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The background

MediaServiceCenter is an independent provider of TV production services. The company – founded in 1999 – is headquartered in Mainz, at the heart of Germany’s Rhine-Main metropolitan region. It owns two television studios, and delivers services to producers of TV magazine features, in-depth reports, advertisements and entire shows. In 2013, it opted to upgrade its existing SD production technology, switching to a new, file-based HD workflow.


The challenge

MediaServiceCenter required technology that would enable it to deliver professional-quality broadcasts, both now and in the future.

The company therefore decided to invest in upgrading its workflow. Its plans were highly ambitious, both in terms of technical requirements and timescales. Within just five months, MediaServiceCenter needed to design and implement a fully-automated HD workflow for its TV production processes – from planning to broadcast, incorporating content management, editing and file archiving systems.

Live television broadcasts demand short lead times, rapid editing processes and stable, reliable broadcasting operations. The company opted to work with specialist partners to achieve its planned objectives, with MoovIT’s team of experts playing an important role in coordinating the project. Seamless collaboration between all project partners eliminated the need for an external contractor.


The solution

The solution encompasses a centralised EditShare Flow media asset management platform, plus an editorial system from Step2e that is used to manage the programme. To ensure each show runs smoothly, these two systems must interoperate and communicate seamlessly. Moreover, MediaServiceCenter required an editorial workflow that enabled individual team members to work with content from a central source, in line with the access privileges of each user.

The MediaServiceCenter team uses three Geevs servers (for studio, archive and show management) for video ingest. The selected video archive – or, for example, footage in the P2 or XDCam formats – is saved on EditShare central storage. The files are ingested and made available for post-production using EditShare Flow. A total of 60 Avid Media Composer editing suites are connected to the system. Once the clips have been prepared for broadcast, they are automatically migrated to the archive system. In addition LTO tapes are used to create long-term backup copies.

In addition to processing and backing up all content for broadcast, all videos are incorporated into the automated archiving process once they have been imported. As a result, MediaServiceCenter professionals will benefit from far faster, more secure and easier access to archived material in future.

The MediaServiceCenter team leverages Step2e servers to manage broadcast automation and archiving processes, while a Omneon Harmonics server is used for playout. Moreover, the company opted to employ the AVCIntra 100 codec.

To ensure that Flow OP-Atom files, edited using Avid Media Composer, can be effortlessly converted to the OP1a format required by the Step2e editorial system and Omneon playout server, MoovIT integrated a Vantage transcoding server into the solution.

Despite the multiple file structures in use, the diverse systems are fully able to communicate with each other – and all are integrated into a single, efficient workflow.

MoovIT was responsible for planning and installation, including seamless coordination of all components, plus tailored software solutions to enable automated file transfer.


The implementation

MoovIT has supported MediaServiceCenter at every stage, from initial concept through to implementation. By working closely with two partners – Step2e for the content management and editorial system, and Teltec for the AV technology – it was possible to implement the project within just five months, in line with the customer’s ambitious objectives. Following the official handover, MoovIT experts provided training to MediaServiceCenter’s technical team. As a result, the entire system has run seamlessly since 1 January 2014. And with support agreements in place, MoovIT’s successful collaboration with MediaServiceCenter continues to this day.


The benefits

Despite its complex server structure, MediaServiceCenter now benefits from reliable, fully-automated workflows that free up more time for creative design tasks. The solution – which includes a new fibre-optic network, high-performance servers and the standardised AVC-Intra 100 codec – has accelerated the company’s workflows in comparison to its previous SD operations.

The editing process is highly flexible, with multiple editing professionals able to work independently at 60 editing desks, on a centralised platform. Programme content can now be altered at short notice, increasing agility when planning TV shows. Broadcast content is archived automatically. Additional archive material can be incorporated into the process as required, and can then be accessed quickly and easily whenever it is needed in the future.

Remote server maintenance is possible: MoovIT specialists can access the servers and respond to any issues at a moment’s notice, helping to ensure that programming continues to run seamlessly.

In summary, MoovIT – in collaboration with its partners, and without the involvement of an external contractor – has successfully and quickly implemented a complex, reliable and customised solution that enables fully automated broadcasting.

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