Leitch Puts a Browser in the Newsroom

At NAB, Leitch will continue to make its play for a larger share of the newsroom, rolling out a number of products designed to complete its circle of news-related products.

"Along with the newsroom-automation and computer-system companies, we're looking to provide a complete newsroom system, from ingest to browse and from browse to editing, and finally to rundown," says Eddy Jenkins, Leitch director, product marketing.

With journalists in the digital newsroom increasingly an active part in the editing process, the company believes that BrowseCutter will improve the comfort level of reporters who need to learn the ins and outs of nonlinear editing.

"First, it extends the existing high-res integrated editing environment," says Andy Warman, newsroom strategy product manager. "But it also ties in with the newsroom system itself so that, when you run the browse editor, you can actually work within the newsroom system."

With all the media on one system, the user can complete simple editing and take out sound bytes without having to go to an edit suite.

"Most NLEs can be a little tricky for some to get used to, but we think this is very intuitive," says Warman. "That makes training a lot shorter than for systems with similar functions."

There is a tradeoff, though: BrowseCutter offers cuts-only capability, but the belief is that, for most journalists, cuts-only is enough.

The company's VRNewsNet is enhanced with an ingest application. According to Warman, it offers scheduled recording with VTR control as well as router control and proc amp control using the Leitch DPS 575 digital processing synchronizer.

Kyle Cowan, Leitch newsroom editing product manager, says 60%-80% of newsrooms are still operating with an alarm clock on top of a stack of four VCRs for ingest of news material.

"This is about automating the process of ingesting feed and making it directly available to everyone immediately," he says. "The number-one thing is to get rid of the need to carry a tape from one edit bay to another. That material is needed by everyone at one time, and putting it in a centralized storage area extends it to everyone. All the other applications fall into play after that."

Improvements to the NewsFlash editing system include an interface for Windows XP and a more standardized tool set. Cowan says the tool set allows content to be edited three seconds after the ingesting process begins, helping get breaking news on the air more quickly.

"They can edit out material that they don't want to air," he points out.

Other new features include Firewire connectivity for ingest of content from small camcorders as well as keyboard shortcuts that enable the editor to personalize the system more easily.