TV Azteca Finds Unity

Servers, NLEs are part of $3.9 million deal

TV Azteca, Mexico City, has signed a $3.9 million deal with Avid Technology that will bring a variety of Avid systems into its entertainment, novella and news operations.

The systems used by TV Azteca will be based on three Avid Unity shared-media storage systems, with one system used for each of the Spanish-language producer and broadcaster's divisions. Avid Unity allows more than 100 simultaneous clients to access the same content from the same system.

"TV Azteca will have three distinct installations, but they're all common in that they'll be based around Unity," says Adam Taylor, Avid vice president, sales operations, Americas. "They also will all have multiple clients sharing the same media simultaneously, making them very collaborative environments."

TV Azteca already uses some Avid Media Composer nonlinear editing systems in its entertainment and novella
divisions, so there were some upgrades. For the most part, though, the deal was for new gear.

Installation of the newsroom system is currently under way. According to Taylor, the newsroom will have approximately 50 Avid nonlinear editing systems, including NewsCutter XP, NewsCutter FX systems for craft news editing and XP Mobile systems for editing in the field so that, when material is brought in, it's ready to be built into on-air packages.

"They'll also use various iNews products like ControlAir and Capture Manager to generate playlists and control the newsroom," adds Taylor. The iNews ControlAir system gives producers access to automated rundown lists so they can track script changes and automate production and playback.

TV Azteca is using Sony DV25 and DV50 on the acquisition side for news and entertainment.

The key will be the Unity systems, with the news and entertainment systems holding 14 TB of content, or approximately 400 hours depending on how it is handled.

The novella
Unity can hold about 6 TB. Ingest will be handled by Avid XDeck, a single-channel automated device. Content can be accessed on the server 10 seconds after recording begins.

With any client-based system, it's important to have built-in upwards scalability, and TV Azteca has laid the groundwork for expansion with the use of Avid's PortServer Pro.

"It allows them to expand their client count," says Taylor. "We can connect clients to Unity through fiber connections or Ethernet connections, and PortServer Pro gives them that access to Ethernet connections. One PortServer takes up one port on the Unity, and that one PortServer can then have up to 20 clients. It really allows for the client count to be scaled dramatically."

TV Azteca won't be knocking down any walls as part of the upgrade to Avid: The systems will replace existing tape-based editing systems. The plan is for the newsroom to be on-air by the middle of December with entertainment installed sometime in January followed by the novella