NRK implements multidomain file-based production infrastructure

Norsk Rikskringkasting (NRK), the national Norwegian broadcaster, will roll out a system in early 2007 that provides access and direct control over programs in production, raw material and online storage to 3000 users across all 13 NRK production sites. TSL is the system integrator and prime contractor for NRK’s file-based production infrastructure project, dubbed the Programme Bank. NRK's detailed requirements call for a high level of integration across multiple domains as well as across new and legacy production technologies.

The essential parts of the system comprise a 5000-hour Omneon production server system, allowing direct editing on the server media using Final Cut Pro editing clients, and a 60,000-hour StorageTek production tape library governed by a MAM (media asset management) system. The MAM system is based on the OmniBus OPUS suite of applications including Workflow Control, which provides the tools needed for an individual task, and a Web client that enables intranet-based searches, browse and keyframe viewing across the NRK platforms. It is integrated with NRK's enterprisewide legacy OmniBus device control and automation system, bridging the gap between new and legacy systems.

The pre-planning and detailed functional specification of the project has taken about two years, and during these formal procedures, NRK made use of consultancy work from NOB Cross media facilities in the Netherlands. The Programme Bank project will be implemented in stages, the first to be used by the new children's channel in autumn 2007. The completion of the project, including comprehensive training of NRK staff, is planned for late 2008.

NRK's technical director Arild Hellgren said that integrating best-of-breed technologies from suppliers would remove isolated production islands and make better use of NRK's combined assets. The hoped-for result is increased program output and efficiency for distribution platforms, including a third channel on the new DVB terrestrial network. As system integrator, TSL’s role will include freeing NRK personnel to work on tailoring this new infrastructure into a set of streamlined workflows.

OmniBus OPUS will provide streamlined integration of new and existing technologies forming part of NRK's system, including a planning facility by MediaGenix, a radio system by D.A.V.I.D., a newsroom system from AP ENPS, production servers by Omneon, digital archive management from Front Porch Digital and existing production environments from Avid and Quantel. OPUS additionally provides direct integration for NRK's production operation by supplying sequences, shot lists and metadata to the broadcaster's Final Cut Pro systems.

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