Excellence Awards Front Porch Chum

Category Station automation Submitted by Front Porch Digital Design teamCHUM: Bruce Cowan, dir.broadcast technology;
Lane Steinhauer, mgr.
broadcast eng.; Brad
Schroeder, sr. broadcast sys. eng.; Richard Powrie, sr. broadcast sys.eng.
MuchMusic: Neil Staite, dir. of operations Technology at work Asaca AM-1450 library
with DVD-RAM optical
Brocade SilkWorm 3800
and 3250 fi ber channel
Cisco 3750 Ethernet
Front Porch Digital
BitScream transcoders
DIVArchive archiving
Grass Valley Profi le SD
and HD servers
Harris Invenio DAM
browse clients
Harris/Leitch VR-400
IBM e-series x346
servers, actors and
Nexsan ATAboy
Pinnacle MediaStream
Sony SAIT PetaSite

CHUM broadcast center in Toronto automates its music video storage

The CHUM broadcast center in Toronto operates 24 TV channels and produces a large portion of its own content. As the broadcaster moved toward facility-wide use of fi le-based platforms, the tens of thousands of hours of content requiring storage made asset management and archiving a significant element of the network’s upgraded operations.

CHUM operates six music video services, and the assets for those channels alone comprise 45,000 music videos.

Prior to deploying a Front Porch Digital DIVArchive system along with a Harris DAM system, the network’s on-air personnel and producers had to sign out all the tapes they needed, take them back up to a viewing bay equipped with a VTR, find the part of each tape they needed, dub those segments off the tape and return the tapes to the library.

This process was time- and labor-intensive. The solution was to dub tapes that needed to be reviewed, evaluated or copied in part, but with thousands of dubs being made each year, the cost of supplying and working with tapes added up.

As the network grew, engineers installed more server-based systems, which moved the company toward file-based operations. Now, with an archive system in place, each of these transfers represents an opportunity to capture and store media for future use. All media assets are ingested through a combination of Pinnacle, Leitch and Grass Valley broadcast servers, and are available on users’ desktops throughout the facility.

Front Porch Digital’s integrated BitScream transcoder enables in-path transcoding of high-res files off the servers to create Windows Media 9 low-res proxy files, which are made available at the desktop by the storage and management systems. Closed-caption information extracted from transcoded video is searchable as well.

The partial-restore functionality of the archive allows users to lift short segments out of longer pieces using time code data. These tools have eased the process of locating and accessing content. Desktop browse, search and transfer capabilities allow the network to maximize the creative resources within its 42 edit suites by reducing ingest time.

Digitized content is stored on two robotic tape systems. The network’s music video library is stored on an Asaca 1450 system with 1450 DVD optical RAM disks providing 14TB of storage. A Sony PetaSite is dedicated to long-form storage, and has six SAIT drives to provide 6000TB of storage.

The archive has been online for two years, and the network has already expanded the capacity capabilities of the system, and soon plans to capture raw footage from its electronic field production units into the archives.