One of our major customers, a state-owned culture-themed TV station, started broadcasting from a new Azimuth Software playout system built on one of their primary sites. This important milestone concluded the broadcaster’s transition from legacy systems to Azimuth solutions in all sections of their production workflows.
The cooperation between this channel and Azimuth Soft began in 2014 from commissioning a small backup playout system based on multichannel Azimuth videoservers.
In 2019 they launched full-scale news production and playout using the AutoPlay enterprise media workflow automation platform and the NewsHouse NRCS. The news playout was designed to accommodate the operating mode preferred in the local market, with separate gallery workplaces for the Director (show time tracking and MOS device control using the NewsAir playout module), the Technical Director (ABCD-roll in the Air24 playout module + videoservers controlled from the switcher console), and the On-Air Graphics operator (manual CG playout from the TitleStation Mix graphics module).
The final modernization stage included a new main playout system for the broadcaster’s 4 TV channels. Two 4-channel Azimuth videoservers are employed in a 1+1 redundancy configuration, two more are kept in reserve and perform manual QC and gallery rundown preview tasks during normal operation.
An Azimuth Soft Mediaserver with a 140TB fast fault-tolerant array is used for production storage. Two more high-performance servers handle file transcoding and low-res creation duties. By customer requirement the system also includes separate physical servers for emergency and clock graphics playout.
The new facility also includes the latest version of Azimuth’s compliance recording solution, AirMonitor 5. With its help any authorized user can view recordings from all 4 main playout channels, footage from control room CCTV cameras and screen capture video from PCR workstations on any computer on the production network, via a modern cross-platform web client.
A turnkey integration with an existing planning and scheduling system was delivered as part of the project. To comply with the workflows in place with the broadcaster, a new system for purging old material from production storage was created, where all delete requests are electronically signed by authorized personnel. A new module was developed for “over-the-shoulder” view-only connection to playout control, simplifying control room staff training and supervision.
The training and certification of engineers, media processing operators and on-air teams was concluded within a month, with the last ten days dedicated to practice broadcasts.
While Azimuth Soft highly values the cooperation with system integrator partners, due to some peculiarities of this project it was completed directly by Azimuth Professional services with assistance from the customer’s personnel. Its smooth delivery has proven the viability of this approach even for larger, more complex installations.
The successful completion of the comprehensive technical modernization of this channel’s facilities confirms the suitability of Azimuth products for the automation of all workflows in TV broadcasting operations, even in high load and strict reliability requirement scenarios typical for nationwide broadcasters.