The Best of Show Award goes to … ASTRA Studio 3!

TV Technology awarded the prestigious IBC Best of Show to Aveco’s ASTRA Studio 3 news production automation and its innovative Production Resource Manager.

Aveco’s news production automation has been designed from the start for breaking news. The Production Resource Manager pools and dynamically assigns resources, implementing operations priorities for key staff and on-air function. It revolutionizes newsroom responsiveness during major events (e.g. elections) and during breaking news. Its workflow automation component makes accomplishing complex processes easy, predictable and flexible. There’s a wide range of unique news production features associated with ASTRA Studio 3 including unique integration with ASTRA master control automation and multiple MAMs and PAMs which are common in most broadcast networks and station groups.

In times of breaking news and major events, every staff member wants to contribute. Without a Production Resource Manager, newsrooms are inefficient when resources are needed the most.  Commonly, more resources are locked than are needed while other high priorities can’t be handled.  Junior-staff enthusiasm uses resources better assigned to others. Too much time is spent arbitrating resources. Sometimes even a broadcaster’s most important news executives have to wait for resources to be found and assigned.

ASTRA Studio 3’s Production Resource Manager optimizes efficiency through pooling resources and dynamically assigning resources based on priorities.

It makes news operations substantially more efficient and easier to manage across the entire range of newsroom size from small TV stations to major multi-studio and multi-city national networks.

For example, when an unplanned high priority feed needs to be ingested as a part of breaking news, pressing one button has the ASTRA Studio 3 Production Resource Manager access available resources, assign a path through router control to an available video server port which is locked for the priority level of that feed.  It starts ingesting, assigns automatic metadata, applies notification rules to the assigned set of individuals and groups, accepts and distributes updated metadata. It integrates with transcoders to produce a proxy and live-and/or-fast turnaround web-coverage, accomplishes multiple MAM and web-CMS updates, updates an NRCS system, facilitates fast-turn-around news clips to air for breaking news reports while the ingest continues, continually updates a feed to a redundancy site etc.  One button press by an authorized individual accomplishes this.

The multiple MAM use is distinctive; updates can include for example Avid Interplay, production asset management (PAM) of Quantel or EVS doing fast turn-around editing, the MAMs used at NRCS workstations (iNEWS, ENPS, Octopus etc.), editing systems for news and promotion, the content management system (CMS) of the web-news team etc. Multiple MAM integration is an important resource to efficiently synchronize news operations in one newsroom or a multi-city enterprise.

If breaking news is occupying a studio longer than initially planned, and the “next show” is waiting, with one press of a button, the next show assigned that studio can be re-assigned to a different studio. All media, production switcher settings, DVE’s, CG’s, virtual set scenes, camera robotics positions, video & audio playback, audio mixer settings, studio monitor wall settings, routing switcher assignments, audio mixer settings, audio server playout, lighting scenes etc. are instantly moved and the show is ready for on-air automation control. 

If a high-priority need finds all video server ports occupied, for example, a junior-level staff member’s task will automatically be paused, he/she will be notified of the re-assignment, along with management, and the lower-priority task continues once a resource is available. Naturally authorized individuals can override but the bottleneck of manual arbitration is replaced by a flexible well-considered operation plan.

The ASTRA Studio 3 Production Resource Manager dramatically improves efficiency and ease-of-use in, especially, larger news facilities.

It’s a godsend in breaking news.