Harris builds file-based HD news workflow for Nine Network Australia

Harris has implemented the first phase of the buildout of an end-to-end, file-based, HD news production and playout center at Nine Network’s facilities in Sydney, Australia.

Nine Network plans to roll out the integrated news solution across three other sites, including Canberra, Brisbane and Melbourne, before the end of the year as part of a multimillion-dollar refurbishment program to replace an aging, tape-based news system.

Nine Network’s Sydney facility consists of interoperable products operating across the entire production chain from ingest to on-air playout. The product lineup includes Harris ADC playout automation, NEXIO server systems, Velocity ESX and Velocity PRX editors, the NEXIO InstantOnline III automatic conforming engine, Platinum routers, CENTRIO multiviewers and Invenio digital asset management products.

The system’s ability to handle high-end editing directly on the NEXIO storage area network was pivotal in the network’s decision to choose Harris, said Charles Sevior, network manager of broadcast technology at Nine Network. “Integration with third-party systems, such as Apple Final Cut Pro and with content from our IP-based newsgathering terminals, was also mandatory,” he added.

The Velocity ESX on SAN editors forms the backbone of the nonlinear news editing chain at Nine Network. Nine Network can conform edit decision lists, projects and timelines from the Velocity PRX proxy editing systems and other media files into high-resolution clips via the NEXIO InstantOnline III engine. This content is stored on the NEXIO shared-storage system and is immediately available for playout as soon as the conform process begins.

The most challenging aspect of the project was taking it on at the network’s original location, said Geoff Sparke, Nine Network Australia network operations manager. The project required a major renovation of the Sydney newsroom and studio as well as the introduction of a new production workflow.