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40 TVBEurope The Workflow


IPV tees up content at the Golf Channel


There is a massive, unique metadata requirement for golf coverage: ever-changing leaderboards, detailed historical information, stats on everything from driving distance to sand saves. Dick Hobbs journeyed to the home of TV golf to understand its MAM


is still a leader in the field. Today, though, it has added advanced capabilities in asset management concepts. “Someone from IPV came in to look at the proxy problem, then explained that they could help with the rest of the project,” Browning continued. “They spent a month and a half going through the workflow, then came back with a proposal which was more or less precisely what we wanted, and what we went with.” Golf Channel had an existing


database that had no capability to deal with the media itself. It had also grown organically


log all the content currently on tapes and Sony XDCAM discs, then marry that up with the database. IPV proposed its Curator and process engine technology to provide the bridge. “As media is ingested, or created


by editing on Avid or Final Cut Pro, IPV spies the new files,” Browning said. “It creates new proxies and enters information including metadata into Curator, which is now the search tool. “IPV came up with the mechanism which spied the file then checked the existing database and, if it was there, married them. This sounds slightly complicated: it is actually vastly complicated.”


Welcome to golf’s home: Main studio at the Golf Channel in Orlando, Florida


“THIS IS a unique sport: historical information is always a part of it. Our need for data is probably more paramount than any other sport.” Don Browning is director of Media Asset Management at Golf Channel, and showed me around the system he has developed at the broadcaster’s Florida headquarters. For its fans, golf is


fascinating because of the huge number of variables. Each competition takes place on a completely unique canvas: unlike the more or less standardised pitches of football, cricket or athletics, every golf course is different. They each have 18 holes, but geography, the quality of the grass, the weather and the skills of the course designer introduce critical variables. The result is that golf produces not just a handful of superstars but tens, perhaps hundreds of players all of whom are capable of winning a big tournament.


To provide entertaining and


informative coverage for the well-informed fans of the sport, Golf Channel — part of NBC but operating independently — has to manage a huge amount of data and media assets. If Tiger Woods misses a fairway into the wind on a links course, is that a one-off or does he have a problem? If Rory McIlroy has an 8ft putt for a tournament, what happened the last time he was on this course? With vast amounts of content


building up, Browning at Golf Channel was faced with the task of developing a coherent asset management system readily accessible by production teams. And at first, the project did not go well. “We had an appointed supplier but the project was not delivering,” he recalled. “One of the biggest problems was with proxies, so a colleague suggested I talk to IPV as they are the browse experts.” When UK-based IPV launched the SpectreView


Player reaction The genius, according to Browning, is the scale of the project. There are more than 153,000 tapes and discs in an offsite store, corresponding to around 2.5 million assets. There are XDCam cart robots and a Front Porch Digital Samma tape ingest system continually ingesting archive content: the team is ramping up to 150 hours a day through the Samma alone. Alongside that is the constant


stream of new material, with several tournaments being covered each week. Ingesting a tournament is a huge undertaking: eight to 12 hours of non-stop material, in multiple streams for the majors, each day for four days. But this is golf, so it is much


Ingesting a tournament is a huge undertaking: eight to 12 hours of non-stop material each day for four days


more than simply giving a clip a title and transferring it to the asset management system. For every clip you need to add a huge amount of metadata if anyone is going to find it again. So the asset


“IPV came up with a mechanism which spied the file then checked the existing database and, if it was there, married them. This sounds slightly complicated: it is actually vastly complicated”


browse server 15 years ago, it was a revolution in broadcast automation and asset management, and the company


rather than initially planned, so for example, there were no naming conventions. What they wanted to do was digitise and


www.tvbeurope.com August 2012


Don Browning


is logged with the tournament, the course, the weather, the round, the hole, the shot, the distance to the pin and the player


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