French broadcaster seeks efficiencies from new digital workflow

Réseau France Outre-mer (RFO), a Paris-based broadcaster owned by the France Télévisions group, has purchased a range of Avid systems to create a digital production workflow for nine stations in French-speaking territories around the globe.

RFO will centralize its operations in a single location while improving production and workflow efficiencies for all stations, regardless of location. To support programming across its network —where each station produces a mix of local news, magazine shows and commercials and broadcasts national content created by France Télévisions and TF1 — RFO will deploy multiple Avid and former Pinnacle Systems technology for acquisition, post production, media management and playout. The installation is currently underway and expected to be complete by fall 2006.

The global workflow solution at RFO’s headquarters is based around an Avid Unity ISIS shared-storage and networking system. It will interface with eight MediaStream 8000 servers, which include 20 channels of ingest and 60 output channels, and will use an additional 20TB of centralized storage to handle about 5000 hours of MPEG-2 IBP content at 8Mb/s. Sixteen Avid editing systems will connect to the production network, including a combination of NewsCutter Adrenaline and Media Composer Adrenaline systems. Unity MediaManager and TransferManager systems will facilitate media management for the workflow, including two-way transfers of files between the Unity ISIS system and the MediaStream servers.

RFO will also deploy additional Avid equipment for its regional centers in New Caledonia, Polynesia and the Reunion Islands. Each site will include a Unity LANshare EX storage and networking system with 4TB capacity, MediaManager, five Media Composer Adrenaline editing systems and an AirSpeed system for broadcast playout.

Once the installation is complete, RFO also expects to realize new revenue streams by repackaging programs created locally as compilation shows for cable, satellite and ADSL operators in neighboring countries. RFO also plans to create alternate versions of its programs for use on the Internet and mobile phones.

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