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01/05/2002

BBC choose Omnibus to automate interactive news

The BBC has chosen OmniBus Systems’ solutions to automate its innovative News Interactive service, which provides continuously updated news, sport and weather summaries.
These solutions enable journalists to produce and update the service’s headlines bulletin quickly and efficiently.
BBC News Interactive has been a major success. Estimates suggest that more than three million people tried it in the first six weeks of broadcasts and it was being accessed almost a million times a week during that period. The service uses OmniBus automation to control the transfer of individual news clips from the BBC News 24 production area to the servers in the News Interactive transmission hub. Under the control of the integrated Columbus application, the solution plays out stories to air, in the correct running order from the BBC's ENPS production system.
As each item can be produced separately using the OmniBus solution, journalists can update the bulletin as soon as a story breaks or changes. As a result, viewers who use the service always receive up-to-the-minute video news.
Without the OmniBus system, the BBC would have to rely on the manual transfer of video from one area to another via an internal network - a costly and time-consuming process.
Part of BBCi, BBC News Interactive is available to viewers who receive the BBC via digital satellite. A red icon appears on screen to remind people watching BBC News 24, or news bulletins on BBC ONE, TWO or FOUR they can access the service. The prompt has also appeared during current affairs programmes such as Panorama and Budget 2002, when extra interactive services have been available.
To reach the service, viewers can press a red button on their remote control. At other times, the BBC News Interactive area can be entered from any BBC programme via digital text.
BBC, www.bbc.co.uk
(GB)
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