Australia’s Foxtel Chooses TAG Monitoring Solution From Magna Systems & Engineering

In 2020 Foxtel started a project to exit its aging television center facility at Macquarie Park in Sydney, Australia. The plan involved migrating its entire technology platform across two sites in the city to an all-IP platform encompassing video routing, satellite, OTT and more. After more than 12 months of market research, testing and testing various vendor IP monitoring solutions, Foxtel chose a TAG Video Systems solution for all its IP monitoring requirements. This TAG monitoring solution was supplied by Magna Systems & Engineering, which described it as “the largest solution of its kind in the southern hemisphere and in the top 10 solutions of its kind globally.”

Matthew Carter, Foxtel head of broadcast engineering and projects, said: “We wanted to be able to not only view pictures on monitors but provide a real time probe of those signals across the full workflow to provide a full end-to-end view of the video workflow across all formats and encoding type. The TAG solution does all of this and more.”

Starting with an RFI in 2020, progressing to an extensive RFP in 2021 and followed by a POC, the TAG solution ticked all the boxes for Foxtel’s new multiviewing and monitoring for all of their IP sources across multiple sites.

The TAG solution is now monitoring more than 2,000 sources across multiple sites with all types of IP signals including uncompressed HD and UHD, compressed HD and UHD, OTT — HLS, CMAF and DASH including DRM, NDI and any combination of these signals can be monitored on just one server. TAG is also a software solution running entirely on COTS hardware.

When the RFP was concluded, Foxtel also opted for the latest Dell R650 server with dual ConnectX6 200GE cards. Each server is capable of monitoring up to 128 uncompressed SMPTE ST2110 HD inputs with -7 seamless switching protection.

Carter continued: “We specifically purchased the TAG IP monitoring solution for its ability to decode and monitor across multi-formats. It is still the only tool out there that can do this within the same appliance at scale. We were also very impressed with Magna who supported us from start to finish. They understood our requirements and worked closely with my team to provide the solution that fitted our needs. Magna have been on hand all along the way to help with any issues and to work with TAG on any request we have had.”


The new TAG IP solution is used across the entire Foxtel platform, from the ingest of the signal from playout or third parties, pre-compression and post compression. It is also used across multiple departments including MCR, Presentation and Foxtel’s Service Assurance teams across two sites under one control environment.

Carter continued: “With the introduction of the MCS controller management, control of the TAG platform has become much simpler. At the beginning of the journey this tool wasn’t even a reality to the customer but working closely alongside TAG and Magna we have helped shape the product and continue to do so.”

An example of how Foxtel uses the TAG solution comes in the form of the monitoring of its event-based OTT streams. Using the fully open API Foxtel have integrated this into their resource scheduling platform to provide operators with verification of customer delivery. Foxtel’s automation system, in turn, then supplies TAG with the necessary CDN details associated with an event to start decoding and probing. This now means that the once cumbersome workflows of checking a physical device for the event start are no longer required as there is now a continued monitoring of the stream from start to finish.

Adi Itzhaki, TAG VP sales, said: “When Foxtel and Magna approached TAG with this ambitious and forward-looking project, they presented a very clear challenge. Beyond transitioning to all IP, Foxtel needed to monitor multiple workflows and formats across multiple sites at high scale. TAG’s MCM is the perfect fit for these requirements with deep realtime monitoring across the entire chain along with the MCS control and analysis layer. With TAG and Magna, Foxtel managed to get a single point view of their workflow, while staying agile and aligning delivery to their evolving business requirements.”

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