ASTRA Ingest consists of a variety of tools for automating the first stage of a file-based workflow. This includes traditional analog content or digital content which may need additional processing or transcoding. Content can come from satellite feeds, videotape, analog or digital cameras, as digital files from networked distribution systems or from previously encoded content on video servers.
Manage New Content Registration
ASTRA Ingest provides automated and manual capabilities for bringing new material into media operations. It can be used with other ASTRA tools or standalone with third-party MAM systems. Searchable metadata can be generated automatically, entered by users or imported from other applications.
ASTRA uses a centralized database for all of its applications, once content is registered it can be used by ASTRA MCR and ASTRA News for playout and ASTRA MAM for browsing and editing.
ASTRA Ingest automatically generates default metadata for each clip such as Unique IDs, names, kill dates and categories. Metadata can also be directly imported from other systems via MOS, XML and other protocols. Users can enhance a clip’s description by entering custom metadata during ingest or while viewing the high-res or low-res material locally or from users’ desktops anywhere on the network (with appropriate security rights).
A lot of daily content is available on a regular schedule from networks, syndicators or other sources. ASTRA can be programmed to automatically record these programs every day. In addition to planned material, broadcasters receive content from many non-traditional sources such as cell phones, the Internet, and digital cameras – and those are all in different formats. ASTRA tools are format-independent and can control a variety of devices for encoding or transcoding material into a format that is compatible with other equipment in your facility.
ASTRA Record Scheduler
ASTRA Record Scheduler is designed to easily automate repetitive events. For example, daily or weekly programs or feeds sent from the network or syndicators can be frame-accurately recorded without user intervention.
MCR & News Automatic Ingest
For master control and news, required content is identified by the traffic or NRCS system. ASTRA imports this information and automatically generates a playlist. If content in a playlist is not available anywhere within the ASTRA system, it is flagged so that the user knows that this content needs to be ingested. ASTRA will create a list for batch ingest of material in the order in which it is needed.
ASTRA offers a quick and easy-to-use manual ingest tool. On one screen the user can control both the source and record device frame accurately and enter custom metadata while recording. The user can have as many recordings on his screen as needed.
XDCAM & P2 Ingest
Digital video cameras eliminate the time-consuming encode step. Encoding is a real-time function so a 30-minute story takes 30 minutes to encode. With digital cameras, a 30-minute story can be ingested in just a few minutes. ASTRA Ingest takes advantage of these new cameras with a custom screen for users to identify what clips to ingest along with the associated metadata and, optionally, a low-res proxy. Custom metadata can also be entered at this time.
Mistakes in master control are expensive. ASTRA is unique in its core design. Built on a powerful Real-Time Operating System (RTOS), it is not impacted by viruses that threaten most PC-based systems. Hardware and software module failures can be protected with complete mirroring. An “N+1” model offers a cost-effective playout solution that in most scenarios provides seamless failover.
Hot Swappable Software Modules
ASTRA can be easily upgraded, repaired or have new capabilities added quickly and transparently. Its design utilizes protected memory and Hot Swappable software modules. These modules or applications are separate from the operating system. The system continues to run while new modules are added.