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The Golf Channel

Broadcasting since 1996, The Golf Channel is the nonstop shop for golf on cable. Recently, it installed a fully-integrated, Avid Interplay-based workflow to provide virtually unlimited access to its media and move to an HD format. The new workflow allows contributors to go from ingest to editing, pass material to the audio suite for sweetening, and then pass it back again so that it can be mirrored together and sent for playout. It provides metadata management, making all the various pieces involved in the production chain visible. Editors and producers can now log directly into the system and see everything reflected across the various platforms.

Interplay is the cornerstone of the system, providing an unparalleled level of collaborative capability. Previously, the channel was using Media Manager. But the advent of Interplay enabled the channel to make its move to HD while enabling contributors to increase control over the way media was separated, narrow searches more adroitly and see everything that was on the system.

Other companies had elements of what Interplay offered, such as media management or ingest functions, but were not fully integrated into true end-to-end solutions. Today, Golf Channel uses an Avid iNEWS newsroom computer system to schedule and develop the show scripts and is even getting to the point of being able to use it for automation as well. Working in conjunction with Interplay Assist and Instinct, the workflow gives contributors the tools necessary to build what they want before even getting to edit.

Interplay also provides seamless integration with third-party technologies, including Analtech, Front Porch and EDS. Analtech handles XDCAM ingest functions, allowing the channel to take all the metadata currently on XDCAM disks and integrate that directly into the system.

The installation took place in three parts. First, storage was moved over to ISIS, then AirSpeed Multi Streams were introduced to handle HD playout, and finally, an Interplay system was brought in for testing on a single show. Gaining confidence in the efficacy of all these systems, the channel went on to integrate Assists, Instinct clients and everything else throughout the facility.

Having this level of workflow capability is essential to the channel’s growth and ability to maintain industry dominance. Since 99 percent of everything done in-house is with Avid, producers, editors and managers of various departments need direct visibility into the production process. Now, instead of seeing their work as a separate unit, each contributor has become more integral to the production process. It has empowered everyone to take a major step away from linear thinking, approach work in a nonlinear way and make the most of media by simply working better together.

Golf Channel currently broadcasts PGA Tournaments every Thursday and Friday that PGA plays and maintains coverage of the LPGA and the Champion’s Tour. As the channel expands its presence, footage coming in multiplies exponentially. Thus, it is the ability to turn that media into digital form, get it into the archive systems and make it easily accessible to everyone that is fast becoming the single most important element of the facility’s IT systems.

  • New studio technology – network
    Submitted by AvidDesign teamAvid: Jeff Miller, solutions architect; Owen Welch, sr. principal customer success; Jim Leys, dir. studios and cable networks; Michael Harris, cable networks account mgr.
    Golf Channel: Ken Botelho, sr. dir. of eng.; Roger Hastings, broadcast IT sys. eng. supervisor; Brian Gormley, broadcast IT sys. eng.Technology at workAvid: AirSpeed Multi Stream server, iNEWS newsroom computer system, iNEWS Instinct, Interplay Assist; Interplay Archive, Interplay production and asset management, ISIS 7000 storage, Media Composer editing
    Dixon: Logging and search solutions
    Front Porch Digital: DIVA Director, SAMMA Robot, SAMMA Solo
    Harris: Archive server system
    NLTEK: Interfaces
    Sony: Petasite, XDCAMHD

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