With television content like Pop Idol, Got Talent, The X Factor and The Bill to its credit, and 42 TV channels and 32 radio station in 10 countries, RTL Group is one of the world's leading producers of television content, and Europe's largest broadcaster. Its channels are watched every day by over 200 million viewers. RTL-TVI Belgium broadcasts RTL-TVI, Club RTL and PlugTV which cover news, sports, music, teen topics and local events. Both channels are available via analogue and cable services, and as digital channels on Telenet DigitalTV and BelgacomTV. They are also available via video on demand on Telenet DigitalTV and BelgacomTV, and on the Web on www.rtlinfo.be and www.alinfini.be. RTL Belgium has 4 radios stations: Bel RTL, Mint, Contact and Contact+.
RTL Belgium moved its workflow to a tapeless environment in 2007 when it relocated to new premises. The Company operates four distinct production areas which are all interconnected via Medway. The first houses general playout services for commercials and feature films. The second handles news production. In this area, the workflow includes a CleanEdit suite from EVS and is finely tuned for speed and flexibility so that breaking news can be processed and turned around very efficiently. The third area, which includes an EVS XT2, oversees live playout from the galleries and studios, and the fourth is the postproduction area where there are Avid and Final Cut-Pro editing systems. Marquis has also provided customised integration with RTL-TVI's own media asset management application layer which was developed in-house.
RTL-TVI Belgium's equipment of choice included Avid Technology Media Composers and Sony XDCam. They wanted to be able to work and deliver in SD and HD, and needed a high level of flexibility in the way they managed resources - particularly in terms of operators, so having a system that was easy to use was a priority.
"We chose Marquis as our supplier because having talked through our plans with them, they understood precisely what we were looking for and were able to demonstrate how Medway's capabilities could fulfil our requirements completely," said Thierry Piette, technical director, RTL-TVI. "Medway is very reliable. It has a simple interface which requires minimal training, and can be used by any of our operators including those who do not have specialist technical backgrounds. Also, we do not require transcoding which means the media flows between our various applications very fast. It's a very powerful method of moving data around."
Medway enables media files from multiple sources to be moved seamlessly between multiple vendor platforms without incurring bottlenecks in workflow caused by file incompatibility. Using Medway, RTL-TVI operators can import media files from the XDCam disk into the Avid or Final Cut Pro systems, and browse, read and write them to a range of applications including their 360 Systems' server. Medway automatically rewraps the media and its associated metadata in the appropriate formats to ensure the file transfer process is smooth and efficient. RTL-TVI also uses Medway to export Avid and Final Cut Pro sequences to an ON-AIR playKast playout system, an Invenio archive system and an XT2 production server.
"With Medway, we have been able to achieve 100% of our original specification," continued Piette. "We now have a seamless and powerful new workflow with all the features we set out to include."