LRT televizija is the flagship television channel of the state owned Lithuanian National Radio and Television (LRT) group. Headquartered in the capital Vilnius, LRT is the largest media group in Lithuania and is proudly owned by the public that it broadcasts to.

In 2018, LRT televizija went on a mission to replace their aging Newsroom Computer System (NRCS) that was a home-grown system based on Lotus Notes. It lacked many of the collaborative features, automation and open integration solutions needed for a present day NRCS system. It was also missing many of the modern-day IP distribution and publishing channels that an internet-savvy audience today often use to digest news such as social media platforms. The old system also lacked service and support facilities and was very restrictive in its capabilities. It was time for a change.

LRT televizija evaluated many of NRCS suppliers and after IBC 2018, they created a short list and decided that they wanted to further evaluate the Octopus NRCS system and put it to a test.

Ričardas Baltaduonis, Head of Internet Department at LRT televizija explained “We tested various newsroom systems but, in our opinion, Octopus was by far the best in terms of collaboration, GUI and ease of use. We felt some systems we tested were created by humans but were not for use by humans.”

As a state broadcaster, it was necessary to put the NRCS procurement out to tender to ensure LRT televizija were getting the best value for money ensuring they had the most advantageous combination of cost, quality, features and ongoing support.

The Octopus platform is architected on a fully redundant system and a critical element of its success has been its full integration within the business of their existing setup. This included integration with the current Vizrt graphics platform, DVS servers, AVID MAM and the prompting system from Vitek.

The Octopus system is a collaborative newsroom tool that is accessible from anywhere, on any device and at any time. From creating and editing rundowns, to accessing archives and other information sources, it is the one stop platform for journalists and the rest of the news team.  It supports a wide range of features from creation to research of stories, to interview creation and facilitating live broadcasts.

Ricardas continues “If you get it wrong, then the impact can be catastrophic. We are very pleased with the Octopus implementation, its positive impact on our daily operations and the ongoing support we enjoy from Octopus.” 

Hannu Pro was the system integrator implementing the Octopus NRCS system to LRT. Kalvis Baumanis, Hannu Pro CEO, added “For this project we developed a removable media ingest and proxy generation solution for different ingest sources including Sony XDCAM, Panasonic P2 and drone footage. In addition, we developed the Hannu Pro MOS gateway and API services allowing us to bridge our own Hannu Pro removable media ingest solution with the existing LRT AVID MAM and the newly deployed Octopus NRCS. For the transcoding workflows, the removable media footage enabled  “stitching” of files by merging  many ingested raw files into  a single file by deploying Telestream Vantage  with their Vantage Analysis platform.”

Three different teams use Octopus; all were trained individually as part of the implementation and sign-off of the project. A continued partnership emerged after the project that will help toward a continuous collaboration and evolution of the solution to address the latest trends and requirements in the industry.

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