Time Warner Cable's NY1 is expanding its news coverage throughout the tri-state area, with a mindful eye on maximizing its technology and human resources to get the best news on the air. Pioneering a “one-man-band” philosophy that has reporters shoot, write and edit their stories, the company has redefined local news gathering. Due to its success, Time Warner has replicated the model in other parts of the country as well.
Continuing its groundbreaking ways, the 24-hour cable news channel has installed a new Avid tapeless digital news production system to work in tandem with, but independently from, its existing Pinnacle Systems Vortex News system. The result is a fully networked production environment in which NY1's staff can accomplish more, in less time and with better results in an environment that is more cost-effective to run than a traditional newsroom.
In November, NY1 launched two new news bureaus, one in Palisades Park, NJ, and the other in Staten Island. It set up a dedicated network based on Avid Technology products and systems that allows reporters to write, shoot and edit their stories and then send them back to NY1's main facility in New York City for insertion into the network's daily news offering at 15 minutes past every hour.
Together, the Avid and Pinnacle Vortex digital news production systems provide NY1 with two separate, yet comprehensive, networked editing environments that support its main NY1 News channel as well as NY1 Noticias, a Spanish-language version.
Joe Truncale, director of technical operations and engineering for NY1, has seen the company's editing/production workflow transition over the years, from standalone Panasonic NewsBYTE systems to the current networked environment — incorporating both Avid and the Pinnacle Systems Vortex — where everyone involved in the news creation process has access to clips that can be directly downloaded from an archival server to the timeline on their individual editing workstations.
For each news bureau, NY1 has installed an Avid Unity LANshare EX for News systems as well as an Avid NewsCutter XP workstation and local storage arrays (about 100 hours capacity in Staten Island and 25 hours in Palisades Park).
The Avid system selected by NY1 also includes Avid MediaManager for asset management and browse/logging, TransferManager for moving media from one network location to another, and Avid's new AirSpeed video server for multiple channels of playout. NY1 currently uses Avid AirSpace playout servers with 100 hours of storage in its main NYC location.
This file-based workflow, in which the news bureaus are connected to the NYC facility via a dedicated Gigabit Ethernet fiber line and IP delivery, enables the network's news staff to work efficiently when preparing elements for the news rundowns. Stories completed at each bureau are sent back to NY1 as a digital file or baseband video.
The network connections established between the bureaus and NYC is not fully bi-directional, according to Truncale. A producer in Staten Island can feed material back to NY1 but cannot fully access the network in NYC. When they want a particular clip, they make a phone call, and the required video clip is sent via baseband video to them for editing.
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