How to ensure that disaster recovery plans will work

September 11, 2013 - 12:05pm
Disaster recovery is a critical part of video broadcast system management.

Disaster recovery planning is critical to allow video delivery during outages caused by unforeseen events or catastrophes. Having a response plan in place to swiftly and comprehensively address and solve for any such calamity is essential. The results of going off-air not only include profit loss but loss of credibility to the viewers.

Constraints on disaster recovery plans primarily stem from limited CAPEX budgets to purchase and install - as well as maintain and update sufficient redundant hardware and infrastructure. Disaster recovery plans are difficult to fully test as doing so can disrupt regular broadcasts resulting in unproven plans prior to the need to use them.

Without sufficient testing and planning broadcast companies may not know for certain if their disaster recovery measures are sound. Unplanned causes of off-air downtime include facilities destroyed or damaged by a natural disaster, loss of key equipment due to server failures, traffic overloads or downed power systems, loss of personnel or even malicious factors like viruses that can attack and corrupt critical computing systems, according to Broadcast Engineering's Brad Gilmer.

Why preparation is key
According to the FCC, the three main steps of a disaster recovery plan are are preparation, response and recovery. Preparation is the most important stage - without the right tools broadcasts can cease immediately. A transport stream server can save weeks worth of future content that will provide continuous playout in the cases broadcasters are temporarily unable to send video feeds. 

The TSS 6000 Transport Stream Server, which includes input and output support for both ASI and IP, provides a complete, frame-accurate, play-out solution for single and multi-channel SD and HD content. From recording and editing to frame-accurate splicing, the TSS 6000 is a cost-effective, integrated MPEG2 and H.264 server solution for a variety of broadcast applications.

Sencore provides reliable, cost-effective solutions for signal transmission and content delivery. Our transport stream servers enable broadcasters to control content bitrates for better bandwidth management and provide full system redundancy through two input sources, ensuring steadfast high-quality video delivery to devices in any environment. Contact us today to learn more

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