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Eurotek Integrates Digital Archive Project for Irish Parliament

IBC, September 2009:  Eurotek Ireland Ltd., a Dublin-based systems integration company, has been contracted by the Oireachtas Broadcasting Unit (OBU) to provide a digital acquisition and archiving system for the Houses of the Oireachtas (Irish Parliament) to replace the existing Sony Newsbase system, which had reached the end of its life. Eurotek has designed and built an integrated archive system supplied by leading manufacturers including SGL, IBIS, Marquis Broadcast, Omneon, Avid and Telestream. 

The system is based around IBIS iFind tools, with Omneon Spectrum servers, Omneon MediaGrid Active Storage System, and integrated Interra Baton automated QC software. Eurotek’s innovative solution includes Telestream Pipeline network encoders to provide a redundant recording path into the Omneon MediaGrid. Two AVID Media Composer editing systems, with MOJO-DX hardware, are provided for craft editing, with Marquis Broadcast’s Medway providing media transfer between the servers and editing suites.

The recorded media is archived to a Sony PetaSite with LTO-4 tape drives, providing in excess of 10,000 hours of media storage at 50Mbit/s MXF wrapped media. SGL Flashnet archive management software provides comprehensive rules-based archive management, and is integrated into the IBIS iFind software suite, providing the operational staff with a very easy to use interface to archived media. Key to this project is access to growing files transferred to the MediaGrid and managed by IBIS iFind in order to allow operational staff to mark points of interest, add metadata and produce highlights with the incoming media.

The system is designed to supply up to 12 channels of simultaneous ingest/playback via the Spectrum server, providing primary recording of the output of the OBU’s two main chamber production galleries, and four committee room galleries, with additional channels for playback, lines recording, and other requirements. 

The project, which Eurotek won after an open EU tender process, required the entire system to be integrated on site during the Oireachtas’s recess period in August, with the new system in place for the new session at the beginning of September. To ensure that the timescales could be met, Eurotek and the various manufacturers pre-built the system at Eurotek’s UK base in Bourne End, enabling the various UK based vendors to pre-install the software and perform system tests whilst minimising travel and time constraints.

Working closely with the management and staff of the OBU and with Windmill Lane Ltd’s Leinster House Television division, who are the contracted operators of the Broadcasting Unit, Eurotek were able to ensure the tight deadlines were met, and the new system could be installed with the minimum disruption to the unit’s operations. 

Kevin Moore, Managing Director of Eurotek, says, “This project represents an excellent example of where the move to open, file-based standards has enabled a state-of-the-art facility to be provided, with best-of-breed tools from a number of leading manufacturers coming together to provide a solution that not only offers rock-solid reliability, but provides a roadmap for future HD recording, and all at a very economical price. Eurotek is delighted that it won this competitive tender against some very significant and credible contenders, but the company believes the flexibility and performance of the solution and design won out in the end.”