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RT_ moves all-digital with Avid

25 September 2007

Ireland’s public service broadcaster, Radio Telef_s _ireann (RT_) is installing an end-to-end Avid Interplay system to improve media asset management, collaborative production, and multi-platform distribution.

The Dublin-based broadcaster, which operates two television channels – RT_ One and RT_ Two – as well as four radio stations, is building its new production workflow around the Avid Interplay nonlinear workflow engine, tied to the Avid Unity ISIS shared-storage system.

RT_ will employ the new digital workflow to produce and publish a wide variety of content – including news, promotional spots, sports, and longform programming to multiple distribution platforms. Given the breadth of the production needs at RT_, the company was seeking to deploy a solution capable of streamlining the management of a wide range of media assets, across a complex set of concurrent workflows. In addition, RT_ sought to make it easier for production teams to work collaboratively with all media assets on a shared network. The hope is that the digital upgrade, which RT_ expects to complete in before the winter, will deliver significant time and cost savings, allowing the broadcaster to produce a greater number of high quality programmes.

“We wanted more than to simply transition from a tape-based to a digital production workflow, so we chose the Avid Interplay system because we hoped that it would help transform our way of doing things in television,” said John Hunt, director of operations at RT_ Television. “Our workflows are complex and need the powerful and agile technology that Avid Interplay promises. The aim is to improve our overall productivity in comparison to the tape-based operation so we can produce more efficient and even better programming. We look forward to continuing to work with Avid to explore the opportunities that Interplay promises to open up across the production spectrum.”

In addition to Avid Interplay, the multi-million dollar RT_ purchase includes an Avid Unity ISIS system with 80TB of storage and 26 Avid AirSpeed systems for ingest and playout. A large number of Avid desktop systems are also part of the deal, including 12 Avid NewsCutter Adrenaline editing systems and eight Avid NewsCutter XP systems with Avid Mojo SDI hardware.

Productivity benefits for RT_ will include:

  • The ability for multiple departments to have instant and simultaneous access to media assets (eg a producer will be able to view footage from a sports feed while it is concurrently being logged and indexed).
  • A simplified editing schedule, allowing suites that were once tied to either long or short format projects to be used for any genre programming.
  • Greater agility in dealing with a wide range of distribution formats, including those used for mobile devices and broadband video.
  • Reduced infrastructure costs, by consolidating its Avid Unity ISIS, Avid Interplay and AirSpeed systems in a single, centralised location.
  • Easy integration of new camera formats required for tapeless acquisition.

Paul Glasgow, general manager, Avid UK & EMEA, said, “RT_’s participation in the beta testing of the Avid Interplay system was critical, as it allowed them to understand the possible benefits in each part of their workflow. The real benefits, however, will be achieved as RT_ leverages technology to transform its business model with more efficient operations. Avid’s Professional Services Group worked closely with RT_ to model and test the new workflows, which will deliver tangible improvements across the whole production function.”

All of the new systems are being installed in close cooperation with Avid’s Dublin-based partner, Tyrell CCT.

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