CNN

Winner of newsroom technology
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Submitted by
Omneon

Runner-up:
Sky News
Submitted by BSkyB Technology

At its Atlanta headquarters, CNN undertook the replacement of its aging SD feed-ingest, edit and playout infrastructure with new HD equipment. This was accomplished through collaboration between CNN's Broadcast Engineering & System Technology (BEST) and the Omneon (now part of Harmonic) Broadcast Solutions Group. The Omneon Media Application Server (MAS) was the lynchpin of the project.

The typical workflow starts with Viz Dart, which operators use to schedule a feed ingest or trigger a crash recording. Even before the recording begins in an Omneon MediaDeck, metadata is exchanged to make an association between the file in the MAS and CNN's MediaSource-2. As the HD XDCAM-35 file begins recording on the MediaDeck, the MAS manages file transfers to IPV (to make proxies) and two 126TB Omneon MediaGrid active storage systems. Within 10 seconds of the beginning of ingest, the growing file becomes available on each MediaGrid and can be opened in Final Cut Pro using Sony's Cinemon plug-in. Files are edited on the server.

More typically, writers and producers use MediaSource-2 to create projects, view proxies and select video clips. Later, an editor selects the project in MediaSource-2, and the project automatically opens Final Cut Pro with all the candidate clips already “in the bin.” When an edit session is complete, the file is exported to one MediaGrid while MAS simultaneously copies the file to the other (backup), to IPV (new proxy generation) and to two Omneon Spectrum media server systems (playout). Playout is managed by Avid ControlAir. Other workflows transcode and rewrap files, send material to and from archive, and exchange material with CNN's New York and Washington bureaus. Through MAS and MediaSource-2, users will be able to view contents from all locations from a single interface.