Asahi Broadcasting Aomori Upgrades Digital News Production Ops with Grass Valley

Asahi Broadcasting Aomori (ABA), a local All-Nippon News Network facility owned by TV Asahi Corp., and specifically serving the Aomori prefecture of Japan (510,000 households), is upgrading its digital news production operations to a high-definition (HD), file-based system from Grass Valley.

It’s the first such end-to-end digital news production system from Grass Valley installed by a local Japanese broadcaster and clearly illustrates how Grass Valley’s vision for highly affordable, IT-centric local news production technology can make a huge difference in staff productivity.

The new equipment, which includes Grass Valley EDIUS editing systems and K2 Summit media servers configured as a storage area network (SAN) environment, will help the station’s news staff collaborate and create more news content, faster and more efficiently. It is scheduled to be fully operational and on-air by June 2012.

ABA is now implementing a next-generation news production solution based on the Grass Valley K2 SAN and a Grass Valley STRATUS software architecture framework for the ingest, organization, and archiving of daily content with proxy data. Attached to this network will be a series of Grass Valley HDWS 3G Elite, HDWS 3G, and REXCEED 750V turnkey nonlinear editing (NLE) systems that feature the latest 64-bit Windows 7 OS, and Grass Valley’s award-winning EDIUS 6.3 Broadcast software to support ABA’s shared storage HD editing workflow processes.

“Working with ABA for many years, we recognize its desire to make its news staff more efficient in how they produce and distribute the news,” said Jeff Rosica, Executive Vice President of Grass Valley. “The implementation of a Grass Valley K2 SAN and STATUS architecture gives ABA a technical advantage over its competitors and allows the station to create a number of different types of programs more easily than it could before. The best part is that it will all be accomplished in a very cost-effective way, using EDIUS as the heart of this next-generation production workflow.”

The entire news production system, designed and implemented by local Grass Valley engineers, will work in tandem with a third-party newsroom computer system from Nishinihon Computer, a major newsroom computer manufacturer in Japan. This system will also control automated news content playout schedules.

“We needed a file-based infrastructure that allows close integration with the newsroom computer, from ingest, editing, and playout and that’s exactly what Grass Valley is helping us to deploy,” said Yoshiaki Ichikawa, Technical Director of Asahi Broadcasting Aomori.

The Grass Valley HDWS 3G and HDWS 3G ELITE, which both represent the third-generation of the popular HDWS 3G series, have been completely visually overhauled, with a newly designed case, as well as technically, with the latest in Grass Valley’s video editing technologies.

The Grass Valley STRATUS collaborative production framework uses the latest version of the Grass Valley K2 Summit (v. 8.0) server platform as the foundation for media clips to be stored, shared, and distributed in a fast and highly efficient way. The K2 Summit media server makes proxy files available to virtually everyone on a network with proper authorization, via this specialized software layer, while also providing the bi-directional bandwidth necessary to move large HD files around a production facility.

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