NOVA Tapeless Production & Archive

Who is NOVA/Fothnet

NOVA is a Satellite Pay TV service that operates in Greece with approximately 350,000 subscribers. Since 2009 it belongs to FORTHNET private Telecom Operator Group, who bought the company from Netmed Hellas of Nethold South Africa group. It started its operation in 1996 with 2 Pay TV Channels via analog RF transmission and in 2000 it offered a larger bouquet of TV Channels via a Satellite DTH Platform. It now produces locally 16 SD Channels and 2 HD Channels, consisting mainly of Sports, Movies and Documentaries.

Project 2006-2011

In 2006, Telmaco was awarded the project to design the system, supply, install, design the analytical workflow and training of a complete tapeless production and playout system for the Sports Channels of NOVA Satellite bouquet. The system included:

-Central Automated Ingest

-Shared Storage and Production Asset Management

-Live Editing from Sports Journalists

-Studio playout

-Continuity playout with Automation

-Digital Tape Archive system

Telmaco designed the system with key partners Avid Technology and Aveco Automation. The system was installed in 2007 for SD Production and Upgraded in 2009 - 2011 for HD Production. In 2010 we upgraded the Archive System to handle more material and with higher bandwidth.

Basic System Description

The system installed is based on Avid Unity ISIS7000 shared storage and Avid Interplay Production Asset Management. It uses multiple Avid Airspeed servers for the Ingest and Studio Playout and Avid Media Stream Servers for the Continuity Playout controlled by an Aveco “Astra” Automation System. The editing stations are 18 mixed Avid Media Composer and Avid Newscutters while the journalists view and log clips in Interplay Assist workstations. The Archive is based on Avid Interplay PAM Archive, using Oracle/StorageTek’s SL500 tape-library and 8TB Spectra Logic NOL storage managed by SGL Flashnet software.

Shared Storage

The heart of the system is an Avid Unity ISIS7000 central shared storage with 5 x 16ΤΒ chassis of total 80ΤΒ capacity. The ISIS7000 is of blade-architecture and offers maximum redundancy and expandability. Files are managed from two System Directors Servers in failover configuration. SD material is stored in IMX30 format, and HD material is stored in Avid DNxHD 120 format for maximum quality.


The ingest of all materials is managed centrally using Avid Capture Manager system. It currently control 14 x SD Airspeeds and 2 x 2-channel HD Avid AirSpeed Multistream. The Capture Manager operators can schedule all recordings either from Live Satellite and MW Links, or from VTR's using RS-422 control. Materials are automatically transferred to ISIS and update the Interplay database.

Asset Management

The Management of all the material is done by Avid Interplay Production Asset Management System. It is installed in a clustered architecture with separate storage for the database metadata. It manages all the content in the ISIS storage and in the Digital Archive. It manages the continuous update and edit of metadata from all users and serves its terminals (editing, viewing, playout, archive) with the appropriate material. It is fully integrated with all other components of the system.

Viewing and Logging

NOVA has purchased 10 Avid Interplay Assist clients so that their sports journalist can browse, log or shot-list all the material in the system. During LIVE sports recording, the journalists can start viewing in high-res and logging the game 30 seconds or so after their start and are able to send their selected highlights directly to the studio for Playout immediately after the game is finished. Interplay Assist or Access can be used to search, browse and add metadata all material that is either on the ISIS, or on the Archive from the same interface.


Editing is carried out by 10 Avid NewsCutter and 6 Avid Media Composer editing systems, connected via Gbit Ethernet to ISIS and Interplay. The systems edit material directly from ISIS and the file system allows multiple editors to view simultaneously the same clips. The search for media is done through the integrated Avid Interplay Window in the editor interface. The editing software has a simple menu command “Send to Playout” when the editor wants to send finished sequences for Playout.


The continuity playout for all 16-channels of NOVA is done via a pair of mirrored Avid Media Stream MSS8000 servers controlled by the Aveco Astra Automation systems. Clips from the editors (e.g. trailers, programs) are send to the Avid Media Stream via Avid Interplay Transfer Manager Servers. NOVA uses also 5 Avid Airspeed to re-play football or basket-ball matched. These 5 Airspeeds are also controlled by Aveco Astra Automation. The continuity operator has also an Avid interplay Assist system to allow him to send material to these 5 Airspeeds.

The studio playout is carried out by 2 separate Avid Airspeeds. These are controlled by the Avid Pilot application with a simple drag-and-drop playlist. They mainly play the sports highlights and sport news of the day in the respective shows.

Digital Archive

The archiving of all material is done in a robotic digital tape Library SL500 of Oracle/StorageTek. The Library was upgraded in 2010 and now has 4 x LT04 tape drives and a capacity of 400 tapes on-line. The archive is also using a Spectra Logic 8TB array as a Near-On-Line Storage. The management of all archive media (disk and tape) is done by SGL’s FlashNET software. All material that needs to be archived is sent from Interplay/ISIS environment to the Archive via the four Interplay Archive Providers. Materials are reached initially NOL storage, and all production metadata from Interplay are transferred also in Interplay Archive and SGL Flashnet database. SGL Flashnet is set to automatically transfer the material to be archived to a specific tape group as organised (Tapes are grouped thematically, e.g. Football, Basketball, etc).

The editors or journalists looking for archive material use the same Interplay interface to search the archive. All metadata entered during production are searchable. Material can be full or partially restored. Restores are initiated from the editing or viewing applications and are transferred using the Interplay Archive Providers.