City of Beverly Hills Goes Tapeless with Apella LCS

(ATLANTA) - Beverly Hills Television (BHTV), run by the City of Beverly Hills, has made the transition to a file-based workflow with two Apella LCS video servers, VT Scheduler and VT Media Exchange software from Video Technics. Previously, BHTV’s award-winning local programming had been produced and aired using a tape-based workflow and a twenty-year-old analog automation system which spanned across three separate physical locations.

At City Hall, BHTV ingests City Council meetings directly from four Panasonic AW-E750 SDI cameras to the Apella LCS, cuts out meeting recesses and sends the complete file over the City’s existing Ethernet LAN to master control to be added to the playlist. According to Programming Operations Specialist Michael Forys (pictured), “On the master control side, one 3RU Apella LCS replaced three racks of aging analog gear. The VT Scheduler software lets us script sat feed ingest during off-hours, and the built-in router control makes any ties to the old automation system unnecessary. Our editors now edit PSAs and documentaries on the Final Cut Pro workstations, drag and drop the finished packages into the VT HotFolder, and the content is automatically ingested into the database across the street. No one has to touch a tape, bicycle media around or worry about poor-quality third-generation videos failing in antique decks.” He also stated that BHTV was especially impressed with the fact that the Apella servers could seamlessly play out mixed codecs and video formats back-to-back.

The two Apella LCS video servers provide a total of five capture or playout channels, and the VT Scheduler software is used to create scripts for automatic capture and playback, reducing the need for and added expense of 24/7 staff. The VT HotFolder (VT Media Exchange) software automatically ingests a variety of video formats and re-wraps or transcodes them as necessary to be played out by the Apella in master control.