Ascent Media transforms European media center with Pharos

Ascent Media’s Stephen Street Media Center in central London has been completely transformed from a transmission center based on linear playout to one capable of realizing the fluid distribution needs of clients faced with multichannel playout and delivery to multiple new media platforms with media asset management and workflow at its core. The new technology enables Ascent Media to build revenue for its clients as they seek to scale operations nationally or internationally.

Ascent’s media center, part of its European transmission center, manages services for 18 channels for international broadcasters including Sony Pictures Television International, InfoTV and Disney, with another major broadcast customers on the verge of being added.

Using Pharos’ Mediator content management and workflow platform, the service provider now manages 300 hours of new content per week as a combination of electronic file delivery and tape-based ingest. Mediator provides a single point of reference for all the ingest workflow at the ETC, streamlining content encoding into MPEG-file formats ranging from low-res proxies at MPEG-4, SD typically at MPEG-2 15Mb/s or IMX50, and HD across the board as XDCAM HD 50Mb/s. Following ingest, every short- or long-form item is subject to rigorous QC to ensure integrity and that the right material can pass further into the workflow.

SPTI teams in Soho or at Sony’s European headquarters in Budapest, Hungary, have remote visibility of their material in Mediator. Promotions teams can browse low-res material and send a shot list to Mediator, which automatically performs a high-res restore of those shots and sends them to the relevant Sony office for editing on Final Cut Pro. The finished promo is output as a file and returned securely to Mediator ready for approval and playout.

The ETC also integrates with Ascent Media’s global networks that deliver more than 35,000 hours of media content each week and play out more than 100,000 clock-accurate elements daily across more than 300 linear channels.