​Astro Gains File-Based Workflow with TMD

TMD says it has completed the first phase of a file-based workflow platform at south-east Asian satellite broadcaster Astro. From its two broadcast centres in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Astro delivers around 180 SD and HD channels, with related online and catch-up services.

The contract, awarded in 2014, is for a completely integrated asset management and software-defined workflow system, with TMD’s Mediaflex-Unified Media Services (UMS) platform at its centre. The aim of the project is to achieve the required operational productivity and improve efficiency by creating a more automated and cohesive content preparation process. The Mediaflex-UMS system brings together the previously disparate SD and HD workflows, as well as fully integrating Astro’s online services into a common operation.

A key requirement was not just that Astro wanted to move to automated workflows, but that it should be able to design and modify its own processes. Mediaflex-UMS includes the ability to design workflows through a simple and straightforward GUI, allowing Astro staff to plan, test and implement workflows in the future.

An important part of the Mediaflex-UMS implementation was the requirement to integrate closely with other vendors’ systems to provide unified workflows. Services now linked to the Mediaflex-UMS platform at Astro include linear playout automation from both Grass Valley and SAMInterra Systems Baton automated quality control, MSA Focus broadcast management & traffic, and a Front Porch (Oracle) DIVArchive HSM.

For TMD, CEO Tony Taylor said “We are seeing the smart broadcasters around the world, like Astro, while already tapeless in most areas, recognise that replacing existing legacy MAM workflow systems is the perfect opportunity to progressively reduce the volume of tape processing and further automate other processes. They are not simply migrating their tapes to files, they are developing a new architecture which can continually be redefined through innovative new workflows. That gives them complete flexibility to react very quickly as business requirements change.

“At TMD we spotted that this would be absolutely critical to the success of the transition to IP infrastructures, and we made software-defined workflow flexibility an absolute cornerstone of our development programme. Most important, the Mediaflex-UMS platform gives the tools to create, modify and manage workflows to the broadcaster. Through a simple user interface they can set up rich, relevant workflows themselves in minutes, then test them and get them online to meet their timescales. That is the level of agility that today’s broadcasters need, and TMD is unique in providing.”

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