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Raycom Chooses Avid for Second-Generation Gear

The Raycom Media television-station group has signed a deal with Avid that will bring second-generation server and newsroom technologies to KHNL(TV) Honolulu and WOIO(TV) Cleveland. It's the first step in converting the group's 22 newsrooms to facilities that rely less on mechanical moving parts and more on moving data.

The installations include the Avid Unity media-asset-management system, multiple Avid NewsCutter Adrenaline FX and NewsCutter XP with Mojo nonlinear editing systems, and Avid AirSpace digital servers.

Dave Folsom, Raycom Media vice president of technology, says that about seven years ago, KHNL made its move to the digital newsroom with the use of Apple Macintosh computers for Avid editing and an SGI server for storage. Much has changed since that system was installed, the original equipment growing a little long in the tooth. So it's time for second-generation gear to arrive.

"On balance, between the performance of the Avid systems and the experience everyone already had with the system, Avid convinced us to go with their system," he says. The staff at KHNL was willing to accept another company's system, he says, and WOIO, with no prior experience with nonlinear and server-based editing, had no preference. But Avid's graphical user interface and mass-storage scalability helped win the contract.

The Unity system at KHNL will hold a little more than 130 hours of material at 25 Mbps while WOIO's system will hold up to 220 hours. The main reason for the difference is that WOIO's newsroom works on newscasts for two stations: its own CBS newscast as well as that for UPN affiliate WUAB(TV) Cleveland.

The server and editing systems interact with AP's ENPS newsroom system at the stations. Raycom has been pleased with how the two company's products interact.

"Other manufacturers' systems handled the implementation well, but Avid's system did it particularly well," Folsom explains. "It's not so much a function of the server working well as it is the database manager that is attached to the server. The more invisible the management of files is to the end user, the better off everybody is."

AP's ENPS works with the MOS standard, whereby audio, video and associated metadata are handled as one object. That approach, Folsom says, is an improvement over previous methods that relied on the user's remembering the name of the file as well as where the source files were located.

The stations will use Avid's XDeck to get content acquired on Panasonic DVCPRO tape onto the server. Folsom says the XDeck provides a more scalable ingest and playout system, an important feature for a system deployed in stations located in a variety of markets.