Sathish Kumar P , Senior Territory Account Manager-South Asia , Avid Technology
India TV is a Hindi news channel based out of Noida. The channel was launched in May 2004 by Rajat Sharma and wife Ritu Dhawan, as part of Independent News Service. For India TV, the challenge was to meet the demand for more news content and standardize their newsroom providing integrated, end-to-end workflows with a common user interface. This has been achieved with the Avid MediaCentral platform. The other challenge was to get the best archival solution for managing their rich media asset. This was made possible by Avid Interplay MAM solution. Real Image ensured the smooth integration of the newsroom and MAM solution. The level of technical support and training provided by Real Image helped India TV’s team to gear up for the future.
India TV recently upgraded to Avid’s Interplay MAM for their archival workflow. This implementation will ensure the digitisation of their archived assets from tape. Spanning content over 20 years, this digitisation will include Independent News Services’s very popular Aap Ki Adalat which Rajat Sharma has been anchoring since the past 24 years.
India TV has installed Avid newsroom technology for an end-to-end workflow from ingest to playout. India TV is now equipped with iNews NRCS, Avid Production Storage and Interplay Asset Management, and iNews Command and Airspeed PCR workflow. India TV also has the most proven cloud-based journalist browsing and editing solution with Avid Media Central|UX which also facilitates the social media workflow.Explaining the decision to opt for Avid, Ritu Dhawan, Co-founder of India TV said “When we launched our channel in 2004, the options for choosing a technology were limited. We chose Avid for its ability to provide an end-to-end solution for the entire newsroom production. Since then we have been using Avid solution. Newer challenges led to complex demands from the users and Avid has been able to provide solutions to our production demands. Our ever-growing demand for the best led to integration of social media and digital archival solution with our newsroom production. This couldn’t have been possible without Avid.”
Smooth MAM Integration
When India TV was considering total digitisation of their archived media assets, Avid’s Interplay MAM was the first choice due to its inherent strength of integrating the same with newsroom solution. Their faith in Avid and the training and support service provided by Real Image, facilitated the decision of them opting for Avid Interplay MAM implementation at their site.
The entire MAM implementation was spread out to ease and ensure a smooth user adaptation. There were multiple sessions conducted with their newsroom and IT management team to understand their exact workflow requirements with participation from Avid and Real Image team. This workflow and expectations capture ensured that the subsequent stages of implementation went smooth.
The entire newsroom team who were active users of Avid’s Interplay Assist desktop editing application were initially trained on the Media Central|UX for their newsroom production workflow. The archival team was also trained initially on the MC|UX news production workflow. This ensured that the users were familiar with the product and also allowed them to practice and get a fair exposure to the browser-based workflow.
“The entire implementation was smooth. Some of the initial teething problems were resolved to our satisfaction. The training module offered by Real Image was detailed and encapsulated all the points which were essential from the perspective of its users,” informed Vinod Kala, CTO of India TV.
Digitisation of Archival with Avid Interplay
In parallel, the MAM implementation was progressing, with integration between iNews Rundowns, Interplay PAM, and Interplay MAM. iNews Rundowns for auto archival was set up, as also an option to archive select stories from within iNews. The library team was provided a workflow to manually archive selected sequences and clips from Interplay PAM. This immediately reduced long man hours that their team had been spending erstwhile, to manually archive their content. Based on video-ids, selected iNews rundowns and the latest version of the corresponding sequences are set to periodic archival. Likewise select members from the archive team can prepare their own edits from the production content on MC|UX and archive the same using a simple contextual right click. For the older content that has been archived to tapes over the years (a few thousand tapes with thousands of hours of rich assets), there are plans to digitize the entire assets over a period of time. The rich metadata already present in Excel will be converted to XML, and during the archival of digitized content to Interplay MAM, this XML metadata will also be imported and added to the respective clips.
“The entire solution helps in expediting the extraction of the required footage as and when needed in no time. This provides us with an edge in terms of faster deliveries,” said Vinod Kala, CTO of India TV.
High Level of Training and Support Offered by Real Image
Once the Archive to MAM was successfully implemented, the library team was trained on the MAM functionalities of the MC|UX. Since the application itself is the same, the training was merely to familiarise the team on the extended MAM Restore workflow and its elaborate Search functionalities. The library team thoroughly tested the bi-directional Archival/Restore workflow on MAM and subsequently the newsroom team was trained on the same. Avid’s Asset Management tool is very straightforward and user friendly, ensuring that each user batch was trained for not more than 3 hours to master the production and archival workflow in Media Central|UX. India TV users have shown a great flair for learning new tools and applications and making the best use of the same over the years.
More than 120 users from newsroom and archival teams have been trained on the Archival/Restore workflow and have been successfully using the MC|UX for the past 2 months now. The IT team from the channel participated across all the training sessions to ensure a total familiarity and comfort with the product and workflow.
Interplay MAM allows library users to add rich metadata to the archived content, in addition to system added metadata. India TV has a customised set of pre-defined keywords, as well as option to create strata metadata (timecode-based) under various categories.
The newsroom users can search for archived content using this rich metadata. This includes iNews scripts too, if the archival was initiated from a rundown in which case along with the video the script is also archived as additional metadata. Users can type Hindi keywords from their scripts while searching for content.
Restoration to production is again through a simple contextual menu option and there is a choice to restore as sequence or to restore as a stitched single master clip.
India TV’s Interplay MAM setup includes technology from Avid, Oracle Diva (HSM), Vantage (Transcoder), Dell (Servers, NAS and Switch), and SpectraLogic (Tape Library).
Elaborating on the relationship with Real Image, Ritu Dhawan said “In broadcast media industry, deploying any solution that integrates the entire newsroom production, is considered on a long-term perspective. We hope to continue this relationship with Real Image & Avid as long as the same confirms to the basic tenet of business that it is mutually beneficial to both.”
“A journey that began in 2004, India TV is Avid’s first end-to- end newsroom setup in the country. This association has only grown stronger over the years thanks to India TV’s confidence in Avid and the technology upgrades from Avid that continue to keep India TV on par with international newsrooms. Avid thanks India TV and is proud to be part of their incredible journey,” said Sathish Kumar P, Senior Territory Account Manager, South Asia at Avid.
“Real Image and India TV cherish a bond built over years of conviction and trust. Dedication from the news team and their determination to embrace newer technology has enabled India TV to stay up-to-date with the latest advancement in newsroom offering,” informed Shankar Bhat, Head of Broadcast & Pro-video Domain, Real Image.-BCS Bureau