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LNS – Live News & Sports Systems

By John O’Loan, CEO, Live News & Sports Systems

Thu 16, 04 2020

The heart of creative, cost efficient, coordinated workflows, LNS is story centric, where just One Button changes everything.

There is an expanding world market for more efficient and more accurate workflows and systems, to meet the challenge of new technology. Cost of entry has been lowered, increasing competition, and stimulating demand from live news and sports audiences. But at the same time, producers and platform operators are increasingly finding they are required to do more – with less.

LNS has been built from the ground up to help operators face this challenge. We’ve pioneered new technology and have patents pending for topic centric content generation, high quality production value and automated output, to multi platforms.

We’re also working with world leading technology companies to exploit AI and VR graphics, automation and overall cost benefits. This includes being able to present live, a complete linear rundown, without the need for a traditional control room – while also publishing to other platforms, at the same time. And, no control room needed! Think how much that will save small to medium size operations.

With more than 30 years’ experience behind us, LNS has responded to the vast culture change requirements sweeping the industry. Our prototypes are up and running and proven in their success.

Like you, we are also working to keep our costs down, as well. That’s why we have systems for larger, continuous multi-platform output operators as well as smaller operators, who may only require a Software-as-a-Service solution – and no control room!

We’re ‘in the cloud’ and also have systems which are locally based. We are experienced enough to be able to adapt LNS workflows to all environments.

The Live News & Sports System runs on Windows, which makes training and maintenance easy. It sits on MOS compliant, newsroom computer systems (NRCS) which allows efficient, real time communication within the standard protocol, linking and automating video servers, audio servers, still stores, teleprompter, scripts, running orders and character generators, for live or delayed playout of news, sports or any other production requiring fast reaction to rundown changes and updates.

This results in lower running costs, quicker reaction time in live broadcast environments, and therefore the ability to improve the production values involved in communicating with a wider audience.

Part of this improvement is the automated system for quickly moving content from one main programme rundown, say for example for broadcast operations, to its social media, web and app output and ancillary smart phone and tablet requirements. Whereas previously, these processes to move content from a broadcast environment to those of the internet and web outputs were separate app operations, the LNS systems integrate the priority process into one, streamlined and automatic, process. This used to require separate teams of people engaged on each part of the multi-media outputting process. But this is no longer necessary.

Within LNS the one team, which is responsible for the Master Rundown, can also operate the output of the other platforms, without additional manpower. Or it can do the bulk of the work, which then requires only a limited amount of additional layout wrangling. This process holds true for both news and sports in broadcast, webcast and appcast situations, all within the one unitary system, whereas before, this has not been possible.

How LNS works in detail:

Acquisition & News Planning

Journalists can quickly and easily browse for video and text, with a variety of information sources at their disposal: wire agencies, rss feeds, websites, the station’s existing media archive, or any external video file. The time and number of programmes per day, week and month, and the format or outline structure with placeholders, are imbedded into LNS system. News stories on individual rundowns are assigned to journalists who can see the tasks assigned to them from their own login.

Script and Video Editing

Journalists write their story, app and web page template cues, prompter script, camera cues and character generator text using a simple to use, multilingual Windows program. As the story is changed and updated, all users are updated on developments. The journalist can record voice overs and undertake a simple edit in their workspace, using the inbuilt timeline editor. If extensive video editing, packaging and compositing is required, the timeline can be exported to an NLE, rendered and the file imported back into the LNS workspace. If only cut editing and voiceovers are required, then rendering of the timeline is processed by LNS. After checking, the assigned journalist marks the resulting video as the on-air copy, which notifies it’s completed. It is then marked as being ready for more senior editorial approval and placed in a pool of stories and content, ready to go into the programme running order with a simple drag and drop.

Pre-Production Rundown Management

Using pre-prepared templates for each deadline or programme category, the completed stories and packaged content is now in a specific rundown, which shows detailed information on the readiness of each of the stories or packaged content, signaling potential issues such as video missing, prompter script not approved, cg not approved, etc. Users who have sufficient rights can then publish the rundown, for air, app and web.

Live Broadcast. Live Webcast. Live Appcast

At that one button instruction, several things happen; the video and CG are listed as a playlist and sent to playout servers or the automation system; prompter texts are sent as a playlist to the teleprompter; the graphic, video and copy data populates templates in apps and web pages, as determined by their position in the rundown, and are published to digital devices. Rundowns which are published before they are complete can be updated at a later stage.

One Button Changes Everything

As the programme is on air, updates to the individual scrips, video, CG, data and the running order are instantly adopted and seamlessly updated to all devices, apps. And web pages.

LNS continually notifies users of the status of the playout server, that the correct playlist is loaded and whether the playout server is active. Users with the necessary rights, can modify the rundown by adding, removing, re-ordering stories and packages, as well as edit and update incomplete stories, and republish. When a rundown is published while on-air, all five lists (playout, CG, prompter, apps and web) are updated instantly and remain in sync.

For the record

John O’Loan was responsible for the launch of Sky News, and 40+ news, sport and entertainment channels since then, including SKY TG24, STAR News India and China, National Geographic Channels, Fox Entertainment Channels, NDTV 24×7 and NDTV.com, Asia’s biggest news web site. John studied Culture Change in Media at Oxford and HEC Paris. He can be contacted at
john@livesystems.io. Visit the LNS website at www.livesystems.io.

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