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Automating Media and Content Workflows at M6

Alexis Bureau
Alexis Bureau at Groupe M6 (Image credit: Alexis Bureau)

Being responsible for the broadcast media flows that support every aspect of content production, editing and broadcast at France’s M6 television group, I am always balancing the need for workflow automation, speed, efficiency, cost control and data security, while making it easy for creative staff to use the technology solutions that we implement for our users.

Underpinning our customized production management system are two solutions that are both part of the Telestream portfolio: DIVA and Vantage.

OPTIMIZED STORAGE LAYERS

We have used the DIVA content management system for more than a decade and would struggle to imagine life without this system now. DIVA manages our content storage, which includes Isilon online storage systems plus offline LTO tape storage. Critically, DIVA optimizes our use of these different storage layers so that our production teams do not have to think about where to store content, but they can always retrieve the content they need, when they need it. 

Doing this work without DIVA would mean we’d have to spend a lot more money on expensive online storage which might still not be able to keep up with demand. Equally important, we can store, retrieve, and manage content through DIVA from any of our production and workflow orchestration systems, such as Avid Interplay MAM, MBT Sphere, and of course Telestream Vantage.

In many of our workflows we may need to use only a small section of a large file, for example, a short interview segment within a much larger recording. With DIVA we can save time and storage costs by using the “partial restore” method to retrieve a short frame-accurate clip that drops right into our edit systems.

Apart from the cost control and workflow automation benefits of DIVA, another massive benefit comes from the level of data security that it provides. In October 2019, we were subjected to a ransomware attack but managed to keep all of our TV and radio channels on air, partly due to the isolation of data that is managed by the DIVA system. DIVA allowed us to continue operations without disruption which was invaluable. 

When the DIVA product line was acquired by Telestream, we were very happy to see that this critical business solution was in safe hands. We have been using Telestream Vantage to manage our media transcoding and workflow automation, also for over 10 years, so we have enormous trust and confidence in Telestream as a key technology partner to M6.

We use Vantage to automate every stage of our media workflows, from content ingest, delivery to edits, encoding for playout, and VOD. Vantage is integral to our systems at every stage—so much that we now have two separate Vantage domains (one for post-production and one for broadcast) with over 120 different media workflows that they manage.

ONE SIMPLE WORKFLOW

The power of Vantage working with DIVA is evident in one simple workflow—when a user decides that a piece of content is needed, our M6 production management system sends a request to Vantage, which then passes this request to DIVA. DIVA knows where the content is stored, retrieves it and returns the file to the correct Vantage workflow, which could trigger transcodes to broadcast or VOD formats, delivery to edit systems or many other processes. The key point is that the process is totally automated, reliable, and incredibly efficient.

Without these systems from Telestream, our operations at M6 would be much more labor-intensive, more costly, and less secure.

We look forward to seeing even more integration between Vantage, DIVA and the other products from Telestream, including the Lightspeed Live Capture system that we used to provide our Replay Services during the 2020 UEFA Championships. 

For more information visit www.telestream.net.

 

Alexis Bureau is “responsable mediaflows” at Groupe M6 and “chef de projet ingénierie - direction technique” at Métropole Télévision. He can be reached by at Alexis.Bureau@M6.Fr.