Germany's MDR Selects Aveco for New Master Control Room Automation, Strengthens Aveco's Leading Market Share in Germany 


 Aveco, the worldwide broadcast facility content management and automation solutions specialist, today announced that, in an open tender, Germany's MDR has selected Aveco to supply a suite of automation tools for their new master control room. MDR (Mitteldeutsche Rundfunk) is a German public service broadcaster and a member of the ARD group.

Aveco's German dealer, Logic Media Solutions, sold two complete ASTRA MCR systems to MDR's prime contractor BFE as a part of the building of MDR's new master control room. MDR selected Aveco's ASTRA system because it easily fulfilled all of the tender requirements and was within their budget. MDR was also impressed by Aveco's reputation in Germany for quality and reliability as well as Aveco's market share of 75% with public service broadcasters in Germany. Another key selling point was ASTRA's new multi-platform user interface with its new look and feel as well as operator friendly features.

MDR will have two independently mirrored ASTRA systems to control two complete broadcast chains (mixer, graphics, videoserver, etc.). One mirrored ASTRA system will be the primary system and used to broadcast their main channel. The second mirrored ASTRA system will be used as an emergency/test system.

"Aveco designed this unique configuration for MDR to provide maximum flexibility and reliability," said Roger Crooks, Aveco VP of Sales and Marketing. "If any piece of equipment in the main broadcast chain fails, MDR can immediately switch over to the backup chain and continue to stay on-air."

For preventative maintenance, upgrades, or operator training, the two chains can be used simultaneously without impact on MDR's main playout channel.

"We work closely with our customers to make sure we meet all their special needs," said Crooks. After lengthy discussions between MDR and Aveco's system engineers, we added these special features at MDR's request:"

• Variable speed playout—adds the ability to play up to double speed (audio muted) when required (i.e., movie credits).

• Simultaneous playout while transfer—enables a clip to be previewed and go on-air while still being transferred into the videoserver from an archive or central storage system. Operators can start the transfer of a clip, preview it as it transfers, and if it is the correct clip, start a simultaneous transfer to a videoserver for playout. Playout can start while the clip is still transferring, saving critical time in getting the clip on-air as fast as possible.

• Automatic import of scheduling data—assures that ASTRA Record Scheduler has the information available to accurately record key material.

• Predictive failover—provide automatic failover often within one frame of a failure for the mirrored ASTRA servers. This service was enhanced to do predictive failover to switch before an actual failure. This unique capability monitors internal processes which often run abnormally before an actual failure. When this condition is seen, the backup server seamlessly takes over.

The ASTRA MCR system will be used to control Omneon videoservers, Miranda ImageStore mixers, and Chyron graphics. MDR is the 23rd Aveco installation in Germany, which includes ARD, NDR, WDR, SWR, and others, making Aveco the leading automation system in the country.

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