Russian news nets catch an Octopus

Neal Romanek
Post Production
January 10th 2017 at 4:46PM : By Neal Romanek

Russian channels LifeNews and Life 78 wil both install Octopus Newsroom systems

Russian 24 hour TV channel LifeNews will use Octopus Newsroom systems at its headquarters in Moscow and for its sister channel, Life78, in St. Petersburg. Both installations are being supervised by Moscow-based system integrator Studio Systems.

Octopus 8 is a suite of newsroom computer software designed for use in television, radio and online news broadcasters. It allows ingest of incoming source materials such as news agency wires, RSS feeds, emails, SMS messages and even faxes. These feeds may also contain images, video files or audio files.

Octopus 8 can display all feed content in a single view. Source materials, documents, photos, contacts or emails can be attached to each task and are archived alongside the final content. Users can allocate all of the stories and elements into one central location. The Octopus assignment desk helps organise and delegate tasks to one or multiple users, based on a planning calendar. The assignment desk delivers notifications and allows users to communicate with each other using user-to-user messaging and share files related to the task.

Other Octopus 8 features include visual story history and version comparison plus the ability to separate the spoken script from the technical information. Octopus samples each anchor's reading speed and then calculates the on-air time accurately as it feed the teleprompter. It can be integrated into any environment and workflow that supports the MOS protocol. Octopus is designed to run natively on Apple Mac OS X, Linux or Windows so there is no need for a parallel operating system, additional licensing or remote sessions. Hot-standby servers can be added, offering automatic client switchover if the main Octopus server is offline. The hot-standby server is set up to run simultaneously with an identical primary server. An easy to use REST API allows customers to build their own applications which can communicate and exchange certain data with the newsroom system. Manual and automated exports and imports are also supported.

"Octopus 8 is much higher level NRCS than the one we used before," said Arseny Kudryavtsev, technical advisor to the Life News CEO. "It is flexible in configuration and a functionally very powerful tool that really helped to optimise our workflow. Now we have almost unlimited expansion capabilities. We can very quickly fine-tune the system to create new departments, implement radio and internet broadcasting, configure for our regional branches and so forth. The mobile version of Octopus is very convenient for remote correspondent offices and rooms for announcers. The Octopus API allows us to integrate the NRCS more closely with our own developments and applications: web-platforms, publishing, notification systems, planning and reporting. My colleagues and I look forward to a long partnership with Octopus team, working together to advance the whole style of broadcasting."

"The management and engineering teams at Studio Systems have proved highly efficient on previous projects for Russian broadcasters so we are very pleased to be partnering with them again," said Octopus Newsroom sales direct Gabriel Janko. "They have designed and installed a complete newsroom solution for each location, closely integrated with editing, graphics and playout infrastructure. Both channels are upgrading from third-party equipment. Each newsroom operates entirely independently but has the option of connecting its respective Octopus 8 systems to allow fast and efficient sharing of content between the two sites."

LifeNews was launched in September 2013 and transmits 16:9 SD and HD to a potential audience of 30 million viewers. Life78 started broadcasting in September 2015, also in SD and HD.