The overriding issue in the development of file-based workflows is the meeting of the worlds of broadcast and IT technology head on. This issue has been discussed in magazines and online for many years. Rather smugly, it has been suggested by many that IT technology is the poor relation compared with the complexity of the technology used within the broadcast industry:
Is this correct or are some commentators perhaps guilty of over-emphasizing the issue? I’m not sure, but there is one thing that I do know for sure – if you are considering a move towards IT-centric operations then it is critical that you start by getting your IT base correct.
It’s Not as Simple as a Trip to PC World
Before starting to adopt file-based workflows it is essential that you install the right IT backbone and then add the video workflow to it. In the same way that you wouldn’t trust an IT guru to define the video workflow, so why do we think we are good enough to design the IT system and get the redundancy, throughput, latency, power/heat, security, permissions, administration, price point and ROI correct?
From our perspective at AmberFin, we see that there is some tremendously powerful and versatile IT backbone technology around. The trick is investing in technology that is best suited to your business plan, your staff and your budget today, whilst offering you the right opportunities to build and expand in the future.
Let the DPP Help You Define Your IT Architecture
The nightmare scenario is when you sink everything into an IT platform that effectively leads you down a blind alley. In this respect, the Digital Production Partnership (DPP) offers you an incredibly valuable source of guidance and relevant standards.
The DPP provides a framework that enables the UK broadcast industry to share best practice to help producers and broadcasters maximize the potential of digital production. It also provides guidance on the standardization of technical and metadata requirements, helping to ensure digital video content can be easily and cost-effectively distributed to audiences via multiple platforms.
If you have not already contacted them, I strongly recommend that you visit the DPP website where you will find a treasure trove of information and contacts that could save you a huge amount of time, heartache and money.
Let AmberFin Help You Build a Workflow that the DPP Would be Proud Of
Once you have the IT infrastructure in place, the key to good workflows is good, accurate metadata.
Start with a simple transcode farm, migrate some QC processes around the ingest point to improve upon the quality of technical, descriptive and timeline metadata. Then join the metadata up to the farm to allow auto-segmentation based on metadata. Base is all on open standards like MXF, AS11 and the DPP specifications and you’ll be heading into an interoperable future.