ESPN Star Sports
ESPN Star Sports (ESS) operates 17 networks in five languages throughout Asia, handling live broadcasts of local and international sporting events and producing five local editions of "SportsCenter." As ESS approached the launch of HD broadcasts, it took a new approach to media asset management — one that would enable rapid marking, editing and localization of content within a highly efficient file-based workflow.
A new file-based HD production system engineered and delivered by systems integrator TSL, along with Omneon, IBIS and IPV, was taken online on July 1, 2010, just under six months from the initial project order — and just in time for the 2010-2011 English Premier League season. A robust media processing and storage platform from Omneon includes a 100TB Omneon MediaGrid active storage system with 3000 hours of capacity and full data replication, four Omneon Spectrum media servers that support ingest with 25 recording ports and 2500 hours of total capacity, and four additional Spectrum servers with total capacity of 1300 hours to support playout of 26 on-air channels.
Recording sessions are scheduled in advance through the IBIS iAcquire Scheduler application, which triggers the recording and ingest of live video from the studio or satellite downlink by Spectrum systems. In parallel with ingest, incoming material is transcoded by IPV hardware and middleware to low bit rates for browse purposes. During the event, as material is ingested, operators at IBIS iLogger workstations can tag the incoming sports events with appropriate, validated metadata, which is linked to media throughout its editorial life cycle.
ESS staff then can use IBIS iFind, which enables media searches across all broadcast devices through a Web client, to locate key moments, key players and combinations thereof, and quickly create rough cut edits and export an EDL to FCP. FCP carries out an edit-in-place on the MediaGrid, publishing the highlight clip to a watch folder from where IBIS iMove picks up the clip and directs it to the on-air Spectrum server. The workflow includes access to the ESS Clip Naming Convention via an IBIS plug-in on FCP so that there is no danger of the clip being named incorrectly. Once the highlight clip hits the server, IBIS initiates the creation of a browse copy of that edit from iPC XCode. This clip is then available to everyone else using the iFind MAM Web client. The completed highlight clip is pushed to the Harris playout automation system by IBIS, which ensures that the correct clip gets to the correct place in the rundown.
The "active transfer" capability of the connected MediaGrid encodes incoming video into standard IMX 30Mb/s MPEG-2 format and wraps it in a QuickTime wrapper so that editors using FCP software can open and edit a "growing file" on the MediaGrid just two minutes after ingest begins and produce highlights for immediate playout. The MediaGrid works with Harris automation, and IBIS asset management routes language tracks in the server file to the correct market. Today at ESS, real-time metadata tagging, the active transfer of event footage and the automated insertion of multilanguage commentary enable the fast turnaround of live sports event broadcasts for viewers.
New studio technology — HD
Submitted by Omneon
ESPN Star Sports: Chua Tiong Hou
IBIS: John Haselwood, CTO; Andrew Johnston, dev. mgr.; Nigel Jackson, op. mgr.; Susan Georgiades, proj. mgr.; Eric Collinson, proj. mgr.; Nigel Booth, iPV browse creation
Omneon Singapore: Chew Kok On, Elson Soong, Loh Cheng Song, Terry Spittle
Technology at work
IBIS: iAcquire, iFind Media Asset Management, iLogger, iMove
Omneon: MediaGrid active storage system, Spectrum media servers