added Sweeney.

It’s now an IP connected world

Sweeney told Mediaweek the big change in the past decade has been the move to IP delivered content. “MediaHub is a hybrid of legacy platforms and IP. We have recently moved to full IP from the camera to transmission to IP connected devices. We are well advanced in the journey into pure IP playout workflows.”