A rantbox by Michiel Scholten

Trip to the NOS studios and the NOB

Last Thursday I went on a trip to the dutch Mediapark, where most of the TV studios are located. This was initiated by the course ICT in a Social Context, and we where visiting because of two projects. One of them is the CyberNOS project [the NOS is one of our news channels, also doing radio, newspaper and internet coverage]. They integrated all their content collecting people into one unit, which digitised everything, putting it on the central servers. That created the possibility for everyone to access all information [be it video footage, text, audio snippets] from their workstation, even giving them the ability to do some rough editing of the video material for broadcasting. This could be edited further on the video-editing-workstations in the middle of the room, or in some specialised editing rooms. Everything is saved back to the servers. This eliminates the need to get it all on tape and bring it to the studio for processing. Also, the broadcasts themselves are recorded back to the servers [instead of tape], which makes it all accessible again. As they have an archive of 500,000 tapes from their pre-CyberNOS age, you can imagine searching and getting the footage is going to be a lot faster with this new system :)

The NOB [Nederlands Omroepproduktie Bedrijf] is a company building the infrastructure for broadcasting studios. They also made a completely digital architecture and archive, which will make it possible for anyone with broadcasting ambitions to set up their own channel, covering TV, internet streams, cellphone movies and more. All studios in the Mediapark campus are connected to them by fibre, as are the studios in Amsterdam and The Hague [mostly covering political programs]. Impressive equipment and techniques. Fun note: the various channels wanted even their fibre transmissions encrypted to prevent stealing of their content. However, that's already not probable and would have skyrocketed the costs. The complete archive infrastructure still has a rigid user-management and rights system to prevent content from falling into the wrong hands [at the wrong time ;)].

See the gallery for photo coverage