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Scalability, reliability, and flexibility—these are some of the key attributes of Avid MediaCentral, which Italy’s largest broadcaster will be taking advantage of in 2022 and 2023.

Public Service Broadcaster Radio Televisione Italiana (RAI) will upgrade their entire newsroom, asset management, and storage platform to the latest versions of Avid’s industry-leading solutions later this year.

RAI has been a major Avid customer for more than 10 years, using Avid editing, newsroom, and asset management systems to create, deliver, and distribute content across RAI’s major network channels.

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Mr. Ubaldo Toni, director of technology at RAI, said, “The Avid systems will be deployed to create programs and content to be distributed across five RAI channels, serving millions of viewers on-air and online, including RAI1, RAI2, RAI3, Rai Parlamento, and RAI’s 24-hour news channel, RAI News 24.”

The upgrade will include moving to the latest version of Avid’s MediaCentral | Production Management system. Users will migrate from the existing MediaCentral | UX to the innovative web-based MediaCentral | Cloud UX, delivering seamless collaborative workflows for news, production, and archive.

The system includes six Petabytes of Avid NEXIS storage, Media Composer edit clients (physical and virtual), MediaCentral | Newsroom Management (formerly iNEWS), and AirSpeed 5000, FastServe | Ingest and FastServe | Playout servers.

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The first phase of the project—the upgrade of Avid ISIS 7000 storage to Avid NEXIS | E5 storage engines—has already been completed and is helping RAI with its environmental goals, thanks to reduced power consumption.

The second phase—the deployment of the web-based MediaCentral | Cloud UX—will take place at RAI Parlamento over the course of 2022, while the other channels will complete their migration by the end of 2023.

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The project also marks a move to virtualization for RAI, moving away from a bare metal deployment of their previous infrastructure.

System overview

  • Each channel has its own MediaCentral | Cloud UX system
  • Each channel has a complete MediaCentral | Production Management system with redundant services
  • Complete MediaCentral | Newsroom Management system with redundant services
  • 56 x Media Composer | Ultimate edit bays
  • 5 x Media Composer | Cloud VM edit bays
  • Each channel has its own Avid NEXIS system made of 1 x Avid NEXIS | E5 NL equipped with 140 TB media packs for a gross storage capacity of 840 TB
  • Total 5 x Avid NEXIS | E5 NL for a capacity of 4.2 PB
  • 64 x redundant ingest channels
  • 300 simultaneous journalists seats
  • 16 x AirSpeed 5500 and 8 x FastServe| Ingest used for ingest operations under MediaCentral | Capture redundant system control
  • 6 x studios, each equipped with redundant MediaCentral | Command systems and 2 x AirSpeed 5500
  • Each channel has 1 x MediaCentral | Move to park material on “parking” workspaces
  • 20 x Telestream Vantage bare metal nodes

The system also has a full back-up MediaCentral and Avid NEXIS setup for complete redundancy.

Mr. Toni added, “Having worked with Avid for more than a decade, we were impressed at their continued delivery of new products and features which ensure our teams can produce the best programs for our viewers to enjoy.”

The systems will be rolled out throughout the year, with Avid Italy staff working closely with RAI to install, configure, deliver training, and support staff to ensure the best user experience.

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