Robert Pearce /
01.03.2012 12:00 AM
Ross SoftMetal Servers Streamline CTV Ops

SCARBOROUGH, ONTARIO—The CTV Television Network is owned by Bell Media and is Canada's largest private broadcaster, offering Canadians more top-rated English-language television programming than any other network in the country. We also provide local news broadcasts three times a day to help ensure our position as a market leader.

A CTV SoftMetal video server operating position
I'm an engineering technician at the network charged with facilitating all live production done within the facility. My special focus is on control room workflow and integration.

OUT WITH OLD, IN WITH SOFTMETAL

Just like almost everyone in the industry, CTV relies on video file server technology to store and play our programming to air. The network uses Ross Video's SoftMetal Video Servers in all eight of our production control rooms for production of live news, sports and entertainment content. Before the Ross video server technology entered the picture, we operated with a mélange of older video servers. We used Ross Video's Vision series of production switchers in our studios and the company's SoftMetal server product was a natural and easy choice when it came time to move on to new server technology.

Ross's SoftMetal technology has allowed us to seamlessly integrate our video server requirements with our production switchers, providing us with high-level, switcher-based macro control of video server show components. This integrated operation provides control of server and switcher functionality from a single operating position, facilitating the overall workflow. This integration provides many other benefits too such as rapid cueing of content, audio integration, and file-based media delivery. These elements have all worked together to give us greater flexibility and response time in "on-the-fly" situations typically encountered in the production and airing of fast breaking news events.

Ross Video has also worked with us to custom tailor their equipment to suit the needs of our applications, including heavy duty support for such special and unique events as the coverage of the 2010 Vancouver Olympics. There we had seven control rooms running with five SoftMetal installations in operation, and during our 17 consecutive days of live Olympics television coverage, all of our productions executed flawlessly.

SUPPORT ABOVE AND BEYOND

In addition to providing quality products, the people at Ross Video have also assisted us with superlative 24-hour tech support. I've always felt as though my Ross contacts were an advocate for CTV, and that the company would do everything possible to help us succeed—helping us deliver content on time, and always to the technical standards set by the CTV Television Network. I know that if I have any problems or concerns at any time, I can reach a Ross employee, even their CEO.

Technology aside, I believe a company is only as strong as its human resources, and Ross Video's employees, in every instance, have gone above and beyond to provide me with the required support to help maintain production integrity at CTV.

Robert Pearce has been an engineering technician at CTV for 10 years. He may be contacted at robert.pearce@bellmedia.ca.

For additional information, contact Ross Video at 613-652-4886 or visit www.rossvideo.com.



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