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31/10/2011

Sky Hires The White Room To Go ‘Tapeless’

BSkyB has appointed media technology training consultancy The White Room to train 700 of its Broadcast Operations and Sports Production staff, in preparation for the broadcaster’s shift to a fully file-based production system.
The training not only tackles the hands-on, button-pushing aspects of the new technology but also the cultural and contextual issues involved in Sky’s workforce moving to the new file-based workflows which file-based production demands.
Sky is the first major UK broadcaster to transfer all their production to a digital workflow and they have developed a brand new tapeless environment at their base in Osterley, West London to enable this transition.
But such a major broadcast operation moving all of its production to a system which needs to be modular, interoperable, workflow-based and cost-effective at the same time is a real challenge. Staff will face a huge shift in the way they go about their day-to-day work.
In response to this, The White Room is working with media technology company Mediasmiths - which designed the new tapeless file-based infrastructure at Sky - to train 700 technical and production staff. They will be introduced to the new concepts, workflows and terminology involved in adopting an entirely new way of working.
Chris Whatmore, Deputy Head of Broadcast Operations at Sky, said: “The shift to a totally file-based environment is exciting but also very challenging for Sky. Going tapeless will streamline the traffic of incoming and playout media, allow more effective collaboration and enable more efficient working. But it also presents significant perceptual and functional challenges which this training has helped us overcome."
Paul Collins, programme manager at The White Room said: “Sky wanted us to focus on the change management aspects of moving away from physical tapes, helping staff to see why such a fundamental shift was being made and the benefits. We’ve also been working with employees to demystify file-based technology and the jargon that surrounds it. Tackling the cultural issues, as well as practical hurdles, that arise from people no longer having physical media to carry from room to room, is key to ensuring an organisation adapts quickly to digital workflows.”
The White Room also provides digital production training to the BBC and is in discussion with several other international broadcasters about helping them to manage the shift to digital production.
(BMcN)
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