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In 2009, KSTP-TV in Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN, and Alpha Video and Audio in Edina MN, collaborated to design and install a file-based newsroom solution to reach two objectives. The first was to replace the station’s legacy tape-based system with a more flexible and efficient HD/SD tapeless system. A second objective was to provide an innovative solution to bridge the technological gap between the MOS-based ENPS newsroom computer system and Apple Final Cut Pro.

Working as a design team, KSTP broadcast engineers, Hubbard Broadcasting’s IT department and Alpha Video engineers planned a completely tapeless, state-of-the-art newsroom. To seamlessly integrate more than a dozen Final Cut Pro workstations into the station’s existing AP ENPS newsroom system, the team designed and installed a groundbreaking Gallery Sienna system. The system includes several Apple-based software modules for ingest, editing, asset management, playout and archive. The benefit of the system is it uses off-the-shelf computer hardware, including Apple Xserves and AJA Kona cards. The primary edit bays were outfitted with MacPro workstations running Final Cut Pro with the Sienna StoryCut Plug-in, allowing the editor to see the show rundowns and scripts within Final Cut Pro. Daily satellite and ENG ingest feeds are scheduled and recorded via Xserves controlled by the Sienna IngestControl module. These feeds are recorded directly to the shared storage and can be edited immediately on any of the Final Cut Pro editors, even while video is still recording.

Once the story is edited, the finished package is published to AutomationX, the Sienna rundown manager, which is dynamically synchronized via MOS and the ENPS server. AutomationX controls a group of Xserves with Kona cards for the playout channels. The content can be played directly from shared SAN volume, and it can be transferred to a separate SAN volume for failover.

The shared storage solution is the Apple certified promise VTrack system with 160TB of online SAN storage using Apple XSAN 2 to connect all the editors and ingest/playout channels connected via 4Gb/s fiber switch from Qlogic. The archive solution for long-term storage of content is a SpectraLogic T380 LTO4-based system running XenData management software. The Sienna solution offers integrated archive tools and XenData supports features such as partial restore. Proxy video is created for all online and offline content, and users can easily restore video back into the online storage. The proxy video can be played on PCs and Macs through the integrated Web-based asset manager.

In addition to the Apple and Gallery Sienna integration, Alpha Video installed a multiformat Harris routing and master control system with Miranda terminal and conversion gear. One significant challenge to overcome was the implementation of Active Format Describrtion (AFD) throughout both SDI and HD-SDI signal streams. The objective was to leverage as much SD-SDI while maintaining widescreen for the HD viewers. Miranda AFD inserters were used to differentiate 16:9 and 4:3 signals.

  • Newsroom technology
    Submitted by Alpha Video and AudioDesign teamAlpha Video and Audio
    Hubbard Broadcasting
    KSTP-TVTechnology at workAJA: Kona LHe capture card
    Apple: Final Cut Studio, iMac, MacPro Computer, XSAN 2, Xserve
    Gallery: AutomationX rundown MOS interface, MediaService, Sienna IngestControl, Sienna OriginOne, Sienna
    PictureReady Channels, Sienna StoryCut, Sienna VirtualVTR Channels
    Harris: IconMaster MC switcher, Platinum routers
    Miranda: AFD inserters, terminal and conversion gear
    Panasonic: AG-HPX300 P2 camcorder
    Promise: 16TB VTrak storage chassis
    Qlogic: Sanbox 9200
    Samsung: SyncMaster 30T
    SpectraLogic: T380
    Volicon: Observer System
    XenData: VideoHSM software

© 2010 Penton Media, Inc.