Neuchatel, Switzerland — October 2016… It’s no secret that today’s TV broadcast technology has leveled the playing field. Where worldwide reach was once the exclusive domain of multinational corporate broadcasters, now even the most local news is only a mouse click away.
Canal Alpha is one of a new generation of regional TV broadcasters taking full advantage of this new technology. Broadcasting since 1985, the privately owned channel boasts a daily audience of more than 60,000 viewers in the French-speaking cantons of Neuchatel and Jura, with two separate channels broadcasting 24/7 and an hour or more of fresh content added daily. Despite a compact facility and limited staff, Canal Alpha’s productions rival the major networks in quality, largely thanks to a well-designed system for content creation and dissemination, centered around ToolsOnAir’s onCore and Broadcast Suite.
“We work with small teams of two or three journalists and producers, and our philosophy is to keep our workflow as simple as possible,” explains Canal Alpha’s Marcello Del Zio. “ToolsOnAir software has been central to our workflow for a number of years now, and it has enabled us to maintain a very streamlined operation.”
ToolsOnAir’s modular approach has been a solid foundation for Canal Alpha’s workflow, with just:play’s timeline-based interface managing on-air playout and scheduling, and just:in and just:live providing the same intuitive workflow to the channel’s daily in-house production. Del Zio also points to ToolsOnAir’s onCore as an important aspect of the company’s modular, customizable approach.
“With onCore, ToolsOnAir gives us a new perspective on our workflow development,” he observes. “For example, we needed a way to integrate subtitles into our news programs, and ToolsOnAir’s engineers used onCore to create a module purpose-built for us, that integrates perfectly into our system and our workflow.”
ToolsOnAir’s onCore is a powerful and groundbreaking new software architecture designed to deliver the ultimate in multipurpose broadcast and workflow automation. onCore Designer gives users a visual toolkit to design and create their own custom workflow environment and micro services. From multi-channel ingest and production and central asset management, to powerful real-time, interactive graphics and fast, intuitive rundown creation and playout automation, ToolsOnAir has designed onCore to enable smooth integration with users’ existing hardware and software.
“We’re looking at building the majority of our workflow processes with onCore technology,” offers Del Zio. “This is a very modern approach to problem-solving, using single apps to perform simple tasks, and interconnecting them to make a complex infrastructure work very well. It enables us to create a very flexible environment, and add new functionalities, like publishing tools for social media, as our needs and workflow change.”
Del Zio also gives high marks to ToolsOnAir’s support. “They’re very responsive, and they really pay attention to our needs and our suggestions,” he says. “For small broadcasters like us, that level of support is as important as the tools themselves.”