September 02, 2009 03:15 ET

Mediaset Moves to All-Digital TV Production with Cisco Medianet Technology

Mediaset's Cisco-Based Digital Workflow Yields up to Fourfold Increase in Newsroom Productivity, Cuts Number of Videotapes Transported by 90%

MILAN, ITALY--(Marketwire - September 2, 2009) -  IBC Amsterdam -- Cisco (NASDAQ: CSCO) today announced that Mediaset, Italy's leading commercial TV broadcaster, is transforming its legacy video contribution and distribution infrastructure into a nationwide Cisco® Internet Protocol (IP) Next-Generation Network (IP NGN). The network will deliver the bandwidth capacity required for high-definition TV (HDTV) and on-demand services and support end-to-end digital workflows to streamline program production.

Mediaset is the first national broadcaster in Europe to deploy an IP-based medianet, a network optimized for video, for video contribution and distribution as a more cost-effective solution than upgrading its legacy Synchronous Digital Heirarchy (SDH) network. The IP optical fiber backbone upgrade project, called M-TUBE, will provide Mediaset's journalists, editors and producers with the ability to instantly access, edit and playout broadcast quality video. It will also support Mediaset's strategy to change from a "push" model of content delivery to a "pull" model where viewers will have the freedom to choose any content, at any time, delivered to any device.

Highlights / Key Facts:

  • Mediaset is Italy's leading commercial broadcaster with more than 9.9 million viewers and total audience share of nearly 40 percent.
  • Driven by the growing demand for high-definition TV services and a strategy to offer viewers greater choice, Mediaset needed a new network architecture that could be cost-effectively scaled and that could provide the flexibility to support new services.
  • Mediaset selected Cisco for its M-TUBE IP backbone following comparative tests with a shortlist of different vendors. The Cisco solution was found to be the most cost-effective. The ability to make modular upgrades to the Cisco network provides investment protection with the potential to deliver up to 64 times the current capacity.
  • The evolution by Mediaset to an all-digital workflow has reaped quantifiable benefits including:
    • Reducing the number of videotapes transported annually by 90 percent, from 15,000 to 1,500, accelerating the workflow while reducing transport costs and the company's carbon footprint.
    • Streamlining the production process through introducing a nonlinear digital workflow. Editors can now work on different portions of the same video file simultaneously, resulting in Mediaset's news production team increasing productivity by up to 400 percent.
  • The Mediaset nationwide M-TUBE network uses Cisco 7600 Series Routers with 10-Gigabit Ethernet connections to link regional sites with production centers in Rome and Milan. Production teams can retrieve low-resolution, broadcast-quality or baseband video from any workstation connected to the 4,200 fiber-to-the-desk (FTTD) VF45 sockets currently available on the production network, at very fast Gigabit Ethernet speeds.
  • Twenty-five playout systems also use the M-TUBE network, exchanging video files among different video servers using fast delivery file transfer protocol technology at speeds up to hundreds of megabits per second per session.


  • Marco Pellegrinato, Deputy Director of Research & Technology Design, Mediaset Group
    "We have an excellent relationship with Cisco. Cisco understands Mediaset's vision and gives us the benefit of their experience as the leader in IP. The digital workflow has high economic value and strategic impact for Mediaset. It provides the infrastructure for the different types of delivery and platforms in today's rapidly changing television environment."

    "With our new digital workflow, we can even produce 100 news stories daily, a 400 percent increase in productivity. We use the time saved to produce content for the Internet, mobile devices, and other television networks."
  • David Bevilacqua, managing director and general manager, Cisco Italy
    "Mediaset is one of the pioneers of video entertainment for the Internet generation and is undertaking the transformation from being a content services provider to an experience provider. The move by Mediaset to IP-based contribution and distribution and all-digital workflows is a visionary step toward richer, more interactive and personalized entertainment services. Through Cisco's collaboration with Mediaset, we see an exciting future for TV audiences in Italy."

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