SDVI Rally Aids Discovery’s Cloud Delivery

Discovery Communications receives media assets from more than 600 production companies and distributors globally.
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SDVI’s Rally analyzes incoming files and checks them for compliance with Discovery’s delivery specifications. SILVER SPRING, MD.—Discovery Communications receives media assets from more than 600 production companies and distributors globally. Its new “On Ramp” project is designed to create a delivery platform for the company’s suppliers while simultaneously streamlining and unifying the processing of media assets within Discovery’s facilities around the world.

The system needed to carry robust metadata, provide automated file analysis and quality control, and transcode files for use in Discovery’s regional facilities while maintaining a single global standard for delivery. To do so, Discovery recently adopted an SDVI Rally media supply chain management system, running on the Amazon Web Services cloud.

OUT WITH THE OLD

Discovery’s previous content delivery chain relied on physical media. Suppliers shipped either LTO data cartridges or videotapes to Discovery’s regional facilities. The facilities analyzed the incoming deliveries, copying or capturing media and using different processes to evaluate the media before checking it into the local MAM.

The new process replaces physical media with file uploads and centralizes the analysis and communications processes in the supply chain. Producers and distributors can now log into the Discovery Producer’s Portal and initiate file upload of the final content, along with the metadata required.

Content is directly uploaded to AWS, where SDVI Rally begins automatically processing. Rally analyzes incoming files and checks them for compliance with Discovery’s delivery specifications. If files pass a basic analysis, then Rally uses a combination of file-based QC tools to further inspect them. Rally stores all of the analysis and QC results as part of each file’s metadata record, combining the information it learns from file analysis with metadata from Discovery’s business systems to determine the workflow for each file.

Workflows can involve any combination of proxy creation, rewrapping or transcode depending on the type of file and Discovery’s business requirements. SDVI Rally provisions third-party tools on-the-fly in the cloud to perform these operations. Rally can also trigger manual technical evaluation, alerting an operator that the content needs to be reviewed, using a high resolution proxy.

When content is finalized and approved, SDVI Rally publishes a message to notify the regional Discovery MAM systems that the content is ready. Each regional MAM can check-in all of the content and metadata created as part of the Rally cloud workflow into its local database.

FLEXIBILITY

SDVI Rally provided the flexible framework that Discovery needed to build their workflow. Rally’s ability to design workflow and deploy software in the cloud allowed Discovery to implement a system without the need for traditional on-premise hardware.

As a SaaS solution, SDVI Rally allowed Discovery to quickly establish core services and change workflow as the “On Ramp” design team refined the supply process. Rally also gave Discovery flexibility around the third-party tools used in each workflow, allowing the use of existing licensed products and augmenting permanent licenses with on-demand services to deal quickly with increasing demand on the supply chain.

Josh Derby has served as a technologist and operational manager at Discovery since 1999. He currently leads Discovery’s internal R&D team, Discovery Technology Development & Strategy. He can be contacted at josh_derby@discovery.com.

For more information, please visit www.sdvi.comor call 408-594-5184.