Don Rodd, Senior Vice President of Network Architecture, Encompass Digital Media /
Masstech Preserves, Moves Encompass Content
The Masstech Topaz installation
ATLANTA—Encompass Digital Media
provides mission-critical outsourced
services to more than 500
cable channels and television stations
globally. The company originates
and delivers content to satellite
and cable operators worldwide
via satellite, fiber and IP.
One of the key challenges I face
as head of network architecture is
designing and implementing systems
that are technically sound, highly
automated and intuitive for our personnel
to operate and maintain. We
looked for a system that was cost effective
and had sufficient throughput
to ensure that content is delivered to
air servers well before scheduled playout.
It also had to be reliable with the
appropriate level of redundancy and
easily upgradable as on-air technology continues
to evolve. Separate from these technical
requirements, the system needed to be
supplied by a stable and innovative company
that had unmatched technical support.
Finding a solution that met all our stringent
requirements was no easy feat.
We decided on Masstech and we installed
its Topaz streamlined media asset management
solution in our Atlanta facility in early
2004. Since activation, this system has been
moving files 24/7/365 for one of our largest
automation platforms ever since.
We use Topaz as a deep archive and file
movement mechanism for a large multichannel
automation system, originating
more than 40 networks with a mix of HD
and SD files.
For the past eight years, we have come
to rely on Topaz as it offers the scalability
and flexibility to accommodate our digital
archiving and MAM requirements. It delivers
the power essential for a large, state-ofthe-
art facility such as ours. It has enhanced
our productivity by creating automated
processes to manage content—from ingest
to QC, and playout to archival storage. In
addition it’s allowed us to bridge nonlinear
editing and storage systems. Topaz provides
the end-to-end nearline, archiving and asset
management capabilities for our media
content and its associated metadata.
The system interfaces with the nearline
cache, video servers and digital tape storage
libraries, transcoding content to the
required formats and providing the asset
management database core.
Content is now digitally preserved and
can be rapidly located and retrieved for
distribution and playout, and our staff can
search and locate archived content using
key metadata from their desktops.
SYSTEM MAKES LIFE EASIER
Topaz has had a tremendous impact on
our day-to-day operations, allowing our staff
to dedicate their attention to our clients’
on-air content. Not having to worry about
where files are, or whether files are moving
or not, is a huge advantage in a multichannel
environment. Any abnormal issues with
the archive system are quickly identified and
remedied via monitors in our master control
operation. And aside from preventive maintenance
on the servers and LTO tape robot,
very little effort is needed to keep it running
at top efficiency.
With each upgrade to our infrastructure,
Topaz has seamlessly integrated into
our broadcast system without requiring
third-party plug-ins, and has enabled our
vendors to work in a collaborative environment
that’s instrumental in meeting
Don Rodd is senior vice president of
network architecture for all of Encompass’
U.S.-based playout facilities and may be
contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For additional information, contact the
Masstech Group at 905-946-5700 or visit