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Sun 1 Oct 2006 12:00 AM

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Integrated production control technology

In today’s broadcast industry, the pressure to produce more with less has never been greater.

In today’s broadcast industry, the pressure to produce more with less has never been greater.

More productions, more frequently, with fewer crew resources and tight budgets create significant challenges in maintaining profitability.

In a recent RTNDA/Ball State University survey only 44.5% of television facilities reported a profit in 2005, down from 58.4% in 2004.

With only 44.2% of TV news budgets increasing for 2005, many facilities could face significant financial challenges in the years ahead.

In such a competitive environment, what can you do?

How can a facility return to profitability without cutting local programming?

Many forward-looking broadcasters are turning to the OverDrive Integrated Production Control System from Ross.

OverDrive, winner of the 2005 SBE award for Innovative Technology, is the most advanced production control system in the market designed to improve efficiencies, streamline workflows and reduce production costs.

Live Production Control has often been confused with facility automation, however there is one significant difference; modern systems like OverDrive can easily and instantly change complex live production elements at any time, even seconds before taking the shot to air.

Also, a MOS protocol LiveLink to the newsroom system allows for complete synchronization between rundowns at all times.

Live production control systems offer another key advantage.

They allow for operator intervention, or control, at a level that suits the facility’s unique requirements, from traditional manual productions, to semiautomated or ‘Production Assist’, to full system control of all devices and shot elements.

In OverDrive, this capability is available at any time, allowing for maximum production and staffing flexibility.

In production control environments, the management and control of on-air devices such as the switcher, video servers, mixer, robotic cameras, and CG is centralized in one GUI and operated by a TD/Director position.

Well-designed systems allow the facility to choose these devices from a wide selection of vendors to best suit their requirements.

Interest and adoption of production control technology is accelerating rapidly.

Across the industry, the following key benefits are stated as the primary reasons for adopting production control:

1. Operational and workflow efficiencies:

Higher consistency and repeatability in productions resulting in lower costs and fewer on-air mistakes

2. Additional production capabilities:

A cost-effective solution to increasing production capabilities such as cut-ins, a new morning show or coverage during the weekend

3. Cleanly manage unscripted events:

A powerful tool for managing latebreaking, unscripted and ‘on-the-fly’ events cleanly without compromising the ‘look’ of the production

4. Leverage new technology:

Powerful integration of video server, switcher/DVE and graphics technology One of the key decision points when considering new technology is ROI, or the return on investment.

A well-equipped OverDrive system will typically create a positive return in 18 to 36 months, driven by savings in crew resources and increases in production efficiency.

Clearly, Production Control technology should be at the top of the list when considering methods to improve production efficiencies and increase the bottom line of the organisation.

This has been reprinted with permission from Communicator magazine, Radio- Television News Directors Association.

 IBC 2006 saw the launch of version 5.0 of the OverDrive Integrated Production Control System, which includes applications for News, Sports, Worship and Live Event productions.

The new version increases the power and flexibility of OverDrive by adding MOS interfaces for popular graphics systems such as Avid Deko, Chyron Duet, Harris Inscriber and VizRT systems, the satellite SideCar control panel, and several new device interfaces including the Yamaha PM5D and Wheatstone D series audio mixers.

Remote client operation allows users to create rundowns offline or to control productions from remote locations.

OverDrive MD systems take advantage of the advanced features, such as Aux Keys and Global Stores in the Synergy MD and MD-X series of switchers.

Hot-standby backup server operation with a three-year hardware replacement programme is included with OverDrive redundant server package.

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