ALPHA TV News Production

Who is Alpha TV?

Alpha Television is a national free-to-air TV station that operates in Greece. Alpha Television started its operation in 1992 as SKAI Television, and Telmaco was selected to be the system integrator for the turnkey project at that time. It has a general entertainment program including news, comedy shows, entertainment, reality series and films.

In 2005, Alpha Television moved to its new modern building in Attica Ring Road of Athens together with other activities of the owner at that time, including a Telecommunications Provider.

Project Description 2005

In 2005, Telmaco was awarded the project to design and install all the news production operation of the building based on tapeless technology of our key partner Avid. The station format for News was DVCPro25 and Alpha planned to gradually upgrade to P2 camcorders for a complete tapeless workflow. Telmaco was also awarded to supply and commission the News Vision Mixer, the Studio Cameras and the Monitoring. The news production part included :

Newsroom with Journalist Browsing Shared Storage with Media Management10-channel Ingest with SchedulingNews Studio Control and PlayoutDigital Tape Robotic Archive.

Telmaco managed to deliver the complete news production part of the system, train the key operators and take it on-air in a period of 8 weeks.

Shared Storage with Media Management

The core of the system was Avid Unity MediaNetwork central shared storage with 4 x 2.88ΤΒ chassis. The networking of the system was a mixed Ethernet and Fiber Channel networking. The media files are managed from two File Managers in failover configuration. Material is managed by the Avid Media Manager Software.

Ingest Automation

The ingest of all materials is managed centrally from the Avid Capture Manager system. It controlled 10 x SD Airspeeds. 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 Unity and update the Media Manager database. For every ingest, the Capture manager also initiates in sync a low-res encoder to create the low-res copy of each feed for the Journalists. The latter can also use Capture Manager view the plans and the progress of the ingest from their desktops.

Newsroom and Journalist Browsing

The Newsroom was designed using iNews newsroom automation. iNews can manage the planning of the News Production of the complete day and can communicate the rundown to the rest of the system.Journalists use the Avid Media Browse software to view, log and edit all of the materials prior to editing. Journalist can start viewing or editing their stories only a few seconds after the start of the ingest.


The finishing of all pieces is done from 12 Avid NewsCutter editing systems. The editor can pick-up the sequence prepared the journalist in Media Browse which is automatically open in high-res. When finished, the editor can use the "Send to Playout" menu command to send it to the news studio.

Studio and Studio Control

Telmaco equipped Alpha TV with 12 Ikegami HC400 cameras with Triax System. Triax patch panels allow all cameras to be accessible from both Studios of the building. The News Control is operating from a 4ME Ross Synergy Switcher with 8 channel external DVE. Studio monitoring is done on Barco iStudio.

Studio Playout

Alpha has 2 Studios in their building and 2 more Studios in difference building, all of which are connected via an IP network together. Alpha has Airspeed playout servers in all of four of the studios. The editors can specify to send their finished stories each time to the appropriate Airspeed/Studio and avoid the use of tape.

Digital Archive

The archiving of all news materials is done in a robotic digital tape Library L700e of Oracle/StorageTek. The Library has 2 x LT02 tape drives and can handle up to 200 tapes on-line. The archive is managed by SGL's FlashNET software. All materials are sent to archive from the Media Manager Menu, which creates a background transfer using the Transfer Manager. Similarly the user can use the same tool to restore a clip from the archive.