Globo News migrates to a file-based workflow, increasing productivity
Globo TV in Brazil faced the challenge of deciding the best way to migrate from its tape-based workfl ow to a fi le-based one. The network chose its 24-hour news channel, Globo News, to be the host of an experimental and innovative tapeless implementation.
The main priority for the network was reliability and redundancy to provide uninterrupted programming and to establish ingest servers with local storage for backups, and standalone playout servers that could operate independently of the system. The same playout servers also had to receive multiple simultaneous streams faster than real time.
The system had to use a high-quality, lowres fi le format with jog/shuttle operation, frame accuracy and allow access to these fi les while recording. It also had to be fl exible to support multiple fi le formats and all AV effects. It needed an integrated logging system for news and sports programs to allow collaborative work between the archive and news production teams, and needed to be able to keep the original bit stream of the video from ingest to playout, except on the segments where effects were applied, to avoid cascading compression and decompression processes. Finally, the system needed to completely integrate with Sony XDCAM.
Based on these concepts, two independent, yet integrated, systems were implemented. One was designed for the daily operation of Globo News and the other system was implemented to be used during the 2006 FIFA World Cup. The two systems consisted of 14 ingest machines; fi ve low-res editing suites; one high-res editing suite; 20 desktops for browsing low-res materials, with the capacity to export them directly to the playouts without rendering; two desktops for real-time logging; and storage with 900 hours (at 40Mb IFrame) in a fully mirrored confi guration.
The system operates transparently with MPEG-2 AVI/MXF (high-res) and Windows Media/MPEG-4 (low-res). The renders are MPEG-2 bit stream aware, so the original bit stream remains unchanged on the fi nal fi les without recompression.
Logging interfaces were implemented, with a GUI heavily based on icons that allowed for real-time logging. As a result, it was common to produce more than 500 clips for each game. Queries like “+Ronaldo +goal +replay” were not only fast, but also retrieved every matching video with the starting point of play at a corresponding event.
The implementation required intense training and continuous monitoring of the workfl ow changes. The project resulted in an improvement of the overall technical quality and a huge increase in productivity. The same team now produces up to three times more edited materials for the channel.