ASTRA Studio is Aveco’s award-winning news production automation system. It's a synthesis of years of on-air experience working with our users, listening to their needs today and their wants for tomorrow, studying the trends in the industry and understanding the economic demands facing our customers.
ASTRA Studio offers a great deal of flexibility in producing and broadcasting live newscasts and programs. It does not restrict or dictate the workflow. Users can start with minimal features and grow into ASTRA Studio's full capabilities or jump right in and take full advantage to reduce costs and improve quality. The ability to work in existing infrastructures with existing equipment and applications makes for a lower initial investment than competing solutions. ASTRA Studio lets you decide your workflow and equipment.
ASTRA Studio controls all equipment in the production control room and studio, including graphics, camera robotics, video and audio mixer, video servers, lights, backdrop screens and more. It puts a show on-air with maximum impact and minimum staff.
Being the only independent vendor of production automation, Aveco works with all industry manufacturers. This provides customers with extreme flexibility in selecting the best-of-breed equipment for each aspect of operations. There's no need to be tied to any single manufacturer. ASTRA Studio works with your existing equipment. Aveco has the industry’s largest library of interfaces, supporting essentially all studio, PCR and MCR hardware and software.
Single System for Multiple Studios
ASTRA Studio is the industry’s only multi-studio production automation system. It not only excels in control of a single studio, but brings many benefits to designs of multi-studio facilities. A single system can produce independent shows in different studios. It can manage complex multi-studio production scenarios as well as share devices across studios. When production runs long in one studio, a button click reassigns the next rundown to another studio. This moves control of all production switcher settings, graphics, virtual sets, camera robotics, video roll-ins, lighting and audio to the alternate studio.
PCR – MCR Integration
ASTRA Studio eliminates the error-prone synchronization between the PCR and MCR by uniquely combining master control and news production automation. Both run on the same or separate hardware and interface to both NRCS and traffic systems. MCR and PCR automation pass control between each other smoothly and frame accurately, without the need of operator intervention.
Tightest NRCS Integration
ASTRA Studio allows journalists to edit a story, even when it is already on-air. As the on-air story evolves, the journalists can add content, graphics, video clips and texts in their familiar environment of NRCS, and ASTRA Studio airs them seamlessly. Interfaces are available to all major NRCS brands. ASTRA Studio airs them seamlessly. Interfaces are available to all major NRCS brands. ASTRA Studio has a bi-directional MOS gateway to exchange rundowns, story and clip status, clip metadata and template information.
Journalist’s Point of View
ASTRA Studio makes the Journalist’s job quicker and easier. Journalists have several options:
- they can do their jobs as they currently do today
- they can better define how the story is aired by selecting an ASTRA Studio story template from a predefined menu
- they can exert even finer control by entering various control parameters into the stories
Zero Preparation Time
Once the rundown arrives via MOS to ASTRA Studio, , the show is ready to go on the air. Through the templates and optional parameters, stories are transformed into control events that manage the broadcast equipment. Events are then grouped into shots and presented to the operator on a shotbox control panel, in a timeline view, and optionally in a list view. The story templates prepare all technical events with no need for operator intervention.
Flexibility on Air
The director has all options to air the stories as desired. He can just let the rundown flow with the pace given by the live elements. He can change the way the stories start and end or trigger sophisticated transitions. He can easily jump to a story in the future as well as to a story in the past. Floating shots provide a range of resources for breaking news - either associated with a rundown item or manual-assist for handling live breaking news. They also allow story elements to go on the air before the story starts, or leave them on-air after the story ends. Breaking news, with all its attributes, is just one button click away. He can let all the devices in the studio be controlled by automation, all manually, or anything in between.
Easy GUI and Controls
ASTRA Studio’s GUI runs on Windows, Apple or Linux to match the customer’s environment, while the underlying ASTRA control technology remains on QNX, a robust real-time operating system, proven with years of on-air operation. The GUI provides timeline views, highlighted views, and touchscreen operation, which can be customized by each user. Multiple hardware panels are supported, giving operators various options for running the show.
Support for New MOS Standard
Aveco’s production automation supports the new MOS Web Control standard based on HTML5. This provides considerably more flexibility than the old MOS ActiveX interface, which tied a newsroom to Windows. Aveco provides the MOS Web Control plugin to third party systems and accepts third party MOS Web Control plugins to run inside the Aveco GUI.
Multi Camera Ingest
Often, a studio production is pre-recorded rather than broadcast live. For these instances, ASTRA Studio now includes a Studio Recording Mode to make it easy to start/stop and re-record portions of the show. As the show is being recorded, an operator can preview what is being recorded to the video server. If a problem occurs that requires re-recording, ASTRA Studio lets the operator stop the show, identify an appropriate splice point, and continue. ASTRA Studio’s Intelligent Splicing feature protects the operator from splicing at points that will be highly noticeable, such as areas of high audio levels, fades, or other points that would distract the viewer. This process uses video servers to emulate a VTR's “assemble edit” and can be used to record a single program output as well as multiple camera feeds. When finished, Studio exports the assembled clip to storage and registers it with a MAM and the NRCS.
ASTRA Studio includes a comprehensive MAM (ASTRA MAM) and can integrate with third party MAM systems. ASTRA MAM includes a video search capability that can search across multiple storage systems and find needed clips quickly to support live productions.