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Universal Sports Taps Media Distributors for Video Archives

Media Distributors, an independent distributor of professional recording media products to the production, broadcast, and entertainment industries, has delivered a new video content management system for Universal Sports, the 24-hour Olympic-related and lifestyle sports network owned jointly by NBC Sports and InterMedia Partners. The Constellation VCM provides Universal Sports with a flexible network-based system for archiving video assets.

Universal Sports currently uses the Constellation VCM system for deep archival storage of video assets, enabling the company to pull elements from edited or raw masters of its enormous daily flow of live sports event feeds, which are then edited and processed with voice-over and graphics overlays.

“Our primary goal with Constellation was to archive material so that we had more direct online control of our assets,” said Keith Manasco, vice president of operations for Universal Sports. “In the past, we created masters that were never backed up to tape. These files were stored on miscellaneous drives, and I wanted to institute an archive system that provided control of our own assets so that, should we ever sever from our system, we could have all of our video assets reside here, there and everywhere--on each facility’s separate system.”

Constellation VCM was designed as an integrated storage management and archive management software application to manage video data, and track and manage various metadata attributes within those files. The system recognizes and supports data from Apple Final Cut Pro and Avid, among others. Constellation VCM’s software also recognizes other standard video formats, such as mov, mpg, wma, and others. The system’s user interface provides full search, retrieve and manipulation of video and project files, without touching the original source content.

The software also recognizes other standard video formats, such as .mpg, .wma, .mov, and more. Once video file assets are ingested and cataloged within the Constellation Information Repository, user-configurable policies can then migrate and replicate the video assets to secondary, less expensive, storage, immediately generating a greater return on investment of storage resources.

“We have 22 channels that originate out of our Burbank facility, and a vast amount of our programming is created and edited in Apple Final Cut Pro. The Constellation system plays into our storage strategy, as edited masters are dropped in a drop folder and sent to a facilities system where the assets are then flipped and ingested into a server,” said Manasco. “We will gradually determine how to integrate this with our asset management workflow, including how to share, for example, assets between our archive with NBC Sports’ Olympic offices in Stamford, Connecticut.”