Real-time news production with VBox News

producción de noticas en tiempo real

The Impact of Time on the News

Everything in news is about time. The urgency in disseminating is what makes a certain information to be a piece of news. And as the time that takes to the raw material to reach the venue where stories are created has been reduced, the need for swift processing has grown exponentially. Tiny HD cameras, man-pack satellites, web video editors, remote production, cellular bonding technology and the world-wide instant connectivity feed the newsroom with an overwhelming avalanche of information that needs to be packaged as stories published in a variety of platforms to multisegmented audiences.

Apart from the artistic and style issues, this overload of supply of material creates a pressure in the ensemble of the newsroom, editing and playout trio to avoid becoming the bottleneck. It is crucially important that the material that arrives is logged and classified on the fly, ideally following pre-prepared tags that relate it to the stories that are being included in rundowns.


Real-Time Processing Technology and Planning

To allow this real time processing, not everything is about the technology that allows edit while capturing (“growing files editing”). There is also the need for a planning that makes everything ready for the clip to be send straight to playout. The process starts in the newsroom when this clip is defined and included in the rundown that is send to VBox News in the studio. VBox News shows to the operator a clip with the status of “not yet available” and sends to the MAM the demand for it, creating a ‘placeholder’, that is an empty clip. The editor will open Premiere with the project corresponding to this placeholder and commence editing when the recording starts.

Thus, technology and planning make possible that seconds after the editing is over, the clip can go on-air. Once the render is finished, the operator in the studio will see the status of the clip change to ‘ready’ in the rundown shown by VBox News and the times recalculated if are not the same that where planned.

This dramatic reduction in the time from the capture of material to on-air not only helps to engage audience with the real-time sensation, but also alleviates the pressure on the editors and journalist that can do their job in one shot. Real time is an impossible ideal because always some time is needed, but Inout and VBox News provide the closest approximation.


Case Study

Sports offers a very good bench to develop techniques for real time news. We have installed recently a large system in the TV services of a premium European club where the urgency in the production is extreme. When a football match finishes, the highlights must be available immediately and each second that goes by is important. Thus, the editing while recording is a must.

With InOut it is possible to be recording and logging the match and at the same time editing it with Adobe Premiere so when the referee whistles the end, only the render time is needed. This technique is extremely useful for politics with press conferences or parliament sessions that finish late, overlapping the start of news programmes.