ARD-aktuell taps Quantel for news production
| 15 May 2014
ARD-aktuell, whose flagship TagesschaŁ programme is the most-watched daily show of its kind in Germany, has made a significant investment in Quantel technology for all its news broadcasts.

The broadcaster went on-air in April with a full HD service, with production powered by a Enterprise sQ fast-turnaround production system supplied by Quantel on whom ARD has relied for news production technology since 2006. The move to all-HD production required a major upgrade of ARD-aktuell's Quantel system, all carried out while daily news production operations continued unaffected.

The new system supports around 100 sQ Cut desktop editors on the journalists' desktops, which are fully integrated with ARD-aktuell's NRCS. In addition, ten Quantel craft editing workstations handle production of high production value news packages. The Enterprise sQ system is split into two zones to provide additional redundancy and has storage for 600 hours of HD, said to be more than enough to keep a full week's media instantly available to all users of the system.

"We carried out extensive checks to ensure that the system would continue to perform faultlessly with the higher data load of HD," explained Andreas LŁtzkendorf, head of programming for tagesschau24. "It was very important to us that the production workflow wasn't compromised during the four months' changeover period to HD, and the Quantel system met this requirement and is delivering very stable performance at HD."

The ARD-aktuell upgrade also entailed the construction and commissioning of a new 320m≤ HD news studio, which includes a 17.5m media wall behind the news anchors' desks, featuring a constantly changing panorama of pictures and graphics. The studio includes two galleries - one for the daily news shows such as TagesschaŁ and Tagesthemen, the second for tagesschau24, ARD-aktuell's 24 hour news channel.

"We have chosen to stay with a two-zone model not only to ensure that broadcasting can continue even in the event of a major failure but also to allow upgrades to be carried out without taking the system off air. For a broadcaster who is transmitting around the clock it is not possible to go off air to install an upgrade," added Detlef Kopp, ARD-aktuell's technical head. "We're producing 14 hours of programming a day with the Enterprise sQ system; for our news production users, it's a real success story."