Excellence Awards Edit Share ION

Category Post & network
production facilities Submitted by EditShare Design teamION Media Networks:
Robert Cummings, chief
eng.; Julio Bonet, chief
EditShare: Andy Liebman,
president Technology at work Apple
Final Cut Pro
Autodesk Maya
Avid Adrenaline
Omneon Spectrum video

ION’s creative services team experiences a more collaborative workflow

ION Media Networks, formerly Paxson Communications, is a network television broadcasting company. ION operates 60 broadcast television stations, including stations in all of the top 20 U.S. markets, reaching more than 92 million homes in the United States.

The station group centralizes its creative services operation at ION’s headquarters in West Palm Beach, FL. The creative services team of 17 supports all branding, on-air promotions and graphic design for the company. The staff uses three Apple Final Cut Pros, four Autodesk Maya stations, four Avid Adrenalines and three graphics/Web design stations to create broadcast promotions for delivery across the station group network.

While the existing content creation tools from Apple, Autodesk and Avid empower the team to deliver results, the workflow for centralizing graphics and packages for transmission was cumbersome and posed a detriment to the original high-quality output. Because none of the content creation systems seamlessly integrate with one other, the creative services team needed to put their promotions to tape, then ingest, transcode and deliver media files via Telestream downstream to an Omneon Spectrum video server located at ION’s Network Operations Center in Tampa, FL.

Finding a solution to simplify the downstream workflow, remove the need for tapes and optimize the signal quality was necessary.

The broadcaster chose EditShare technology to streamline the process. Deployed in August 2006, the system allows workstations to share a common pool of media files, removing the need for tapes and compression. Unlike typical SANs, this system supports file-level sharing. This allows multiple editors to write to the same volume simultaneously. The installation immediately elevated collaboration among the creative services team, simplified the workflow downstream and maintained the signal integrity of the final package.

The system allows the group’s editors, graphic artists and sound mixers to work collaboratively with a common, automatically protected pool of media files. The system’s project-sharing feature allows multiple Avid editors to open up and work from the same project simultaneously, gaining instant readonly access to bins and sequences.

The installation has resulted in enormous cost savings for the TV group. The facility no longer has a need for tapes, tape handling and storage. Engineers need only support one solution instead of several. And EditShare’s crossplatform media management capabilities negate the need for costly proprietary hardware to facilitate media sharing and delivery. The new system benefits ION’s facility by optimizing workflows, producing high-quality results and reducing costs.