Chris Burrup operates the Bitcentral Precis 4.0 system at KBCI-TV.
KBCI-TV's award-winning news coverage has been a part of television broadcasting in Idaho since 1953. It's my job to make sure four hours of daily newscasts run without a hitch, so I'm definitely a fan of any newsroom technology that makes our work easier.
NEEDED TO BREAK AWAY FROM TAPE
As many other broadcasters have found out, the traditional method of using multiple tape decks to edit content was no longer an efficient way to put our news broadcasts together. With tape, there were exhaustive pre-production tasks involved. When a reporter needed a special graphic, we would have to go through five different steps to get that graphic to the editor for air. Another problem was the constant threat of tape deck malfunctions. If a head "dropped," critical seconds could be wasted on getting it to roll correctly for the required story.
Four months ago, KBCI-TV was introduced to Bitcentral. The station is owned by Fisher Communications, and the company was already experiencing great results with Bitcentral technologies installed at two other Fisher stations. A decision was made to equip our newsroom with Bitcentral's Precis 4.0 system, which streamlines the entire newsgathering process by managing ingest, encoding, editing and playout. With its installation, we realized many benefits.
The field producers can now edit stories from their laptops and send them to our newsroom either over IP or by microwave. The system works seamlessly with both our P2 cameras (native file codecs are supported without the transcoding process) and ENPS newsroom computer system.
Additionally, we became big fans of the ability of Precis to deliver both SD and HD channels for production and playout. This has eliminated the need to purchase costly upgrades as we head toward a full HD production format.
Precis has also simplified a common production issue. Our package always has to be ready to go live at 4:00 p.m., but we often need a cold-open sound bite to air at the top of the newscast. Our editor can now simply go into the project folder, grab the video they need and edit that cold-open instead of having the photographer wait around during the review of the raw tape. That photographer is now free to edit their package without interruption.
Also, Precis' ClipStore function gives the directors more control and flexibility in correcting any last-minute issues with the playout—they can view the script, scrub the proxy and mark the "in" and "out" points that they want to use.
IMPROVED GRAPHICS BENEFIT WORKFLOW
Another benefit is with the handling of graphics. We can now place graphic items directly into the Precis' server, and the editors can grab them at their convenience. This simplified process no longer requires my staff to wait for an editor to find the time to record graphics to tape. The quality of the graphics is cleaner because we don't lose generations on the file transfers.
Our first newscast went to air shortly after a single on-site training session, and we had no errors. Thanks to Precis, we have been able to take advantage of a fully tapeless workflow.
Chris Burrup has been production supervisor at KBCI since 2007 and manages a staff of six directors. He may be reached at email@example.com
For additional information, contact Bitcentral at 949-253-9000 or visit www.bitcentral.com