Enabling IP Production through Managed Workflow Platforms

The industry’s movement towards IP-based studio production is gaining traction as IT infrastructures have finally reached the speeds and reliability required for high quality video content. Even so, because IT technology changes rapidly, media and broadcast solutions need to be flexible in order to leverage those improvements.

Tedial is an independent Media Asset Management software developer and Media IT solutions integrator. The company helps its customers rapidly take full advantage of file-based workflows, cloud computing and other emerging media technologies. Jay Batista, General Manager of Tedial's North American Operations, offers his perspective of the value of new software technology to support file-based operations.

Large, distributed media companies and broadcast television groups are relying on the emergence of groundbreaking solutions to bring measurable results to the promises of IP production infrastructure. Following are some examples of how this new technology is currently deployed and the benefits such solutions can provide.

Multi-site content prep

Station groups, global media production companies, and international post-production facilities all face a similar challenge— uniting disparate workflows and increasing efficiencies while responding to changing delivery requirements. Modern Media Asset Management (MAM) and integrated workflow systems based on IP standards provide the infrastructure and tools to support this need.

Workflows, both automated and manual, can be implemented on these platforms using browser-based software, making the user interface simple, elegant and geographically independent, and providing users and managers the ability to work from anywhere.

It also enables them to quickly and easily adjust the workflow steps to address changing delivery requests, interface modifications, the addition of new employees, increased loads or new features. An IP based modern MAM system workflow can execute steps via a Web GUI to implement an unlimited set of chores, including:

  • Content approval
  • Provide “soft-parting”
  • EDL creation
  • Quality Control and editorial review
  • Audio/subtitles aggregation
  • Automated versioning
  • Localization services
  • VOD & OTT package Delivery
A portion of a typical media preparation workflow screen with the integration of third party tools.

A portion of a typical media preparation workflow screen with the integration of third party tools.

Web access and task management operational designs can maximize employee skills worldwide, matching the user's skill to the task at hand. The people with the best abilities for each project can be assigned to the team, regardless of their physical location.

Editing, commercial preparation and distribution can be limited to a few locations, or spread among offices around the globe to keep operations underway 24 hours a day.

A configurable dashboard monitoring client charts key performance indicators.

A configurable dashboard monitoring client charts key performance indicators.

By employing a modern object-based relational database, management oversight and monitoring can be honed to drive key business performance measurements and reports, as well as be adapted for automatic escalation procedures in case of difficulties.

Cloud based products and services

Media companies today often embrace web-based tools such as Adobe Premiere Creative Cloud for editing tasks.

Modern MAMs may integrate with Premiere or offer a “Premiere plugin” for 'Edit-in-Place' operations. Workflow functionality may include the ability to browse inside the MAM with “drag & drop” capability to move content from the library into the Premiere project.

Screen shot shows Adobe Premiere with a MAM plug-in displayed in a window on the editing software screen.

Screen shot shows Adobe Premiere with a MAM plug-in displayed in a window on the editing software screen.

Beyond individual cloud-based products, companies like Amazon Web Services (AWS) now offer complete sets of services in the cloud, including: operating servers, transcoding facilities, automated Quality Control systems, and other features.

Innovative MAM/workflow systems have successfully deployed their tools and systems into theses services, providing a complete cloud-based solution.

These solutions can be fixed, relying on a steady amount of work and processing services thereby managing monthly costs as a fixed rate. Or the solution can be elastic, truly leveraging the cloud’s ability to ramp up for peak production or distribution, and scaling back the applications and tools to save money during down times. Elastic cloud system applications require underlying IP systems that can scale “upon demand,” without limits on ever-changing customer needs.

Another MAM function is Business Process Management (BPM) software. Such a software module is built specifically for media applications employing a scalable grid design and supporting IT standards such as BPMN 2.0. BPM software enables cloud deployments with the capacity to execute thousands of workflow operations in a compressed time frame when required. An IT infrastructure and cloud deployment make disaster recovery more robust and reliable.

Today’s Tier One global customers rely on such features for IP-based content preparation in the context of media services and content delivery, enabling them to execute thousands of workflows daily.

Jay Batista is General Manager, North American Operations, Tedial, SL

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