Vermont Public Television has installed an Omneon Spectrum media server system at the heart of its operations to enable efficient SD and HD ingest and playout. VPT broadcasts four channels — PBS in HD, PBS World (SD), PBS Create (SD), and a local SD channel — that reach viewers across the state and in bordering regions of New York, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and southern Quebec. PBS national soon will deliver programs to its affiliates in HD only, and with the Omneon platform in place, VPT is ready for the change.
The Spectrum system’s internal up/down/cross-conversion capability allows VPT to treat each stored asset in the same manner, whether from PBS, acquired locally and ingested into the server, or transferred from the broadcaster’s Final Cut Pro editing systems.
“The Omneon Spectrum supports our new tapeless workflow and enhances our ability to work with both SD and HD assets,” said Joseph Tymecki, director of engineering at VPT. “The Spectrum system gives us the freedom to play out any asset, such as a promo, funding credit, or full-length program, on any channel without worrying about format. As a result, we can accept programming from PBS in either SD or HD, always recording at the highest resolution possible, and play it out in the appropriate format on one of four channels.”
VPT maintains a large volume of archive material, with 10,000 hours on tape and some footage dating back to the 1960s. The station plans to integrate its Crispin automation system and Spectrum with a Crispin archive system to archive new programs and, on an as-needed basis, convert old programs to file-based assets for nearline storage or long-term storage on Blu-ray.
Staff members at VPT use Omneon TrackTool to insert AFD information into clips, tagging each program according to its formatting to ensure that the aspect ratio is appropriate for the playout channel.
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