12.09.2008 03:50 PM
MassStore Proves Big Winner at GSN
by Ryan Tredinnick
Vice President of Operations
GSN - The Network for Games


SANTA MONICA, CALIF. GSN is a game content provider that distributes competition programming to 66 million subscribers through its cable and satellite TV network.

We purchased the MassStore workflow-based asset management system from Masstech Group to provide a cost-effective archive system that addressed our network origination needs and also provide a level of asset management that didn't us to make wholesale changes to our operation. In other words, MassStore was simple to implement and navigate, and did not require a huge investment in hardware or need a dedicated brain trust to maintain the system.

The system works in tandem with Harris automation. Once we ingest content, we're assured that the asset moves to the proper destination with little human intervention. Our archive preference is hard media and we use Spectra Logic, storing our assets on SAIT data tape.

Screenshot of Masstech's MassStore asset management system.
Asset metadata, beyond data captured at ingest, is primarily derived from our own in-house database. A simple interface between our database and the MassStore system allows the data to populate fields within MassStore.

SAVES LABOR AND TAPE MOVEMENT

MassStore also pulls content from sources outside of the network origination loop, which is a huge benefit for us in saving time, costs, tape, and it offers a much better file-based workflow. As our promos are created on Final Cut Pro in a geographically separate location, we transport program clones and finished promos between the locations. The cost in labor and tape for this effort was out of proportion and the people at Masstech provided us with a great solution. We created folders within the XSAN that allow the promo pre-editors to pull in full program episodes and send the finished promo directly to the Mass-Store cache.

Masstech's MassBrowse product is then used to review proxies of the material first, create an EDL, and since we currently ingest programs as multifile/multisegment, they can request only the segments they need for editing. The impact on re-ducing labor and tape costs has been significant and enables a greatly improved workflow within Final Cut Pro.

On the corporate side, executives can view any proxy directly on their desktop, from anywhere with an Internet or LAN connection, which makes it as simple as "click and launch."

SYSTEM PROVIDES UNEXPECTED BENEFITS

The most surprising and unexpected use of MassStore workflow that emerged is in program production. Producers of our live interstitial block of programming, "GSN Live," needed access to every episode within the six-hour block of programming. They needed to review the content and create notes for talent; pull clips for special moments; and preview upcoming episodes for themes.

Rather than provide the producers with tape machines and create multitudes of dubs, we simply gave them access to the proxy server (proxy creation made by MassTransIt) via their desktop computer. In some cases, we gave them MassBrowse for more sophisticated EDL creation. Shortly afterwards, we were receiving requests to ingest other materials they could browse. "GSN Live" now relies on MassStore as an integrated part of everyday production.

Additionally, training users was very simple, as in most cases it only required just a few minutes for them to grasp the essentials and then they were up and running.

Masstech's Masstore system has made life easier for just about everyone here.

Ryan Tredinnick, has worked in the broadcast and cable industry for more than 30 years and has been with GSN for 13 years in various capacities including production, programming and operations. He has been honored with several awards, including four Regional Emmy Awards, the NATPE Iris Award and two Gold Telly Awards. He may be contacted at rtredinnick@GSN.com.

For additional information, contact Masstech at 888-827-3139 or visit www.masstech.com.



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