(Cambridge, United Kingdom--June 16, 2014) Ontario-based Groupe Média TFO (TFO) is migrating away from the traditional linear television channel model, adding online and mobile services to its new multi-platform offering. The broadcaster is employing slicker workflows to increase staff productivity and creativity thanks to advanced, fast turnaround media asset and metadata management technology from Cambridge, England-based IPV.
Proposed by TFO’s Canadian Systems Integrator - Applied Electronics – the broadcaster has positioned IPV’s Curator real-time Media Asset Management system at the heart of its new network-based production and distribution architecture. Of importance to TFO, IPV Curator is a widely proven system, doing exactly the task TFO requires at major broadcasters such as CNN.
“Applied Electronics showed us IPV’s technology, and how it would enable us to speed up the production process,” commented Éric Minoli, Chief Technology Officer at TFO. “It allowed us to implement big storage, on six Isilon NAS servers. By automating the management and movement of content, it took away a lot of technology barriers. Over the last year the push has been to increase output by 50 – 100%. That was why we had to find a better way of working, and with Applied Electronics and IPV we have achieved it.”
The creative inspiration of this ambitious project has been recognised through its short-listing for the IBC 2014 Innovation Awards within the Content Management category. The winner of this prestigious award will be announced in Amsterdam this September.
TFO migrates to a multi-platform broadcast model
More immediacy, more content and more platforms create a need at TFO for greater flexibility in acquisition and more efficiency in post. To its existing Panasonic P2 camera fleet, TFO has established the principle of shooting on a new generation of HD camcorders, smartphones and tablets. It has developed an iPad kit, of which more than 20 have now been provided to stringers.
Also, the migration involved a shift to new editing platform, and a new central storage network with extended capacity and connectivity. Éric Minoli and his technical team selected Adobe Premiere Pro, part of its Creative Suite, as their new editing platform, enabling staff to concentrate on creative tasks, while the mechanics are handled automatically. The workflow is flipped around: a SAN stores live content in native formats, which is what users edit. Only at the end of the process users decide what to archive.
TFO’S existing asset management platform, Louise from Pro Consultant Informatique, controls contracts, rights, schedules, versioning, metadata and other critical information. The new workflow infrastructure needed to interface seamlessly with Louise, as well as with the rest of the technical equipment.
To achieve this there needed to be an interface layer between Louise and the different elements of technology – this interface is provided by IPV Curator. According to Minoli, “this was the production asset management layer I had visualized. What this system does is to put the tools into the hands of the people that need them,” he says. “Everyone in the building has Curator – I prefer to have more people with the tools than fewer.”
Using Curator, content is transcoded to browse resolution proxy in real time as it is ingested, allowing staff to edit content on any of the 50 networked workstations within seconds of the ingest starting. Curator logs everything, creates and manages EDLs and shot lists automatically. Once completed, content is automatically transferred to a render farm for edit conformation and transcoding into the required output format. If necessary, the job can be picked up in a craft edit suite for finessing.
Most editing is on the derived proxy - mezzanine formats aren’t required, so a huge bottleneck is removed. The render farm is format-agnostic, so material doesn’t need transcoding before conformation. Essentially, there is no need to define where content is going before it is made. System output appears on websites (more than 200) managed by TFO, or on YouTube, before TV broadcast.
TFO journalists and bloggers using the iPad kits have Pinnacle video editing, so can cut their own stories. Signiant video delivery software enables the finished package is sent to TFO over the network and ingested by IPV Curator. Journalists based at the broadcaster’s remote offices can access all proxies on the central server in Toronto.
All this requires tight integration between IPV Curator, Adobe and Louise - IPV developers worked with TFO to achieve this seamless integration. It ensures that the logical structure which producers are familiar with is maintained whilst inputting information into Curator. This is important when archiving – using Curator assets are created in Louise as that is the business manager.
System features and use cases include:
- A Content Factory, with output publishing to various platforms or similar content delivery agents
- Standards and Practise with logging and annotation with direct integration to craft editing environments or simple PDF reporting
- Fast turn-around sports highlighting, Reality TV omnibus or Live events
- Driving automated conform of original high resolution assets through an integrated conform service, restoring assets to the required library or play-out destination
- Contextual Advertising, audio segment matching and media analytics, for example audio indexing with Nexidia
- Multi-language dubbing and distribution with 32+ tracks of audio processing including proxy support
- Full integration with leading platforms including FCP, Avid, Adobe Premiere Pro or the IPV Process Engine
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About IPV Curator
IPV Curator is a real-time Media Asset Management solution which makes it easy for you to achieve collaborative workflows in a fast paced, live production environment. With Curator, you are assured immediate access to all incoming media and archive content on a standard IT infrastructure. Modular, highly scalable and affordable, Curator gives you unprecedented video and audio handling at the desktop, and incorporates IPV’s proven SpectreView technology.
IPV’s products streamline media management and production processes, enabling teams to collaborate on creative works with the ability to ingest, catalogue, archive and edit content or live highlights; exploiting camera originals, archived materials and social media trending data to produce compelling content on omnipresent digital platforms. In successfully use by leading broadcasters and more than 500 installations worldwide, IPV’s Products are proven to be rugged, reliable and scalable in use. Additional information about IPV is available at http://www.ipv.com