The Namibia Broadcasting Corporation (NBC) has been making use of an Avid iNEWS system from Jasco Broadcast Solutions for the past nine years. When the hardware on this legacy system became obsolete and NBC began to experience compatibility and server-related issues, they turned to Jasco once more to deliver an upgraded solution. The upgrade includes the latest version of iNEWS as well as additional management, control and archiving systems.
“Our system was nine years old and we started experiencing problems with legacy equipment in 2010. Official hardware and software support was also no longer available for our specific solution set. Although Jasco Broadcast Solutions have always been available and provided their assistance, we began to become concerned about the lack of formal support. We needed an upgrade that would bring us up to speed with the current supported hardware and software versions. Thanks to our longstanding relationship and history with Jasco Broadcast Solutions, they were the obvious choice to deliver the upgrade,” says Aldred Dreyer, Chief Technical Officer at NBC.
NBC’s upgraded solution includes a brand new iNEWS central server core, which offers a full range of tools for the newsroom, from editing to playout control to distribution. The latest ISIS 5000 centralised storage solution delivers real-time, media optimised shared storage for both News and Production departments. The solution also incorporates the Avid Interplay Production Asset Management (PAM) system which enables integrated management and control of all media assets on the system. In addition, a new Front Porch Digital archive tape storage solution will be incorporated as part of a new extension to NBC’s current Avid Media Asset Management system.
“Bearing in mind that the life expectancy of hardware and software is generally around five years, the fact that NBC’s iNEWS solution was still going after nine years is testament to the quality of the solution. However, an upgrade was definitely necessary at this stage. The new solution we have provided to NBC will be used by both the News and Production Programming departments. It will not only deliver the latest broadcasting and management technologies, it will also assist with improving workflows and increasing storage capability, something which has become increasingly important given the content creation explosion we are experiencing today,” says Hoosein Moolla, Sales Executive: Africa at Jasco Broadcast Solutions.
Implementation of the upgraded iNEWS solution began at the start of August and will take a phased approach, for estimated completion at the end of October. The first stage in the implementation requires the removal of obsolete CAT5 cable infrastructure and the installation of a new CAT6 cable infrastructure. The solution will then be installed before setup and testing will commence. At the same time, Jasco Broadcast Solutions will be working with NBC to investigate their current workflows and develop new workflows for the upgraded system. Commissioning and training will also form part of the process before the solution is handed over to NBC on completion.
“We currently have 150 iNEWS users in Windhoek and our various regions, and the upgrade will add an extra 30 users to the platform. With this new solution we are looking forward to having up to three times more video storage space, extended workflows that include local television programmes and sport, and accommodation for more local programming. The new solution also makes storage expansion easier for the future, and the upgrade delivers extended scalability to include additional users as needed,” says Dreyer.
“Our relationship with Jasco has been a longstanding one, including the original iNEWS and Avid solutions, as well as the upgrade of our two studios three years ago. They were the natural choice for this upgrade as they have always been reliable and have provided excellent technical support on all previous installations. We look forward to a continuing relationship in future,” he concludes.