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Originally featured on BroadcastEngineering.com
Apr 6

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4/6/2012 12:12 AM  RssIcon

Micahel Dixon Deploys Combined System for News Production and Master Control Ops

Atlanta, GA (April 6, 2012) – Having made the decision to transition news production to HD, WGXA, sought a single solution that would not only meet this immediate need, but also position the station to seamlessly upgrade their master control operations. “We wanted to update our news department from SD to HD and to move away from tape to tapeless and at the same time upgrade Master Control from partial-automation to full automation,” stated Michael Dixon, Information Technology Director at WGXA TV FOX24/ABC16, located in Macon, GA.

During the design and selection process, WGXA had a list of criteria that all prospective vendors were evaluated against including reliability, scalability, excellent customer service, and affordability. While several vendors offered products that met some of these criteria, Video Technics was chosen because they met all criteria by providing an integrated platform that is responsible for all areas of the news production and playout with ENPS, as well as end-to-end master control operations for ingest, prepping, and play-to-air automation with traffic interfaces to Wide Orbit.

The MOS-enabled NewsFlow™ system from Video Technics seamlessly works with ENPS and runs alongside the WorkFlow Complete™ master control automation system. The two logical systems offer economies of scale by sharing common software and hardware components that include 10 channels of Apella™ HDS High Definition Servers with a total of 24.0 TB of local “cache” storage, two high performance NAS servers for a total of 32TB total of shared storage, and two HD VT Media Exchange Servers to handle file-based ingest with redundancy. The VT Media Archive Library was incorporated for seamless off line archiving to LTO-5 media. In addition to the hardware configuration, this turnkey solution also included 30 seats of the VT Proxy Editor ™ software for use in the newsroom with ENPS as a MOS plug-ins and a few seats in master control for low-res media prepping. Several nonlinear editor plug-ins were provided for their Final Cut Pro Workstations and others, VT Director for news playout with MOS, and two VT Scheduler™ PRO clients for master control play-to-air automation.

“WGXA was clear on their tactical and strategic growth plans and we were able to put together an IT-based solution that would meet their immediate and future goals,” said Mark Rivers, CEO of Video Technics. Dixon confirmed, “The Video Technics workflow demonstrated the capability of meeting our objectives of scalability and affordability.”

The Apella video servers offer highly scalable “out-of-the-box” workflow solutions for news production and playout and automated master control operations. When fully integrated with the Video Technics asset management environment, the result is an efficient, multi-channel broadcast operation providing high quality and continuous on-air service, with a minimal amount of manual intervention. The Apella video server is designed for flexibility and collaboration using the native VT software applications to facilitate the desired workflow. VT Proxy Editor™ allows operators to prepare and segment incoming content using low resolution proxies from their desktop and does not require the use of a full baseband channel. The VT Scheduler PRO™ software orchestrates fully automated, frame-accurate multi-channel playout and ingest capabilities either as a standalone integrated box, or as part of a complex mixed network of legacy equipment and functionality.

Because of the reliability of the solution and the outstanding customer service, WGXA’s decision to go with Video Technics has been confirmed since their launch on-air over a month ago. During a pre-launch workflow training session, all involved people received a clear understanding of how the various system components interoperate and how to most efficiently work with the solution. “With only a few small tweaks, the first run implementation for the 5:00 and 5:30 pm news went flawlessly,” Dixon stated, “Video Technics has to have the best technical support team that I have ever worked with in my fifteen years in this business.”

“We are very pleased to be associated with WGXA,” said Rivers, “With proven technology from Video Technics we’re proud to have been able to help WGXA transition from a labor intensive, legacy operation to a new collaborative file-based workflow that both reduces their overhead costs and improves their on-air look with HD quality.”

About Video Technics, Inc.

Video Technics, Inc., a pioneer in revolutionary systems development, supplies the global broadcast industry with innovative, feature-rich workflow solutions built around the company’s IT-based media servers. Video Technics’ Apella™ and NewsFlow™ products streamline the entire production process, and feature inherent proxy editing, embedded ingest/playout tools, and digital asset management. For more information visit: www.videotechnics.com.

About WGXA Television

Since 1982 WGXA Television, currently owned by Frontier Radio Management Inc., has been delivering quality service to the greater Macon, Georgia area. FOX 24 airs Middle Georgia's only Primetime newscast, at 10:00. The FOX Files is the only show in middle Georgia that gives viewers a voice in local news, politics, and more. In 2010, WGXA signed on a second channel, ABC 16 on our digital subcarrier. They now offer Central Georgia both FOX and ABC network affiliates out of one location. For more information visit: http://www.newscentralga.com/

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