TVT Selects Blue Lucy Plug-in for Compliance Editing and QC

TVT Media is a leading independent digital media lab, providing and delivering content and services for the world’s principal broadcasters. With operations around the world, the company’s media management and software platform, ContentSelect, underpins the wide range of services they provide to their customers.

TVT performed an analysis of the compliance editing workflow in an effort to optimize operations and eliminate unnecessary data entry. That step was required because engineers had to manually search for content using Adobe Premier to complete quality control evaluation. The management team decided a new solution was needed and chose Blue Lucy (BLAM) to integrate Adobe’s Premiere plug-in as the answer.

Why TVT Media Chose BLAM

“We often find that we need to move quickly and remain critically focussed on the high-level content supply chain challenges we assist our customers with - we don’t always create our own specialist tools, we look for what we can find in the market to benefit from others’ economy of scale. In the same way that we use Adobe off the shelf, we use other existing tools to enhance our product offering” explains Peter Elvidge, TVT’s VP of Technology.

The global content services provider requirements were, on the surface, relatively simple. When edit tasks are assigned in ContentSelect, the source media and edit decision list (EDL) relating to that project should automatically be loaded into Adobe Premiere so that work can begin without an editor having to search for content or set up the project. This capability is available off-the-shelf with BLAM and simply needed to be integrated into the ContentSelect platform.

Integrating the Technology

Because all features and functions of both BLAM and ContentSelect are accessible programmatically through a REST API, integrating the two technologies was straightforward. The desired outcome was delivered in a matter of a few weeks as a robust, highly-tuned and rationalised integration between the two asynchronous systems where BLAM acts as the gateway between ContentSelect and Adobe Premiere. 

Blue Lucy BLAM workflow builder.

Blue Lucy BLAM workflow builder.

Integration in Action

Outside media assets are delivered from production companies to the system via various accelerated file transfer tools and follow a largely standard ingest process that includes browse creation and automated quality control.

Assets are then registered with the BLAM via an API call from ContentSelect. Without moving the original file, the asset manager runs a simple check to ensure that the registered asset data matches the physical file and creates a thumbnail from the source file to support quick validation in downstream operations.

When an editing task is picked up and actioned as part of a workflow, the corresponding task is raised via an API call. The material is then displayed in Adobe Premiere’s interface and can now be loaded onto the timeline with a single click by the editor.

Human QC

Once the ingested files have completed the automated QC process, ContentSelect updates the BLAM record with the data returned from Blue Lucy’s Baton. The asset then goes through a further QC, which is carried out by an operator using Adobe Premiere and specialist equipment. The process may include:

  • Any audio or video QC data reported by Baton is translated onto the time-line using the Comment Markers in Premiere.
  • The operator may also add QC data using the markers and, if necessary, mark content as failed at a specific point.
  • DPP AS-11 segmentation markers (that identify programme parts) and other temporal attributes such as sponsorship details or end credits can be added using Adobe Segmentation Markers together with a three-letter code to denote the various marker categories.

Once the QC is complete, the segmentation markers are validated by the media management system and passed along with the QC marker data. The system will then automatically load the next task, or if all pending tasks are complete, the application is closed.

Compliance Editing

In addition to human QC and setting AS-11 Segmentation data, some material requires a compliance edit - that is to say the material is edited with segments typically being cut or re-sequenced for different markets. This workflow follows the same path as before but here, the content is rendered using Adobe Media Encoder to a target file which is set by ContentSelect and passed to the media manager as part of the task data.

The Basis of a Good Integration

“Blue Lucy and TVT have similar views about the implementation of technology,” says Blue Lucy founder, Julian Wright. “We believe that technology’s role is to support businesses’ operating models and that the proper integration of systems is key to delivering business benefits. The gaps between systems are operationally, and therefore financially, expensive. By combining the capabilities of our different systems TVT has been able to offer their clients a low-friction service quickly and without engaging a ground up development.” 

Julian Wright, Blue Lucy founder.

Julian Wright, Blue Lucy founder.

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