—In 2004, the CBS News record
room was bombarded by requests for
records of aired news feeds, not only from
our own network operations, but also from
We simply couldn’t meet the demand and
needed a better system to handle these requests.
This led us to become the first user
of Volicon’s Observer video monitoring and
logging system, and it’s played a key role in
our operations ever since.
NO MORE VIDEOTAPE JUGGLING
This robust system ensures that we
never miss a recording, and that we can locate,
view, and/or export recorded content
quickly and easily. Rather than find and copy
content from tape to tape, staff in the record
room simply mark in and out points and
make the selected video accessible via URL.
Observer continuously records multiple
channels for several months, thereby saving
wear and tear on dozens of recorders, eliminating
the cost of storage media, and freeing
up staff for other tasks.
As we don’t have to set
up ingest, configure recording
times, or establish
Observer also offers the
benefit of economical,
efficient storage and access
with minimal engineering
or user involvement.
As the Volicon Observer
enables such rapid
browser-based access to multiple channels
of recorded content, it has become a
crucial element in much more than the monitoring
and logging of daily programs. Once
our editors found out about the system, its
use began to cross many departments within
CBS. Now our promotions department uses
Observer to ensure that commercials aired
properly. CBS Radio uses it to grab audio
clips for on-air production and our legal
department uses Observer to pull clips for
evaluation. Even transcribers working in India
rely on the system as they create written
transcripts of our programs.
VIEWING THE COMPETITION
Around the newsroom, people use Observer
interface to watch and compare
multiple channels—all synched up and
streaming simultaneously—at their desks.
A six-channel Observer records all major
news networks, so our staff can compare
live broadcasts or look back later to see
how each network presented the day’s
news stories. The system is continually
logging, so we don’t have to watch every
minute in real time.
Whether we’re tracking down a news
story, fulfilling a request for a particular
clip or interview, or checking on a possible
issue or error, we can easily perform
a search or dial back in time to let us locate
and review the video, and export the
result via an emailed URL or by burning a
DVD. This process is fast and can be completed
at the desktop by our staff. The Volicon’s
closed-caption text functionality
makes it easy to find specific news topics
or even specific quotes.
From our installation of the very first Observer
system here at CBS, Volicon has been
very responsive to our feedback and over
the years, the Observer system has grown
accordingly, proving to be a very successful
and popular solution across our broadcast
operations. We now have systems at WCBSTV
and at our broadcast distribution facility
for recording outgoing and satellite return
Mel Olinsky is the director of news operations
for CBS News in New York. He may
be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For additional information, contact Volicon
at 781-221-7400 or visit www.volicon.com.