RAI - radio automation system

Radio automation system deployed across Italy

RaiRAI has over twenty sites in Italy. Those that are already equipped have a Radio-Assist acquisition-to-broadcast system and usually have their own database. All the radios are interlinked and communicate through high output channels (optic fiber or specific lines), sharing their sound files as needed.

For instance, transfer of sound files from the Parliament to Radio Uno is triggered directly from the browser of a Radio-Assist production station. The flexibility of this structure makes for seamless information sharing amongst sites throughout the entire country. Rome is of course the main site with, in particular, a powerful Elettra ACS (Advanced Computer System) archiving system which interfaces with Radio-Assist.

rai italy radio softwareThis archives all the radio's sound files in digital form so that the Radio-AssistTM database only needs to contain currently needed items. Users can access an online catalogue containing 350,000 hours of quality sounds. The system is highly intuitive for the user, automatically managing a complex process of format conversion, access rights control, database management, etc.

The first NETIA installations for RAI (RAdiotelevisione Italia) began in 1998 with a full pilot acquisition-to-broadcast project. Since then, NETIA's offer has continued its development to keep pace with RAI's new requirements. A complete Radio-Assist system now covers the entire country : Roma, Bolzano, Napoli, etc.

RAI has adopted several options to facilitate its operations, and in particular a maintenance contract totally adapted to the way it operates.

Contracts and trust between NETIA and RAI

The special relationship of many years standing between NETIA and RAI is manifested in their contracts. In 2001, RAI signed an agreement with NETIA concerning all its radio automation supplies. In 2002, they signed a highly developed 3-years maintenance contract.

To ensure efficiency in this area, NETIA and RAI decided to create a team with eight technicians from RAI and one seconded from NETIA with a remit to provide a permanent maintenance service for all the network workstations, and install new workstations or software versions. NETIA provides another level of maintenance exclusively for critical equipment such as servers and administration and broadcast workstations. Furthermore, RAI has signed up for the NETIA 24/7 Hotline. It is important to note that at the same time the maintenance of all the network is managed in a autonomous way by RAI.

rai radio production softwareSecured architecture

The global system has over 300 workstations requiring faultless management of every action and every file it contains. NETIA Media Management software is used for separating out different domains : Information, Production, Broadcast. Each domain has its own structure of servers, databases and workstations. NETIA system ensures systematic and synchronous redundancy of all the metadata produced so that database contents remain fully consistent.

The basic principles of NETIA system are monitoring, memorisation and anticipation of every action and every file transfer within the system. Such traceability ensures that the right file is always available in the right place at the right time.

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