— TFO, the Toronto-based Canadian
public television network serving
the French-speaking community, offers entertainment,
children’s programming and
current affairs magazines. We also provide
educational material for Ontario province’s
professional teaching community.
When TFO became independent a few
years ago, we started with little more than
staff, some tapes and programming rights.
The prospect of constructing and equipping
a new facility was daunting, but the
more difficult challenge was how to reorganize
our operational infrastructure to support
our traditional business and new media
platforms without incurring huge costs.
Before issuing an RFP, we consulted stations
that had transitioned to file-based
operations and found that we would need
a unified workflow solution that would reduce
complexity and produce efficiencies.
We ultimately selected ProConsultant Informatique’s
Louise, an end-to-end workflow
and content and metadata management
system that’s designed for
I describe Louise as the “brain”
of our operation, as it possesses
knowledge about contracts, rights,
schedules, versioning, metadata
and other critical information.
Other systems amount to the
“arms and legs” in carrying out
different tasks such as play-out,
media movement, transcoding or
publishing. Louise provides a unified
management layer, integrating
with our other broadcast and
production subsystems, including
Apple Final Cut Pro, Apple Xserve,
Sun StorageTek, Front Porch Digital
DivArchive, Sienna Virtual VTR and more.
The Louise workflow engine improves
collaboration among the 125-person production
staff, with automated assignments,
notifications and background processes.
Our staff uses its task-specific interfaces and
built-in tools to speed their work. All content
goes through Louise before being placed in
the DivA repository, giving us tight controls
and an audit trail. When a producer wants
to publish an asset, Louise directs DivA media
movement, and will block publication,
unless the asset is “qualified” based on contract
rights and other requirements stored
as metadata. If authorization is granted, it directs
the release of content and the creation
of a proxy, and tracks the entire process.
TFO is a fluid organization, always expanding
programs and platforms, and Louise
has proven itself robust, flexible and
cost-effective in our environment. Its modular
design allows ProConsultant to quickly
add functionality as needed.We currently
support more than 80 Web sites, as well as
mobile services, in addition to our on-air
product, in-house production, educational
efforts and DVD production. Each platform
has unique requirements, and some clips
are packaged in 40 different formats. Louise
has given us a unified platform, ensuring delivery
of the right content, at the right time,
in the right format with the right metadata.
Eric Minoli is chief of information and
broadcast technologies at TFO. He may be
contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For additional information, contact
ProConsultant Informatique at 011-33-387-377-878 or visit proconsultant.net.