SPEED, the American cable TV network dedicated to motor sports, was looking for a system that could manage high-volume workflows in HD. “We did not want to be locked into one protocol,” says Richard Miner, senior VP for production and network operations at SPEED. “We wanted the ability to be flexible. Relying on open standards was absolutely key to us.”
SPEED chose Dalet Enterprise Edition to manage media and metadata across the ingest, production and distribution chains. Built on open standards, the system integrates seamlessly with standard IT equipment and broadcast products including Omneon video servers, Apple Final Cut Pro editors, DataDirect Networks SAN production storage, Front Porch Digital hierarchical storage management and IBM LTO tape library for archive.
The network operates at peak performance on weekends with scheduled broadcasts involving multiple feeds of multiple races from global venues, many at simultaneous or overlapping times. Dalet Ingest Manager enables a small crew to control and monitor 40 ingest channels and log editorial metadata, all recorded in DVCPRO HD.
HD content goes immediately to the production storage. Dalet simultaneously generates a low-res proxy, which enables 125 producers and assistants to simultaneously make rough cuts or even full melts using desktop editing tools. They can also use the search tools to browse the content catalog for additional materials. Packages are sent via Xtend to Final Cut Pro editors who finalize material in HD. Scripting and rundown creation is also done in the Dalet system.
All the created assets are used to their maximum potential. “Whether it’s for the Web, for an iPod, VOD or the linear network, they are all working in the same bullpen, cutting the same material,” Miner says. “The only question is how it will be transcoded for where it’s going at the back end. Are we sending it from an Omneon down the line as video to master control in [Los Angeles]? Or converting it to files going to Hulu or iTunes? Or putting it on Speedtv.com? It doesn’t matter. Dalet manages all of that in the background with watch folders that dictate the necessary formats and transcodes, and it pops out the other side.”
Miner says the archive and partial restore capability in Dalet is “absolutely essential” to SPEED. It allows HD content archiving and partial restore at any time by managing content on both online and nearline storage.
New studio technology — HD
Submitted by Dalet Digital Media Systems
Dalet Digital Media Systems: Thomas Zugmeyer, product mgr.; Daiva Lomsarge, proj. mgr.
SPEED: Richard Miner, sr. VP prod./network op.; Tom Creter, VP eng.
Technology at work
Apple: Final Cut Studio
Dalet Digital Media Systems: Enterprise Edition
DataDirect Networks: S2A
Front Porch Digital: DIVArchive
Hewlitt Packard: EVA 4400
IBM: LTO tape library
Omneon: Media Grid