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05.23.2006
TV3 Enhances with Omneon and OmniBus

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TV3's control room
Since its inception 21 years ago, TV3 has been the leading television station in Malaysia. It was the country's first commercial television station and the first to bring viewers in Malaysia live coverage of the Olympics, providing a telecast from the 1984 Summer Games. We have maintained our status as the premier private commercial broadcaster through strong relationships with advertisers and our commitment to quality.

When looking into new solutions for our broadcast operations, we evaluated systems that would provide reliable and flexible performance, working together in an efficient workflow suited to our specific needs. We selected and installed an Omneon Spectrum server system to act as the central storage server for our three separate editing environments----equipped with Avid Unity, Apple Final Cut Pro, and Pinnacle Liquid respectively. The Omneon also provides the interface for these editing systems to the legacy playout server.


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The new non-linear editing environment comprising these systems was launched successfully at the end of June. We also upgraded our OmniBus Columbus automation system to include new tools to enable news production. Systems integrator Duet Broadcast assisted in networking the Omneon server to legacy and newly acquired equipment to allow collaborative editing and an improved post-production workflow.

The open architecture of our new Omneon system and its easy interfacing with other broadcast systems enables us to work with editing tools that meet the requirements and preferences of each of our departments. We're currently using the Omneon Spectrum system as a format-independent storage point that sits between the different post-production editing systems and our playout servers. The Omneon server allows these different editing systems and playout servers -- which do not talk directly to each other -- to work together in a collaborative environment. A seamless interface with the OmniBus automation system ensures that ingested sequences are immediately available for automated playout.


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TV3 uses OmniBus' Columbus automation system
Creating a common editing environment

Each editing system has its own strengths, and the Spectrum media server system enables us to bring these different brands into a common environment and capitalise on the advantages offered by each. The entertainment, magazine, and promo departments at TV3 all work with Final Cut Pro, Avid Media Composer and NewsCutter systems, and our magazine department also makes use of the facility's Pinnacle editor. All three systems integrate smoothly with the Omneon system.

The Spectrum allows our editors and other employees to work together more easily through simple file sharing and a powerful 'edit-in-place' workflow. This capability allows editors to access the Omneon storage system directly and use the link mode to play and edit material residing on the server file system. Because the essence of the edit and the audio and video files themselves can reside on the server while the editor works with them in the timeline, we have been able to eliminate much of the tedious material transfer typically required by traditional non-linear edit sessions.


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Central storage is provided by Omneon's Spectrum server
With the upgrade of our automation system, we can use OmniBus' ingest tools for acquisition of satellite feeds as one-off or scheduled recordings alongside material from field tapes and other sources. Columbus, which manages playout of news, long-form material and interstitials and commercials, automatically loads the required content from the newsroom system rundown and plays them out from existing server systems under manual control.

The same solution also enables compliance editing of drama programs and movies -- a critical capability in this market -- via OmniBus Systems' browse technology, which acts as an ActiveX plug-in inside the subtitling system. As a result, multiple operators can view material simultaneously rather than load individual copies of all media for editing.

With Omneon's Spectrum media server system in place, we find there are many new possibilities open to us with regard to production. We have the ability to choose the formats in which we shoot, edit, transmit, and archive TV3 content. Likewise, the enhancements we've made to our OmniBus automation system provide a new level of flexibility and efficiency.

Ahmad Mahmood is Deputy Manager of TV3.



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