No Imagination Needed: Azteca Prepares For IP Future


MEXICO CITY — One of Mexico’s top TV broadcasters has collaborated with Imagine Communications to deploy a next-generation playout and master control infrastructure.  The scalable, software-based platform running on commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) hardware is currently driving 120 channels from the headquarters of TV Azteca.

With Televisa-owned channels experiencing a downturn in viewership, its biggest competitor — TV Azteca — continues to grow in terms of the number of programming hours they produce, as well as by expanding to create content for OTT and other digital platforms.

With plans to make a gradual transition to IP distribution, cloud-based operations and 4K UHD, the company was looking to replace aging playout and master control infrastructure with flexible technology that would enable them to efficiently run their current business and easily evolve to meet future requirements.

“TV Azteca is evolving to create and co-create the best television for our audience, and certainly an infrastructure upgrade like this will bring us closer to our goal to have an avant-garde company,” said Pedro Carmona Ortiz, technology director at TV Azteca. “The shift is part of our efforts to make ourselves better so that we can keep delivering high-quality content with top technology.”

Carmona adds that the ultimate goal at Azteca is an end-to-end IP workflow — from the camera to the screen.  “Imagine Communications has provided us with an innovative and practical solution that enabled us to maintain much of our legacy equipment, while allowing us to gradually shift into a purely IP-based operation over the next couple of years,” he said.

The new Imagine Communications playout system features 20 Nexio+ AMP software-defined media servers, which support uncompressed and compressed IP and UHD/HD/SD SDI I/O.  Three Versio IOX SAN high-performance online storage systems provide a total of 528 TB storage and allow scaling of storage and bandwidth without affecting existing media or interrupting on-air operations. Nexio Media Gateway appliances enable high-speed file transfer of large quantities of data to and from the shared storage system using standard Ethernet connectivity.

“TV Azteca takes a highly innovative but practical approach to technology implementation, which enables them to maintain a competitive edge as the industry evolves,” said Imagine Communications VP of Central America and Latin America Sales Sergio Yáñez.  “We are proud of our long relationship with this future-focused media organization and look forward to continue supporting TV Azteca with practical solutions and migration strategies that align with their specific requirements.”

As TV Azteca moves toward cloud-based operations, Imagine Communications offers multiple transition paths for seamlessly migrating Nexio+ customers to Versio Platform, the company’s cloud-native, microservices-based playout solution.