Aveco's German dealer, Logic Media Solutions, sold two complete ASTRA MCR systems to MDR's prime contractor BFE as a part of the building of MDR's new master control room. MDR selected Aveco's ASTRA system because it easily fulfilled all of the tender requirements and was within their budget. MDR was also impressed by Aveco's reputation in Germany for quality and reliability as well as Aveco's market share of 75% with public service broadcasters in Germany. Another key selling point was ASTRA's new multi-platform user interface with its new look and feel as well as operator friendly features.
MDR will have two independently mirrored ASTRA systems to control two complete broadcast chains (mixer, graphics, videoserver, etc.). One mirrored ASTRA system will be the primary system and used to broadcast their main channel. The second mirrored ASTRA system will be used as an emergency/test system.
"Aveco designed this unique configuration for MDR to provide maximum flexibility and reliability,"
For preventative maintenance, upgrades, or operator training, the two chains can be used simultaneously without impact on MDR's main playout channel.
"We work closely with our customers to make sure we meet all their special needs," said Crooks. After lengthy discussions between MDR and Aveco's system engineers, we added these special features at MDR's request:"
• Variable speed playout—adds the ability to play up to double speed (audio muted) when required (i.e., movie credits).
• Simultaneous playout while transfer—enables a clip to be previewed and go on-air while still being transferred into the videoserver from an archive or central storage system. Operators can start the transfer of a clip, preview it as it transfers, and if it is the correct clip, start a simultaneous transfer to a videoserver for playout. Playout can start while the clip is still transferring, saving critical time in getting the clip on-air as fast as possible.
• Automatic import of scheduling data—assures that ASTRA Record Scheduler has the information available to accurately record key material.
• Predictive failover—provide automatic failover often within one frame of a failure for the mirrored ASTRA servers. This service was enhanced to do predictive failover to switch before an actual failure. This unique capability monitors internal processes which often run abnormally before an actual failure. When this condition is seen, the backup server seamlessly takes over.
The ASTRA MCR system will be used to control Omneon videoservers, Miranda ImageStore mixers, and Chyron graphics.
MDR is the 23rd Aveco installation in Germany, which includes ARD, NDR, WDR, SWR, and others, making Aveco the leading automation system in the country.
AVECO s.r.o., based in Prague, Czech Republic and the United States (as AVECO Americas), designs, sells, and supports Broadcast Facility automation worldwide. Based on a powerful content management system, the ASTRA Suite of Tools provides complete solutions for all aspects of file-based and traditional video workflows including solutions for ingest, browse, master control, newsrooms, and studio automation. A variety of architectures are available from small standalone systems to high channel, multi-site operations which are modular and easily expandable. Solutions can be custom configured with only the features needed and various redundancy options provide very cost-effective and reliable systems. ASTRA is the only automation system available that scales from single channel to high channel systems that are built on a Real-Time Operating System which has the ability to hot swap software modules without rebooting.