EditShare Powers VOD Production - Media Prima’s Catch-Up TV
Media Prima Berhad is the biggest media company in Malaysia, with four highly-rated television stations, radio stations, newspapers and outdoor advertising businesses. With the launch of its new “Catch-Up TV” service, Media Prima is tapping into the Internet to expand the reach and brand loyalty for its television programs. Missed a favorite show? No problem. Just log onto the TV station website from a computer with broadband or high speed Internet connectivity and select the program you want to see from the “Catch-Up TV” menu to view on line. The free, video-on-demand service is generating a lot of interest with nearly 3 million download requests each week.
For the Internet user, all it takes is a quick click. But Media Prima’s New Media department had to overcome several, major production and delivery hurdles when creating the infrastructure and workflow for the VOD service. Every day, more than 120 episodes would be transitioned from the broadcast to Internet environment. The programs required additional editing, format conversions, and special packaging. Shows would appear online within 12 hours of their over-the-air broadcast times. Media Prima needed a streamlined workflow to handle the online content production.
Benedict Yee from distributor Graphics Vision (M) Sdn Bhd proposed EditShare’s collaborative storage solution as the production hub for the Catch-Up service. “It was real synergy,” says Yee. “The EditShare provided a collaborative workflow. The needs of all four stations could be handled within a single division. It was very efficient and cost-effective.” EditShare systems are Networked Attached Storage (NAS) devices that are highly optimised for video editing – both in their hardware and their software. EditShare integrates seamlessly with the industry’s leading editing products, including Avid, Apple and the Grass Valley Edius systems preferred by Media Prima. Operating on Gigabit Ethernet networks, EditShare allows all connected workstations to capture, access and share in real time a common pool of media files. Regardless of application or platform, source material, work in progress and finished packages are shared and instantly available to all users on the EditShare network.
The New Media department operates 17 hours each day. Supervisor Elisa Bin Mohd Isa refers to the EditShare as “the heart of the operation.” Six Grass Valley Edius workstations connect to the 18 TB EditShare via a one-gigabit Ethernet network. Three workstations are dedicated to ingesting the 120 shows (most are locally produced, half-hour episodes) from Betacam or DVCPro tapes. Once ingested, editors at other Edius workstations begin repackaging the shows for online distribution. Short “next episode” teasers and three-minute recaps are created. To facilitate download times, the editors also segment the half-hour episodes into three parts, looking for logical breaks while maintaining the pace, look and feel of the program. When the work on a given episode is complete, the finished products are saved back to the EditShare. Simultaneously, the files are migrated to a Transcode Manager where Digital Rapids encodes them into Flash formats that will be sent and stored in Limelight, the Content Delivery Network in the US that serves up Media Prima’s websites. Teasers and recaps are in low resolutions. Program segments are higher-resolution to provide a better viewing experience.
“Without EditShare, none of this could work,” Mohd Isa says. “It was quite simple to install. It’s fast and direct and gives us a straight-forward workflow with our Edius editors.” As system administrator, he appreciates EditShare’s easy setup for controlling user rights, permissions and workspace allocations as well as protections against accidental deletions. The system’s RAID-5 configuration offers added security. In the event of a disc failure, the data isn’t lost and the system will automatically repair and restore the data. EditShare’s Extreme Scalable Architecture (ESA) means that Media Prima can easily expand its storage capacity by simply adding “expansion servers” to the network. ESA allows the workload to be divided between multiple servers so that with each additional server you can double the number of users and streams that can be supported.
The Catch-Up TV service continues to grow with a truly global audience. So much so that Media Prima is considering the addition of a new service where viewers would pay a small fee to download past episodes of their favorite shows in high resolution.
You can log onto any of the Media prima TV websites to view the Catch-Up service:
- EditShare 5RU 18 TB on a 1 Gigabit Ethernet Network
- 3 Grass Valley Edius SP workstations
- 3 Grass Valley Edius NX workstations
- Digital Rapids Transcode Manager
- Carbon Coder workstation for audio transcoding