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EBU upgrades 24-hour global newsroom

The EBU (European Broadcasting Union) has upgraded its round-the-clock Eurovision News Exchange (EVN) with improved media search and retrieval, along with support for real-time editing of news footage. The EBU, which is the world’s largest association of broadcasters including members beyond Europe’s borders, has recruited Belgium-based production systems vendor EVS for the core platform, enabling centralized content ingest and asset management as the basis for improved editing facilities.

The EBU has deployed four EVS XS media servers to enable almost instantaneous playout and simultaneous recording of content ingested from up to 12 feeds. EVS’ IPDirector suite then enables production staff to view recorded content, create and manage playlists, and track and transfer files, as well as control recordings on the XS servers using the Ingest Scheduler tool.

The EBU is also using the IPDirector’s IPLogger module to create descriptive metadata for video footage recorded on the XS servers, facilitating the search and retrieval of media content. The other key component is the EVS Xedio CleanEdit news editor, which allows on-the-fly nonlinear editing of news footage and also of voice-over recordings for news bulletins. The new infrastructure will be operational by the end of 2013 after testing.

The deployment can be seen in the context of the EBU’s strategy to integrate TV, radio and online production into a single cohesive news platform in order to cut costs and exploit convergence between the three media distribution categories. The EBU has been on tour demonstrating its Integrated Media Production Strategies (IMPS) project around Europe in its campaign to persuade member broadcasters to migrate toward integrated newsrooms. One of the early adopters was Denmark’s national broadcasting corporation DR, which has pointed out that, although cost savings are important, the biggest benefit of media integration lies in the improvements in working practices and ultimately better quality of content. As DR’s news director Ulrik Haagerup said at the time of an EBU visit to its news facility in Copenhagen, "media integration is not a cost-cutting project, but a journalistic project.”

Now DR has nine live news teams covering TV, radio and online together, each with a journalist and cameraman equipped with relevant technology such as continuous 3G/4G online connectivity and backpacks to transmit stills, lives, sound bites, text and images back to DR. The material can then be assembled in the newsroom from common source material for radio, TV or online.

Like the EBU’s own global newsroom, DR is benefitting from integration of its DR archive and production storage, so that past and present audiovisual material is available to all users in any format at any time.