No two NRCS systems are alike, as each is tailored to fit with a customer’s specific needs. Besides the choice of operating system, customers will require a certain size, a specific number of operating positions — seats. It should be able to successfully scale — from small, just a dozen seats, to big with hundreds — while always maintaining a low cost per seat and efficient workflow. This has advantages for both the supplier and user. It means the former can address the whole market with a practical product for all news workflows, and the latter can choose the required size and expand it later, if required. A large broadcaster can have several different sized installations at various locations all from the same NRCS provider that will then be familiar to its entire news staff.
A manufacturer will, usually, first design its products with the local market in mind but, hopefully, will soon expand to export to other countries. Although one-third of the Earth’s population speaks English, two-thirds do not, and many would prefer to use their own language when working hard to meet the next deadline. Essentially, changing the language means altering the words in the menus. The structure of the menus need not change, but simply populating them with commands in the users’ own language is a significant step forward. Furthermore, the ability to define the language, not just for the whole NRCS, but also for individual users, allows operation in a mixed-language environment.
There may also be a requirement to output the news in more than one language. A way to achieve this with the minimum of additional effort is through the use of alternative scripts, where one story can have many scripts associated with it. Thus, all the NRCS data can be reused for each language’s bulletin.
Today, many 24/7 news broadcasters make great savings by using modular workflows for news production, where content is often repeated. Fully implementing this into NRCS makes further savings. Modular workflows avoid the studio having to repeat live bulletins with the same material. By recording repeat items — such as the prompter text, video, voiceover, anchor scripts and graphics — parts or all of the bulletin can be replayed from the MCR. Going further, the various items that make up a bulletin — opening titles, introductions, voiceovers, graphics, interviews, etc. — can be scheduled, scripted, produced and recorded as and when they are available for production in the studio.
In the NRCS, this is then added to the pool, the story folder, and is immediately available to the rundown producer. This removes much of the stress of live broadcasting, making bulletin timing easier. It also leaves the studio and production control room free, keeping most, if not all, of the production facilities available for any new breaking stories as the rundown continues on-air, mainly played from the MCR.