Broadcast News

Bookmark and Share

Sony's MBC Helps Turner Reduce Edit Time By 70%

News Image
Sony's orchestration and integration platform Media Backbone Conductor (MBC) has helped Turner International bring its content to audiences more quickly and across a range of platforms.

It has helped Turner to automate its content and asset management workflows, responding to an increasingly dynamic brief.

Turner, a Time Warner company, brings its brands to audiences across the EMEA region via linear channels as well as the web, VOD, DVD, gaming, mobile, merchandising, publishing or emerging platforms. Its portfolio of kids, entertainment, sports and news brands includes Cartoon Network, Boomerang, Cartoonito, Boing, adult swim, Toonami, Warner TV, TCM and TNT, CNN, Great Big Story, Bleacher Report and e-league, as well as new ventures Toonix, in partnership with HBO Nordic, and movie streaming service FilmStruck.
To enable Turner to deliver its growing portfolio, each week its various operational teams prepare hundreds of hours of content in readiness for distribution, starting with finished programmes, usually in the English language, and then reversioning these shows to make them suitable for broadcast in different regions, and in different languages, on a myriad of platforms.  

This process involves, among other things, legal compliance, editing, dubbing, subtitling and packaging, the foundation for which is Turner EMEA's file-based workflow and asset management system based on Sony's orchestration and integration platform Media Backbone Conductor (MBC).
Installed across its various European offices, MBC coordinates different systems and services, including some from third parties, as part of the end-to-end workflow: receiving, preparing, packaging and delivering content, tracking it along the way. Importantly, it has also helped to increase automation, freeing teams up for the growing volume of content that it needs to process.

Within Turner, this asset management set-up is known as the Turner Media Centre (TMC).
Rob Cranfield, Director, Media Supply Chain for Turner's EMEA Tech & Ops group, said: "By enabling a file-based workflow for the compliance teams, TMC has reduced edit time at Turner by 70%, saving money and allowing content to be aired quicker than before. At the same time, by integrating existing and legacy media archives into TMC, users across EMEA are now able to search, view, edit and distribute to content providers over 500,000 media assets, 93,000 hours of SD content and 24,600 hours of HD content. The improved time to market, coupled with the cost and time benefits that allow us to focus more on processing the greater volumes of content we are now handling, are great benefits to us as we continue to grow our portfolio of services."
Among other advantages, this also allows Turner to deliver its content across many different genres to multiple markets in multiple languages at the same time.

The TMC has increased efficiency too, upping the number of transcodes completed each year by 56% and making it possible to create 48% more VOD/Mobile/Online deliverables, in line with Turner EMEA's expansion into more multiplatform propositions. 
Uniquely, unlike some software development projects, TMC was not implemented in the traditional way of specify-design-build-deliver.
Instead, to allow Turner additional flexibility and to ensure that it can quickly react to change and realise any business benefits, an agile approach has been adopted to serve Turner's evolving needs.
The agile agreement gives Turner a set number of available 'ideal developer days'. This allows it to decide on the required functionality for the TMC and then receive new code from Sony's team each month. This code is then deployed into the live system where the features can be shown to users and tested. Once users are happy, the project moves onto the next stage.
This approach allows Sony to pinpoint what can be automated in an incremental fashion, saving time and reducing manual costs with each tweak rather than waiting months for finished features, fixes and updates.
From Turner's perspective, it allows it to test the internal market. A feature can be added to the TMC without huge amounts of time and money being spent on development. The users then quickly get the chance to check that the delivered functionality is what they asked for in the first place.
The alternative, and the way that many software systems are traditionally developed, is that programmers spend many months developing something that may not turn out exactly as the user wanted.

Of course, delivering continual change to a live software-based system that is in constant use presents certain challenges.
To address this, Sony has devised working practices to minimise the risks. These include: delivering changes in small, incremental chunks; testing in the customer environment; offering regular opportunities for expert users to review and share feedback before going live; and daily communication between teams.
In 2017, a number of new features were successfully added to the live system in this way including the ability to mix, match and manipulate assets and permissions for third parties to automatically request missing material.
Among the features due to be added next is an integrated promo workflow, a remote editing workflow allowing near instance access to content and automatic correction of some content. This allows Turner's operations to be location-independent and also responsive to changing work patterns as employees can work both onsite or remotely.
Matt Bowers, the head of the Professional Solutions team at Sony European Professional Engineering, believes that the agile approach has "put control of the project back into the customer's hands", allowing Turner to also stay in control of costs.
"Turner knows that it is going to get new and working functionality at the of each five-week cycle and they know that it is going to be the tools, workflows, benefits and functionality that they have asked for," he explained.
"If Turner needs to change direction because their business priorities have changed, they can do so without going through a lengthy change control process or contract renegotiation. Similarly, working in an agile way there is no need to commit to huge development costs up front that have an unpredictable return. Instead, they can show incrementally the cost and benefit to their business, reporting back to their stakeholders each month and showing the new value that has been added."
Sony and Turner have committed to working together like this for an extended period so that both parties can follow the process through.
Solidmate Ltd Memory Card Hire London

Top Related Stories
Click here for the latest broadcast news stories.

Is It Time You Invested In Animation?
How many times have you heard or read "Video marketing needs to be a part of your strategy in 2017"? We've all heard it before but the statistics are
Flexible Archiving With Cubix
Ortana Media Group offers a wide range of products for use in broadcast content ingest, archiving, processing and distribution. These are available fo
Spot & Spin To Launch Pay-As-You-Go Content Management Services At NAB
Spot & Spin is to launch its range of pay-as-you-go content management services at the the 2017 NAB Show in Las Vegas. "Spot & Spin gives film and tel
Production News : BBC NI Announce New Head Of Content Production
BBC Northern Ireland has announced that Eddie Doyle has been appointed Head of Content Production. The appointment will see Eddie play an integral rol
Object Matrix To Demonstrate Digital Content Governance Solutions
Object Matrix will be demonstrating its Digital Content Governance solutions at the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE) in Sydn
Really Creative Media Deliver Live Content For Steps' Tour
For Steps' 'Party On The Dancefloor' UK arena tour in 2017, Really Creative Media was tasked with designing the stage content of the show – a celebrat
Pebble Beach Chosen By Discovery For Playout And Content Management
Discovery Networks has selected Pebble Beach's Marina system to manage playout and content management across the network's MENA channels. Implemented
NFTS Opens 4K Digital Content Training Studio & Hub
The National Film and Television School (NFTS) officially opens the Sony Gallery, which is located in its ground-breaking 4K Digital Content Training
Tektronix Helps Content Creators Solve Critical Challenges
New technologies such as 4K, Wide Color Gamut (WCG) and High Dynamic Range (HDR) allow video content creators to create stunning images and content fo
GMIT Launch Enhanced RelayCaster For Live Content Contribution
GMIT will showcase its newly acquired RelayCaster and CodecCaster products for the first time at IBC2017 since acquiring the technology of Motama GmbH
Broadpeak To Demonstrate Variety Of Solutions At IBC
Broadpeak is to demonstrate its variety of solutions at the IBC Show, including a CDN for managed networks and OTT distribution, origin packager, ad i
Source Digital For Debut Of IBC's Startup Forum 2017
Leading technology and service provider specializing in monetization strategies around digital content, Source Digital, has been selected to participa
BISS-CA System Helps Secure Live-Content Transport For Nevion's Virtuoso
The BISS-CA Conditional Access system has been selected by Nevion to strengthen the security of its Virtuoso platform for live-content transport. With
IBC Content Everywhere Hub To Feature 10 Expert Panel Discussions
IBC2018 has announced its Content Everywhere Hub for the upcoming show, featuring 10 expert panel discussions and 34 product demos. Located in Hall 14
Insight TV Brings 4K Content To KPN Customers
Insight TV has signed a new distribution deal to bring 4K content to customers of Dutch telecoms operator KPN. The agreement will allow viewers in the