Oireachtas Broadcasting Unit (OBU), Ireland

Oireachtas Broadcasting Unit (OBU), Ireland

The Oireachtas Broadcasting Unit (OBU) is using Marquis Broadcast's Medway media transfer and format conversion software as part of its file-based asset management, archiving and playout workflow for the Houses of the Oireachtas (Irish Parliament). Designed and installed by Eurotek, one of Ireland's largest systems integration and equipment suppliers, the system comprises a tightly integrated, end to end workflow that uses a range of best of breed broadcast applications from leading manufacturers including Avid, IBIS, Omneon, SGL and Telestream. The system also includes design capacity for future updates, in particular, easy upgrade options to HD.


The OBU records the sessions and debates from six Parliamentary rooms using up to twenty cameras. The media is fed into an Omneon Spectrum media server integrated with an Omneon MediaGrid shared storage environment. Post-production is carried out in six fully equipped production galleries. Editors use Medway from within their Avid Media Composer editing systems to browse media residing on the Spectrum server, and select the clips they require. Medway enables the media to be imported into the Avid systems at full network speed.

By rewrapping the media and its metadata, Medway provides a seamless workflow between the Omneon MediaGrid and the Avid systems. Media is able to move between systems without incurring bottlenecks in workflow activity that may otherwise be encountered because of the differences in the file formats. The process is totally transparent, leaving the editors free to concentrate on editing without any concerns about formats or lengthy conversion procedures. After editing, clips are either sent for playout or returned to the Omneon Spectrum via MediaGrid, again using Medway.

Having won the project following a EU tender process, Eurotek was immediately up against a tight deadline to complete installation before the end of the Oireachtas's recess in September 2009. In order to achieve this, the manufacturers installed all software and assembled the entire system at Eurotek's premises in Buckinghamshire, thereby enabling integration and workflow to be tested in advance of final installation in Ireland.

The project was a great success and has provided considerable benefits to the OBU in terms of workflow efficiencies and ease of use. The system is in daily use, providing full coverage from the Houses of the Oireachtas. "Marquis' Medway software provides an essential part of this state-of-the-art facility," said Kevin Moore, Managing Director, Eurotek. "The whole project represents an excellent example of manufacturers working together. Here, we have created a highly reliable, flexible and efficient workflow, designed specifically to meet the customers' requirements and including their preferred 'best of breed' systems.

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Marquis moves media and metadata between different systems in broadcast and post-production workflows.

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