TV 2 OJ strenghtens its workflow with Sony Sonaps

Peter Kramer, TV2OJ (left) and Adam Fry, Sony (right): The future with Sony Sonaps software at the production platform's core

Since 1999, TV 2 OJ (TV 2 Østjylland) have used Sony NewsBase as a platform for their television production. In 2008 they wanted to move to a network based solution to save time and resources. After identifying their criteria TV 2 OJ started a tender process in 2008 where potential suppliers were asked to deliver a solution that had extensive integration of text and video; joint graphical user interface (GUI) for all users; easy access to the platform for everyone in the workflow; higher ingest and editing speeds; integration with the editorial platform and other third-party software and hardware suppliers; as well as remote control of the platform for both editorial and technical support staff.

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It was also important for TV 2 OJ that they could scale the platform up when demand increases. Today, TV 2 OJ produce around three hours of television per day, but in the forseeable future this is expected to double, in addition to the programming TV 2 OJ produce for external customers. Finally, TV 2 OJ wanted a single supplier that would be responsible for the full installation.

EU tender process

15 suppliers responded to the tender, and five of these were shortlisted. The succesful supplier was Sony Professional and the Sonaps solution. This solution is now installed and running at TV 2 OJ. ”We are very satisfied with the solution, and now we have a system that does exactly what we wanted when setting out the criteria. In addition the process of installing and sorting out issues as they arose has been very good and professional since day one,” says Peter Kramer, Managing Director for TV 2 OJ.

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”Sony and TV 2 OJ have cooperated closely for years, and we appreciate them as a valuable customer. Therefore it was a great pleasure that we could supply them with a Sonaps solution which makes TV 2 OJ a full-scale digital media house,” says Adam Fry, Director for Sony Professional Nordic. The solution is based on the Sony Open Platform, where everything is run digital and with a high level of integration. The Sonaps solution is not a stand-alone product, but a component in a complete workflow platform which controls planning, ingest, editing, playout and archiving. The system is compatible with external newsroom computer systems like AP ENPS or iNews, and CG and teleprompter systems from other manufacturers.

51 work stations

There are 45 work stations and six editing stations in TV 2 OJ’s Sonaps setup. Production is done in SD, but can easily be upgraded to HD when required. Today’s storage capacity is about 1,200 hours.

Sonaps is partly based on software running on standard IT platforms like PC servers, workstations, Gigabit Ethernet and SAN, and on standard software from suppliers like Microsoft, Oracle and Associated Press. Sonaps also utilises broadcast equipment for routing and converting of video and audio over SDI.

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Sonaps offers a broad interface allowing all users access to all parts of the journalistic workflow. One journalist can, for example, produce a low-res proxy version of a clip, after which it is automatically prepared and aired in high-res during program planning.

”Journalists can start editing the story or film on their computer in the ENG car on the way back to the studio after filming. When they arrive at TV 2 OJ a proxy copy and the high-res material is transferred at the same time at 20 times and 2-3 times respectively, the normal transfer speed. This ensures content is handled fast and efficiently from planning to broadcast, and shared access is available for several staff at one time,” explains Sten Lawaetz, Head of Professional Services, Sony Nordic.

The instant and shared access to all editorial content throughout the workflow makes it possible for editors to see the latest version at any given time, and comment on content and style in addition to reviewing if the clip is ready to air. Throughout the process the metadata associated with text, audio and video follows the recorded material, making it possible for the producers to access all the information the editor has linked to the content.

Global supplier with local presence

Sony Professional Nordic are responsible for the design, installation and support for TV 2 OJ’s Sonaps solution. Together with TV 2 OJ, Sony Professional Nordic have adapted the structure of the solution so it fulfills the demands of the TV channel. With specialists from Europe, Japan and China, Sony Professional Nordic has demonstrated the benefits of being a global organisation with local presence. The technicians have been led by local account and project managers.

The team has previously delivered Sonaps solutions to a wide range of broadcasters across the world. The regional TV channel in Copenhagen, TV 2 Lorry, have been running Sonaps for several years, while European customers include Canal+ Sports (France), RAI News24 (Italy), Skai (Greece) and N24 (Germany).

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