German broadcaster SWR converts studio workflow to file-based operations

German public broadcasting station Südwestrundfunk (SWR), or Southwestern Broadcasting, has expanded its Omneon infrastructure with a new HD Spectrum media server system that supports studio production at its facility in Baden-Baden.

The new Omneon system has enabled the broadcaster to gain the speed and efficiencies of a file-based workflow within the studio environment. According to Manfred Jung, project director of systems engineering and project planning at SWR, the new server system provided the flexible architecture and bandwidth needed to upgrade SWR’s studio production from tape- to file-based operations. Omneon’s Spectrum server supports XDCAM HD 422 media, and simple integration with SWR’s control solution lets the broadcaster further automate and simplify operations, he added.

The transition of SWR’s production studios to a file-based workflow is the latest step in its overall plan to implement tapeless operations. The elimination of studio tapes from the production process and the use of a common format from acquisition to playout increases flexibility and reliability in preparing programming for air, while also reducing capital and operational costs.

The new HD Spectrum system at SWR supports recording and playback in two studios. ClipJOCKEY by Solutions for Media (S4M) manages and controls server operations during production and provides user-defined presets that enable dynamic allocation of centralized media server I/O, storage and NLEs to different productions or studios according to SWR's requirements.

Takes can be fused together in place on the Spectrum system to create a complete clip or sent to a Final Cut Pro edit system for craft editing. SWR uses MXF4Mac software to enable native support for MXF files in QuickTime applications and to introduce high interoperability and efficiency. Faster-than-real-time edit fusing and play-to-air functionality help SWR's production staff to maximize workflow efficiency and meet short deadlines.

Phil Kurz

Phil Kurz is a contributing editor to TV Tech. He has written about TV and video technology for more than 30 years and served as editor of three leading industry magazines. He earned a Bachelor of Journalism and a Master’s Degree in Journalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Journalism.