"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 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/crossconversion 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.
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. The Spectrum server's sophisticated handling of multichannel audio simplifies recording of a full surround audio mix, SAP, descriptive audio, and a locally created Lt/Rt stereo mix along with HD video. Built-in closed captioning tools give VPT the option to perform captioning of local programming offline rather than during real-time playback and ingest.
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 Omneon Spectrum server system with a Crispin archive system in order 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.
"As PBS makes its transition to HD on the national level, VPT has been proactive in implementing forward-looking technologies that will support a smooth transition and smart use of new and existing media assets," said Geoff Stedman, Omneon senior vice president for products and markets. "The Spectrum media server is an ideal fit for VPT's new tapeless operations, providing easy integration, scalable storage, format-independent playout, and high interoperability with other best-of-breed broadcast and archiving solutions."
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About Vermont Public Television
Vermont Public Television (VPT) educates, informs, entertains and inspires Vermonters to be life-long learners and engaged in their community by fostering understanding of one another and various points of view; lifelong learning; children's readiness to learn; personal enrichment through arts, culture and entertainment; appreciation and respect for the environment and working landscape; and involvement and participation in community and civic affairs. The PBS station broadcasts on 33 Burlington (WETK), 28 Rutland (WVER), 41 Windsor (WVTA), 20 St. Johnsbury (WVTB), 36 Manchester (W36AX), and 53 Bennington (W53AS). More information is available at www.vpt.org.
Omneon Inc. is a leading provider of scalable media server and active storage systems that optimize workflow productivity and on-air reliability for the production, distribution, and management of digital media. Omneon is a pioneer in the use of advanced IT technologies and open systems for broadcast applications, producing a modular and expandable video server architecture in the Omneon Spectrum. The company's MediaGrid active storage system delivers centralized content storage that is scalable in capacity, bandwidth, and media-processing power. The company has an extensive global presence with customers in more than 50 countries on six continents. Omneon is on the Web at www.omneon.com.