Dalet efficiencies improve operations

Dalet MAM, video production and playout tools manage end-to-end, live broadcasts and multiplatform services at The Weather Channel.
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The Weather Channel has deployed Dalet News Suite as the media asset manager (MAM), video news production and broadcast platform for its live broadcasts. The Atlanta-based network provides live and long-form programming that features news and information about weather-related events. In weather emergencies, the live schedule is frequently extended to around-the-clock. With video provided by affiliates and partners from around the country, the channel receives a flood of content that is quickly integrated into its broadcasts every day.

The Dalet MAM platform with its integrated toolsets forms the core of The Weather Channel’s operations as it manages media, metadata and workflows — from ingest through production and playout and multiplatform distribution — in a very fast-paced environment where information is perishable and always changing.

Media asset management and metadata is fundamental to everything The Weather Channel does. It is always dealing with so many different elements in terms of people, places, weather events and dates, and there’s always the need for immediacy on all its different platforms. The Weather Channel switched to Dalet News Suite system because the MAM is incredibly robust and flexible in terms of configuring the metadata forms, export-import rules, distribution and so on. Dalet makes it very easy for users to customize the MAM to match workflow and add new elements or services with its administration and configuration tools. This eliminates going back to a development team for every tweak. The integrated news production tools fit very well into The Weather Channel’s workflow.

The Weather Channel is leveraging the many capabilities of its integrated system to improve productivity. For instance, users are now prepping video packages that used to be done exclusively with Final Cut Pro with the Dalet Media Cutter timeline editor, which saves valuable production time. When more sophisticated editing is needed, the Dalet Xtend module provides a seamless flow of content and metadata, including locators, between Dalet and Final Cut Pro for even greater efficiency. Dalet also integrates with The Weather Channel’s other systems so they can optimize existing resources.

Dalet manages many systems and functions in The Weather Channel facility, including 24 ports of centralized ingest on Harmonic Spectrum and MediaDeck servers as well as file-based contributions. As feeds are ingested, they are immediately available to the full production team for live use, editing or package creation. With its large and diverse pool of contributions, a dedicated metadata team processes contributed materials to ensure that the content is properly logged with basic information along with provisions for payment and usage restrictions, particularly important for multiplatform distribution.

Glossaries are used regularly as producers search and browse the Dalet content catalogue from any of the 60 Dalet client desktops or 10 Dalet WebSpace interfaces, which enable Internet access. With the Dalet Media Cutter timeline, editor users can make fast cuts and prepare video packages. The Dalet Xtend module provides for easy exchanges of clips and metadata between Dalet and Final Cut Pro editors used for craft editing.

Dalet integrates with the existing NRCS iNews system used to create show rundowns, and Dalet OnAir manages live show playout from two production control rooms via the Harmonic servers. Dalet API integration with Sony Media Backbone facilitates multiplatform distribution. The MAM also integrates with the existing HSM archive system, which, with its well-catalogued metadata, makes The Weather Channel’s archived and historical content more accessible and a valuable, active part of the ongoing production workflow. Operating across all these diverse systems, the Dalet MAM unifies the end-to-end production and distribution workflow at The Weather Channel.