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02.06.2005
Originally featured on BroadcastEngineering.com
Crawford Communications taps DST for IT systems integration


Crawford Communications has installed an automated, server-based, multichannel master control system with the help of Digital System Technology.
Digital System Technology (DST) recently completed a comprehensive integration project at Crawford Communications in Atlanta for an automated, server-based, multichannel master control system.

The result is ENCOMPASS (Encode, Manage and Protect your Assets), Crawford's system for digital storage, archiving and asset management. The ENCOMPASS concept has helped to reduce physical tape storage requirements while streamlining Crawford’s workflow processes that support its 34 network origination clients and multiple satellite networks. With ENCOMPASS, Crawford estimates it can accommodate up to 120 networks.

The ENCOMPASS system is located in a 135,000sq ft facility, supported by a data based hierarchical storage management system.

Starting with an existing serial digital facility, the projects’ main goal was the seamless marriage of video servers and IT technology. It concentrated its work into three general areas to create ENCOMPASS’ core: an expandable 40-channel master control playout center; a multiple-project ingest station; and a terminal gear room with separate IT and video equipment infrastructures. Tie-lines were established to interface the new systems with existing Crawford operations, including editing suites and its technical operations center for monitoring incoming and outgoing feeds.

The bulk of DST's integration work was tied to IT equipment from:

  • Masstech (storage)
  • SGI and Omneon (ingest and playout servers)
  • Omnibus Systems (automation)
  • SpectraLogic (data tape robotic systems)
  • Barco (monitoring systems)

New ingest and playout processes established through DST's integration work are facilitated by a computer-based system that streamlines the previous tape-based workflow through file movement and automated recall from archival storage.

For more information visit www.crawford.com and http://www.dstech.com.

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