ARD Broadcasting Stations Start Regular Operations of Video File Transfer System

D.A.V.I.D.'s solution enables automated replication of MXF files, facilitates program exchange, and enables seamlessly digitalized, tapeless workflow
(PresseBox) (München, ) The public German broadcasting stations forming the ARD broadcasting pool have taken another significant step towards seamless networking and tapeless workflow in their television activities. A video file transfer system, the system requirements of which had been laid out by a joint project team formed by the ARD, the Institut für Rundfunktechnik (IRT), and D.A.V.I.D. GmbH, was implemented by D.A.V.I.D. enabling it to start regular operations in October. Besides conventional program transfers, the broadcasting stations and the ARD hub now have the option of exchanging individual reports or entire broadcasts in the standard MXF video file format. Since the beginning of the year, more than 15,000 packets of video footage have made their way across the ARD network using the D.A.V.I.D. system. Transfer of video files is effected in a largely automated fashion similar to e-mail exchange and without the hassle of scheduling point-to-point connections, and to multiple recipients concurrently if needed. As a result, all concerned expect to see a significant reduction of complexity as well as time and cost savings in their day-to-day production work.

Following up on an earlier cooperation in the radio area, ARD also decided to opt for D.A.V.I.D. for digital file transfer in the TV field. The Munich-based video experts provided the broadcasting stations with the software for the replication systems based on standard IT components. In the meantime, the video file transfer system has officially started regular operations for the entire ARD network.

All connected broadcasting stations work with a head end for sending and receiving video data files coded in the standard Material Exchange Format (MXF), each with an additional file containing descriptive meta data. D.A.V.I.D. also provides solutions for converting proprietary file formats into MXF and for transcoding incoming foreign formats into those used by the respective broadcasting station as needed. The ARD owned ATM network serves as infrastructure for the actual data transfers. Faster than realtime, individual contributions or entire broadcasts can be transferred between two (point to point) or multiple (point to multipoint) broadcasting stations, or via the ARD hub using the TCP/IP protocol. This works irrespective of whether or not the sending and receiving stations use different file formats internally for production and/or playout.

In conjunction, the common transport format MXF agreed upon by ARD and IRT and the video file transfer system developed by D.A.V.I.D. offer a host of benefits for the daily production work. Video footage can be requested and sent as if it was e-mail-without any scheduling by line offices as previously required. Moreover, the system also enables completely tapeless workflow once the broadcasting station is adequately equipped. All key technical and content-related data concerning the video footage as well as its sender and addressee are supplied as meta data in a separate file enabling broadcasting stations to automate a range of processing stages, thereby saving costs. Without requiring further manual intervention, the application transcodes or archives video reports, enters meta data into a station's data base, initiated forwarding to a regional TV studio, or returns an e-mail notice of receipt to the sender, and more.

"We are very excited to have completed this technologically ambitious project successfully, working with ARD and IRT," states Ulrich Helm, Sales Director of D.A.V.I.D. GmbH. "As with radio, our system enables ARD to implement completely file-based and tapeless, end-to-end workflows in the video area as well. This wouldn't have been possible without the visionary power and a high level of personal dedication of the entire project team und the broadcasting stations involved. Today, the large number of transfers not only illustrates the benefits of video footage file transfers but is also an indication for the high degree of acceptance with users," Helm declares.

"Gerhard Moeller, in all his years of service to D.A.V.I.D., has been an important voice for our customers," said Schindler. "We're looking for the best ways to keep his immense talent close to the company. As we look to the future, I will seek a new leader to further expand D.A.V.I.D. as a technology company. "

For more information about D.A.V.I.D. and its products and services, please visit the company online at www.david-gmbh.de.

About ARD

ARD (Arbeitsgemeinschaft der öffentlich-rechtlichen Rundfunkanstalten der Bundesrepublik Deutschland) is the joint organization of Germany's regional public-service radio and television broadcasters. Founded in 1950, ARD today operates one of the two national television networks, produces a digital package of three free-to-air channels, and participates in the production of several cable/satellite channels. ARD's ten constituent broadcasting institutions operate 54 regional and local radio stations and networks, two nationwide radio channels, seven regional and six nationwide TV networks between them. (www.ard.de)

About IRT

The Institut für Rundfunktechnik, founded 1956 as a private company, is the central research and development establishment for public broadcasting organizations in Germany (ARD, ZDF and DLR), in Austria (ORF), and in Switzerland (SRG/SSR). In addition, the IRT collaborates not only with numerous clients in the broadcasting, media, communication-engineering, and IT sectors, but also with various research organizations and universities. The main focus of IRT's work is the improvement of existing and the development of new, particularly digital, systems and their standardization. (www.irt.de)

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D.A.V.I.D. GmbH
Heike Mittmann
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