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Broadcasters today face many key challenges as broadcast technologies continue to emerge. In the 2010 Big Broadcast Survey conducted by Devoncroft, more than 5600 broadcast professionals were quizzed about what they felt were the most important trends in the broadcast industry. The top three issues, by some distance, were multi-platform content delivery, file-based tapeless workflows and the transition to HDTV. Ramki Sankaranarayanan, CEO and founder of Prime Focus Technologies, reports.


(PFT), it was looking for a tailored solution to these major challenges. It had to be something that did not require a substantial investment in technology, proven and agile enough to be installed quickly, and once operational, could improve the efficiency of the broadcaster’s workflows and swiftly enable the monetisation of content. On average the News Corp-owned


PFT’s Star in the cloud W


hen Asian broadcasting giant Star TV approached global digital content services group, Prime Focus Technologies


Ramki


Sankaranarayanan, CEO and founder of Prime Focus Technologies.


For Star TV, PFT deployed the world’s first integrated, multi-platform content operations infrastructure specifically for broadcasters, a file-based solution which was a combination of its award- winning Clear technology platform and supporting content services. It was designed specifically to manage a network’s high volume end-to-end digital workflows and enable the move to HD.


broadcaster received around 280 hours of new programming a week on approximately 2245, 30 minute tapes. There were additionally around 2500 commercials put on the network every day. Once the tapes arrived at the network, they each had to run through lengthy processes such as digitisation, a rough cut edit, standards and practices checks, subtitling where necessary and then playout. All of this had to be completed in a sequential assembly-line style workflow. Coupled with the short lead time to get content to air in India, any hurdle in the chain, no matter how small, could have major implications to the programming schedule. PFT’s proposal to Star TV challenged


the traditional norms by moving operations to the cloud and creating a new workflow for services to run concurrently rather than sequentially. PFT deployed the world’s first integrated, multi-platform content operations infrastructure specifically for broadcasters, a file-based solution which was a combination of its award- winning Clear technology platform and supporting content services. It was designed specifically to manage a network’s high volume end-to-end digital workflows and enable the move to HD. The attraction of moving to PFT’s


cloud-based file driven infrastructure is obvious for a broadcaster. "The future of the broadcasting industry lies in digitisation," said Sanjay Gupta, the COO at Star TV. "With this world-leading


70 l ibe l september/october 2011 l www.ibeweb.com


initiative, Star TV is opening the door to digital workflows, allowing us to more effectively scale our business, embrace the migration to HD and increase our focus on non-linear platforms. This is a great step forward, not just for Star TV, but for the broadcasting industry, and we are proud to be leading the charge." The PFT offering consisted of three


key components: • First up was the creation of a dedicated network infrastructure connecting the digital media supply chain to Star TV. Under this model, production companies, brands and advertising agencies are connected by PFT fibre to the broadcaster and ultimately to playout locations and multi-platform delivery channels to enable end-to-end file based operations. • The second component was the deployment of an integrated content operations platform. One of the advantages of PFT’s Clear platform is how it handles content, placing it at the centre of its eco-system, therefore allowing content services to be carried out concurrently rather than sequentially. • The final part of the jigsaw was the creation of a multi-platform processing, packaging and delivery infrastructure. This component allows Star TV to both monetise its content aided by data modeling and cataloguing, and to quickly customise content for distribution across different platforms. By using a cloud-based workflow,


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