Etere Automation for RAI International22 May 2000
RAI has chosen ETERE for its new project as a satellite broadcasting station.
RAI International, born in 1995, broadcasts all over the world the best of RAI, Radio Televisione Italiana, and produces original events at the same time.
It is intended for all Italian people living abroad and for all who are Italy-sick. Its schedule, quite rich and well-organized, is able to satisfy all classes of televisionviewers.
RAI Int., which has as many as 5 satellite channels transmitting all over the world, is one of the biggest project ever carried out.
A not-thematic station needs an extremely flexible system - able to follow last minute evolutions decided by an operator in a very simple way, since it presents special characteristics such as:
■ Lots of live events whose length cannot be predetermined;
■ Lots of last minute changes;
■ Material ready, very often, just a short time before broadcasting;
■ Lots of connections and synchronization with other channels, when stopgaps must be decided immediately before the on air.
The whole automation system of RAI INT. is controlled by ETERE AUTOMATION, one the most flexible automation system on the market.
ETERE sources of pride are both the fact of being a 100% software solution and of running on a simple PC. The state-of-the-art technologies used for this system allow all the PCs to share the same resources even if they are controlled by RS422.
The serial port virtualization is included in the tools of ETERE automation; with this feature you don’t need a RS422 router to share the devices.
This "virtualization", result of a combination of standard hardware components available on the market and ETERE software, produces - above all - two main advantages:
■ Sharing of all equipment;
■ Control of a number of devices from different PCs at the same time.
The system can send to the air up to 5 play-lists. All devices, as well as the whole automation system, are redundant.
The system’s reliability has been entrusted by ETERE Clone, one of the last creations of ETERE engineers. With ETERE Clone you have two systems, the main and the cloned one, both of them containing the play-list and executing it frame-synchronized.
For the normal operation 10 PCs are needed including redundancies, while in case of emergency down to 3 PCs will be used, and in this degraded mode the 5 channels use 100% of their potentialities.
The control panels are virtualized, and 3 panels only are enough to control 5 channels. PCs are so important in this station that PC monitors are 18" while the biggest TV monitor is 14".
Under-monitors are under the automation’s control, which uses them to visualize the "intelligent countdowns" also, that is to visualize the remaining time to the following LIVE event other than source on air and preset.
One last, unusual and quite interesting feature: all commercials data, which are needed to complete play-lists in real time, are transferred to RAI INTERNATIONAL at Saxa Rubra from Via Teulada’s RAI TRADE (which uses itself ETERE AUTOMATION): the two headquarters are a good 17 kilometers from each other.