Until now, nonlinear news editing systems designed for broadcast applications have been proprietary systems available only at a high cost.
Figure 1. OmniBus Systems developed three news editing systems to meet broadcasters’ specific editing needs at a reasonable price point. For instance, Headline Edit 3000 (shown above) is a stand-alone system designed primarily for journalists in the field.
Although some of these systems are extremely powerful and feature-rich, they may command a six-figure price tag that’s likely out of reach for most news operations. The low-cost systems that have been available are generally pieced together rather than being purpose-built for the special requirements of news editing. So, while the price may be right, these systems have not proved themselves up to the task.
Signficant customer input has led to the conclusion that there is a keen demand for reasonably priced systems that address specific aspects of news editing. News editing should no longer be considered one application – it should actually be broken down into a number of applications, with smaller, well-defined products designed to address each area. OmniBus realizes that the idea of creating one all-encompassing news editing system that can do everything for everyone is a rather archaic notion, and has determined that a better approach would be to create individual, application-specific products that address particular requirements within news editing.
This new approach is reinforced by journalists’ increasing demand for editing capability in the field, a demand that necessitates the implementation of portable systems that are compatible with in-studio systems.
The OmniBus HeadLine Media Editor series is designed to fill the gap in the market and address the changing requirements of news editing, all at a fraction of the cost of proprietary systems. To help meet the right price/performance balance, the product features a scaleable design incorporating three models, each of which addresses a particular workflow or application within the broadcast news environment. Breaking the product into three separate functional blocks enables users to purchase only the functionality they need.
The strategy behind the development of the series was to create timeline-based editing products specifically for news and sports production. Because it incorporates Windows Media technology, the system allows users to work with multiple video formats within a single project timeline.
The series’ three models share a common interface and core functionality, with variations to suit the specific needs of a particular news application.
The new scaleable system
The series features a user interface and A/V editing capabilities that allow editors and journalists of any experience level to compile polished news packages quickly and easily.
HeadLine Edit 1000 is a professional desktop editor for the fast-paced newsroom in which on-air deadlines often demand that editing begins even before recording is complete. Editing of browse-quality media can begin within five seconds of the start of a recording – a feature ideal for cutting highlights packages for live events. In addition to source and program windows, users are provided with one stereo audio track and trim functionality, so they are able to carry out split A/V edits.
When used with the OmniBus newsroom automation system, completed EDLs are published to the OmniBus system for playout direct from the broadcast server, minimizing time to air. Alternatively, versions of the edit can be saved either locally and reloaded at a later stage, or centrally, allowing a different journalist to pick up the timeline and modify it. The Edit 1000 is MOS-compatible. It runs as an ActiveX plug-in inside all leading newsroom production systems and is integrated with OmniBus’ media asset management solution, giving full access to all clips that have been registered with the asset management system.
HeadLine Edit 2000 offers the same editing features and core functionality as Edit 1000, but it works with pre-recorded media in any format that is supported by the PC and offers advanced audio facilities including two stereo audio tracks and one stereo voice-over track. These can either be run in stereo or to the left- or right-hand side alone. This is particularly useful when re-cutting a news feed with effects on one side and a voice-over on the other. Audio pan controls are also provided, and a “duck” feature drops the audio to a preset level for quick and easy dipping of sections of the audio track.
HeadLine Edit 3000 is a stand-alone system designed primarily for journalists in the field. (See Figure 1.) It features a DV capture card, an ingest tool and simple vision effects. Ingested media is presented as a series of scene changes with keyframes marking the start of each sequence. Completed packages, saved as DV files, can be sent back to base via FTP.
The approach OmniBus has taken with the development of the HeadLine Media Editor series enables delivery of competitively priced technologies that give broadcasters a fair price for the functionality they require – no more, and no less
. Dave Polyard is vice president of sales and marketing, North America, for OmniBus Systems.