Published on Monday, 18 June 2012
Bahrain Radio & Television has begun an initiative with Masstech MAM to digitize and preserve
55 years of broadcast content to provide staff with efficient access and metadata management.
|The project will involve building a comprehensive digital archive for 55 years of BTV’s broadcast content, with capacity for future material. Bahrain TV is currently upgrading all six of its channels to HD and using a Masstech TOPAZ+XT v7.5 media asset management system to perform the material handling to Harmonic’s Omneon playout servers under the control of Pebble Beach automation for precise HD file based workflows. inline high speed transcoding in the TOPAZ will allow interoperability between BTV’s content creation software including Avid Interplay, Apple FCP and Adobe Premier.|
|Shaima Al Hamid, Director of Technical Affairs at the Information Affairs Authority controlling BTV, said the functions the network needed were digital archiving, ingest, QC and metadata management, all of which can be handled in the TOPAZ system. In terms of running the business, the company’s priorities were giving staff instant access to archived video footage with the ability to search and view low resolution proxies at their desktop. He said, “It is very important for us to preserve and protect our media assets as we invest in more channels and generate more content.”
Masstech’s TOPAZ MAM system, used with XT-Ingest, is facilitating metadata entries in Arabic and English intending to improve program planning, coordination and reduce costs. At BTV’s facility in Manama, the installation, which TOPAZ integrates and manages, comprises IBM servers, a DCS3700 150TB nearline cache, a Spectra multi-frame T950 LTO-5 library, Pulsar-2 QC, 15 XT-Ingest appliances and Masstech DRAC redundancy.
TOPAZ is also engineered for scalability, bandwidth and dynamic assignment of DataMovers, and integrates with third party MAM systems for hierarchical storage management, with multiple interfaces to broadcast devices, NLEs and broadcast control systems.
|TOPAZ will perform the material handling to Harmonic’s Omneon playout servers under the control of Pebble Beach automation for precise HD file based workflows. Brad Redwood, Masstech’s VP of International Sales and Marketing, explained how the system will work, “TOPAZ provides an active picture of the location of all assets in real-time. By continuously tracking the assets, the system automatically stores and uniquely identifies different formats or instances of the same asset. When the Pebble Beach automation system makes requests for content scheduled for playout, TOPAZ manages the transfer of the required media files from the LTO archive to the Omneon video servers or other location, and handles the associated transcoding.”
Also, as Bahrain TV upgrades their six channels into HD, the TOPAZ system will handle and archive HD and SD content natively. Content will be digitized with XT-Ingest which creates MXF OP1-A IMX50 for SD and MXF OP1-A XDCAM for HD files. XT-Ingest is a standalone ingest server controlling VTRs and digitising programs manually, or batch capturing an EDL. XT-Ingest is both the server and automation for operators to ingest and import file formats as well as read XDCAM, Ikegami GFPak, CF cards, P2 SD/HD disks and memory cartridges. XT-Ingest automates ingest recording with Masstech’s CUB2-2000 board. An integrated Venera Technologies Pulsar PRO file based QC system verifies the files before uploading to the archive. Operators can use the XT-Ingest UI to enter and save associated metadata.
|“Digital media projects are still relatively new for the Kingdom of Bahrain,” Brad Redwood said. “This is the first time Masstech has worked with Bahrain TV, but elsewhere in the Middle East, Channel 2 in Israel installed the TOPAZ MAM v7.5 and XT-Ingest last year to digitally preserve news content that had been stored on aging videotapes, automate the ingest process and manage their archive library. Channel 2 broadcasts up to 24 hours of news and educational content each day. It ran an entirely tape-based operation before changing to digital management, making all existing and future content available for file based workflows.”
Ingest and Roll-Out
In phase one, TOPAZ was installed at Bahrain TV during May 2012. The project is now being rolled out over several phases and is expected to be operational by the end of the year. The ingesting and cataloging of the media content will take the longest to complete. The 55 years of broadcast content will be ingested with 15 ingest stations.
In the next phase, BTV plans to repurpose the content by implementing capabilities that will to enable operators to search and view the archived content on their mobile devices. As the project rolls out over several phases, Masstech will provide training to local BTV operators.
Because all content is in Arabic, the process will also involve customizing the metadata and quality control. Some of the content that was stored on damaged tapes will need to be repaired. Once file-based workflows are developed, Bahrain TV’s staff will be able to archive, ingest, QC, preserve and search and browse their media content.
The speed and quality achieved through media asset management, automatic transcoding and bridging of digital workflows is expected to give BTV a competitive edge in the marketplace for news, production and broadcast. Videotape-based archiving, searching and previewing have slowed access to content resources, which can compromise deadlines.
Rapid preview, access and assembly of program content from the desktop should also help BTV control and manage their 55 year repository of broadcast content. Digitizing and archiving content in a file-based system with appropriate storage capacity means the production department can locate and reuse valuable assets. The current challenges are the large volume of content needs to be ingested and the fact that any content stored on damaged tapes will need to be cleaned, fixed and repaired. Repairing will be done in-house using NLE systems. www.masstech.com