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Telestream Streamlines Growing News Workflow for Azteca

Azteca America, billed as the fastest-growing Spanish-language network in the United States, has selected Telestream FlipFactory and Launch products to deliver news content between the network’s California-based operations center and affiliate stations around the country.

Azteca supplies programming to its affiliates; last year, the network was approached by one of the owners who asked Azteca to produce local news stories for some of the affiliates in Texas and Nevada. Azteca already had the production facilities but needed a solution to quickly and efficiently move content between locations for newsgathering as well as news delivery back to the local stations.

After looking at satellite and fiber solutions, the network turned to Telestream and local reseller, Key Code Media, who tailored an Internet delivery solution to meet the company’s needs. The package includes Telestream’s FlipFactory enterprise-class transcoding workflow automation application and multiple Launch personal IP media delivery software applications to provide the workflow solution they needed.

“We chose Telestream because of their experience in Internet media delivery and their flexibility to cost-effectively meet our exact workflow needs,” said Azteca Chief Technology Officer Marco Rivera and Engineering Manager Jakob Nielsen in a statement. “Important selection criteria included the ability to automatically integrate with our news systems, provide important SMPTE VC-1 and MPEG-2 format support and meet our tight delivery deadlines.”

Local reporters now capture and edit news stories on laptop computer systems outfitted with a wireless card, Avid editing software and Telestream’s Launch software. News stories are simply dragged to a Launch folder which automatically transcodes the content to VC-1 at 2 Mbps and transmits the media via the Internet to a FlipFactory server at the network operations center. A full two-minute story takes about 10 to12 minutes to send to the broadcast server ready for air.

“Azteca America’s need to quickly and easily move content in and out of their network operations center is a perfect match for our products,” said Dan Castles, Telestream president and CEO. “Using laptops with wireless cards and Launch software provides ultimate flexibility in terms of being able to send reporters anywhere they need to go. FlipFactory provides the same level of flexibility at the operations center.”

FlipFactory is also used to deliver material out from the network operations center. Once local news stories are produced, FlipFactory encodes and delivers material back to the affiliates, ready to air. Higher-speed Internet lines are used for delivery back to the affiliates to avoid bottlenecks. A 22-minute program encoded to MPEG-2 file at 5 Mbps is delivered in just 16 minutes.