AIR and Doordarshan have entered the digital age with the commissioning of the first ever fully digital broadcasting facility in New Delhi, the biggest in the Asia-Pacific region.
The new set-up, which will be used by AIR Home Services, News Services Division and the External Services Division, has 26 fully automated transmission studios. All recording, editing and playback equipment, including mixing consoles and master routers, are in digital mode.
The newsroom is paperless, equipped with state-of-the-art facilities. Besides 26 Transmission Studios, the NBH also houses six dubbing rooms, five control booths, two radio conferencing rooms and one Captive Earth Station.
Each transmission studio includes a digital audio workstation, two CD players and a digital mixer. Ten transmission studios are also equipped with digital phone-in units with the facility to conference with up to 12 callers on ISDN and PSTN lines. The digital audio workstations have a provision for 24-hour scheduled programme backup to take care of accidental network failure.
With the shifting of the News Services Division into a fully digital state-of-the-art newsroom, all text, audio and voice will be distributed to dozens of editors in News Services Division’s headquarters, compiling almost 200 daily bulletins by computer networking.
A newsroom automation software system developed by the Dalet Company will enable a central server to receive feeds from UNI, PTI, PTI Bhasha and UNI Varta, faxes and voice despatches from AIR’s countrywide correspondent network, as well as sound-bites from TV, and make it available to editors on individual workstations.
And in the studios, instead of reading from paper sheets pinned to cardboards, AIR’s newsreaders will now read off computer screens, where the story will keep getting updated till the last minute electronically.
Sound-bites, which had to be manually inserted in bulletins previously, will now be livening up all of AIR’s bulletins, even the five-minute bulletins and its entire range of language bulletins. The quality of audio, too, is all set to improve dramatically, since audio will be recorded on hard disc, instead of the decades-old tape spools, and transmitted digitally.
The digital newsroom will eventually network all of NSD’s 45 regional news units, making it possible to transfer text and voice across the country at the flick of a button. This will, in turn, improve the response time of AIR to breaking news, and also improve the quality of even news bulletins being aired from regional bureaus.
Doordarshan’s newly set up post-production facility, includes 25 Non Linear Edit suites, 25 A / B Roll Edit suites and extensive computer graphics facility. The News Room has the workstations of 75 journalists backed by Integrated News Room Automation System.