The EVS production server
NEW YORK––In television production, reliability is undoubtedly the most fundamental necessity and top priority. However, in today’s broadcasting environment, ultra-fast turnaround and agility run close behind. For our ABC cooking show, “The Chew,” we implemented a server-based recording and playback system from that helped us achieve all three priorities.
In producing “The Chew,” we opted for a tapeless recording operation with a file-based production workflow between post production and playout, as well as for delivery for distribution, as we knew that this would provide us with the integrated, seamless workflow that we needed. We also required high reliability and the flexibility needed in connection with the post-production tasks of a live show.
EVS NO STRANGER
In shopping for a system for this project, we became interested in EVS early on, as we had prior experience with their sports and mobile production installations. And we also had several EVS servers in use for clip playout and other simple functions, but we’d never taken advantage of the company’s more advanced digital media offerings.
When we consulted with EVS representatives, it was clear the company had the products and the know-how to meet our demands. They demonstrated key capabilities, and also anticipated our needs, designing a system for us that’s based on loopless server technology and provides integrated editing, management and control features through IPDirector and IPEdit software. And EVS’s reputation for reliability was also a big factor in our decision.
EVEN PROVIDES SLO-MO
Our system consists of two EVS XS chasses and one XT3 server, which provide a total of eight channels in and eight out. All recorded media is instantly available throughout the production network for simultaneous preview, rough editing, archiving, playback or post production. Playback channels are used for clips and in slow motion sequences to illustrate mouthwatering sauces bubbling and other kitchen highlights.
EVS’s IPDirector, with its integrated suite of production management capabilities, is at the heart of the system. As it’s fully integrated with all workflow functions, IPDirector enables easy ingest and streaming to nearline storage, logging, on-the-fly editing, and management—all from a single interface. Editors can also intuitively search and instantly share content, edits and metadata with Final Cut Pro and post-production users.
The show is pre-taped in the morning, and sometimes airs the same day. Editors are often pressed for time to edit segments and get the show into its finished state. The ability for editors to work in Final Cut while content is continuously being recorded is really a huge asset. Editors can make final fixes or changes to any portion of segments as recording continues simultaneously. The final assembled piece is transferred to a D5 tape and prepared for delivery to the network. Transcoding to the required format is also handled automatically by EVS. We plan to upgrade to a completely digital workflow soon, replacing the D5 tape delivery, which is the last vestige of the legacy process.
File-based workflows such as ours are very advantageous, providing fast, efficient and streamlined production. The tools are there; just make sure you partner with the right vendor.
Robin Thomas is group director of engineering at the ABC Television Network. He may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org. For additional information, contact EVS at 973-575-7811 or visitwww.evs.tv.