Cablevision NJ employs tapeless news workflow

From daily news reports to weekly news magazine shows, New Jersey’s Cablevision covers a wide gamut of topics of interest to New Jersey residents.

Looking to upgrade aging Hitachi and Sony Betacam equipment, Cablevision has acquired Panasonic DVCPRO P2 solid-state memory equipment, including camcorders, a studio deck and a five-slot drive to develop a fast, IT-based workflow.

Cablevision’s local programming unit covers local news, sports, elections and community developments throughout Essex and Hudson counties from stations in Union City and Newark. Equipped with three AJ-SPX800 2/3in 16:9/4:3 P2 camcorders, an AJ-SPD850 DVCPRO 50/25 studio deck and a five-slot P2 drive, the local programming unit was able to construct a more nimble, IT-based news system.

When considering the P2 system, Al Clarke, operations supervisor for Cablevision Local Programs, and Francisco Saldana, area manager for Cablevision Local Programs, focused on developing a purely IT-based workflow system that would offer the fastest footage exchange and make access to footage between each studio more cost-effective.

To support the new file-based workflow, Cablevision created a private network between the editing systems and the playout server from which its reporters, editors and producers could access all content and transfer files from any source.

Cablevision’s computer stations are hooked up through peer-to-peer networking using Cat5 cable. All P2-acquired footage is put on a local drive, and each studio location has access to the footage by transferring, which takes only a few minutes. By connecting the computers and the editing server via an Ethernet switch, folders can be shared.

Forty 4GB P2 cards are rotated among their reporters. A five-slot P2 card drive connected to the USB ports on the editing computers allows the download of footage into Harris VelocityQ non-linear editing software.

Once the transfer is complete, VelocityQ reads the MXF files so those using the system can go to the folder, select everything and have it appear in the editing folder.

After editing the P2 footage natively on the VelocityQ timeline, Cablevision encodes the timeline to an MPEG file and then transfers it via FTP across the network to the playout server. Cablevision relies on a Quantum system for archiving.

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