ASTRA Suite of Tools

 

Facility Automation Systems

The ASTRA Suite of Tools can automate your facility’s workflows.  By automating ingest, content management, master control playout, news playout and studio operation, your costs are lower and your workflows are simpler.  Built around a powerful content management system, ASTRA provides tools to manage all of your content locally, from your desktop or from remote locations.

ASTRA Family – At its core, the ASTRA MAM media asset management system provides a common database and set of tools for all ASTRA applications.  Having all of your tools tightly integrated around a common content management system enables better interoperability, lower costs and simpler workflows.

ASTRA Ingest – Automatically ingest content from live feeds, videotape or files.  Content is recorded into your system and registered in the ASTRA database.  Metadata can be automatically generated, added manually or loaded from your traffic or NRCS system.

ASTRA MCR – Distributed Playlists are automatically synchronized with your traffic system enabling content to be moved to the correct location for frame accurate playout.  Other elements in the broadcast chain —such as graphics, captioning, routers and switchers —are all automatically controlled based on the event being played out.  With ASTRA MCR, one operator can easily manage multiple channels locally or remotely.

ASTRA News  – With MOS links to all popular NRCS systems, the pressure of producing a news broadcast is greatly reduced.  Specifically designed to handle live events, last minute changes can be easily made with simple drag and drop operations.  Active-X plug-ins enables
searching and browsing ASTRA assets directly from within the NRCS GUI.

ASTRA Studio – Working in tandem with ASTRA News, all elements of your production can be easily managed by a single person.  Based on preprogrammed templates, camera movement, graphics, audio and even studio lighting can be programmed and run with minimal user intervention.

 

ASTRA provides tools for complete file-based workflows



Key Features

  • Centralized content management for all assets used in master control and news production
  • File-based workflows are enabled with a powerful rules based transfer engine
  • Centralized and Hub & Spoke operation
  • Web-based tools enable “desktop” management of content
  • Browse system enables proxy viewing for multi-site operation
  • Distributed & multi-path architectures offer redundancy and scalability options for fail-proof operation
  • Built on a robust Real-Time OS used for military/medical/avionics applications
  • Virus proof, robust, hot swappable software for 24/7/365 operation
  • On-line expansion and upgrades with no or minimal downtime

ASTRA MAM Media Asset Management System

Database management is the core of any system and ASTRA MAM offers tools to easily manage all the content at your facility.  Automatic proxy generationprovides low-res versions of all your high-res content enabling you to view, trim and add descriptive metadata from your desktop.  Rules-based file movement frees you from tedious tasks such as archiving content or repurposing content for other markets.

Web-based Content Management

Desktop management enables content to be viewed from anywhere on the network to verify that the correct story and content is available.

 


ASTRA Web Viewer

 Multi-Site Operation

For organizations with multiple sites, content can be easily shared.  Low-res proxies can be reviewed remotely and key clips transferred over the network.

ASTRA Architectures

ASTRA systems can be designed for any size facility from single channel playout systems to facilities with high channel playout needs.

ASTRA supports Hub & Spoke architectures where content is prepared centrally and distributed to various sites for playout. This playout can be controlled remotely or locally with the ability for custom ad insertion.

 


ASTRA Multi-Channel Playlist

Orbiter Distributed Architecture

Orbiter is ASTRA’s scalable architecture model that controls multiple independent broadcast chains with various layouts and levels of redundancy.  Additional channels can be easily added with additional Orbiter pods.

In a typical Orbiter design, the Channel Playout Orbiter Pods could be at remote sites and either controlled by the central site or at the remote site.

SHS Multi-Path Architecture

SHS is a unique networked architecture that offers a powerful control and cost effect redundancy model for large operations.  Any control room can use any set of equipment that may be assigned to another control room.  This “Network Transparency” provides many options for channel control, facility upgrades and device failures.  It even lets you share expensive pieces of equipment between channels at various times of the day.

 


Typical Orbital Design

24/7/365 Redundancy

ASTRA is unique in its core design.  Built on a powerful Real-Time Operating System (RTOS), it is not impacted by viruses that threaten most PC-based systems. Hardware and software module failures can be protected with complete mirroring.  An “N+1” model offers a cost-effective playout solution that in most cases provides seamless failover.

Hot Swappable Software Modules

ASTRA can be easily upgraded, repaired or new capabilities added quickly and transparently as it’s designed around Hot Swappable modules. 
These modules or applications are separate from the operating system so that the system continues to run other applications while new modules are added.