08.22.2011 10:50 AM
Comcast SportsNet New England Deploys Volicon Observer Enterprise
BURLINGTON, MASS.—Comcast SportsNet New England (CSNNE) is using a Volicon Observer Enterprise digital video monitoring and logging system for continuous off-air recording of its HD and SD channels, which are dedicated to local coverage of the Boston Celtics, Boston Bruins, Boston Red Sox, and New England Patriots successful sports franchises. Installed at CSNNE's facilities in Burlington, Mass., the Volicon system is configured for 45 days of off-air recording and supports compliance and quality management tasks across the organization.

"Historically, we've had a number of disparate mechanisms in place for recording our off-air signal for content and sales validation purposes. It had become tedious and time consuming to locate the right content from the right day in order to confirm that we ran the right spot or included the right promo in a show," said Sean McGuire, director of engineering at CSNNE. "We needed a much more efficient solution that would significantly increase the accessibility of recorded content. The Volicon Observer offered a reliable platform that met those requirements while also providing the monitoring functionality and usability we needed. Virtually every department here uses the Observer platform on a daily basis."

Sales, traffic, programming, production, and engineering at CSNNE all rely on the Observer platform to resolve any quality and content issues such as discrepancies with airing of commercials or other promos. Users at their desktops simply log on via a Web browser interface, find and validate the appropriate content, and create and send clips to other internal users or customers as proof of delivery.

Because the Observer system supports text-based Boolean search queries through recorded closed captions, and CSNNE captions all of the programming it produces, staff can quickly locate even promo items that are simple reads, such as the name of a person or brand spoken during a broadcast. After a Boston Celtics game, for example, the sales department can perform a simple keyword search using the customer name. The Observer system immediately produces related clips from the broadcast. Fast delivery of these clips via email makes resolution of any queries simple.

"We have implemented many new technologies in recent years. Our investment in the Volicon Observer system is some of the best money we've spent," added McGuire. "Every once in a while we come across a technology that fundamentally changes the way we work, and the Volicon Observer platform is one of those technologies."

"The CSNNE is a perfect example of the value the Volicon Observer brings to large and complex sports video operations in the form of reduced costs, enhanced quality of service, and full compliance with broadcasting regulations," said Mike Asebrook, senior director of product marketing. "As the CSNNE has shown, the Observer can bring improvements to many different facets of a sports media organization such as sales, traffic, production, and engineering."

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