Miami HEAT Speeds Video Production Workflow With SGI InfiniteStorage Technology

To significantly improve pre- and post-production workflow and efficiencies for broadcast and media production efforts, the Miami HEAT basketball organization installed a scalable content management solution from SGI. The National Basketball Association (NBA) 2006 World Champion Miami HEAT awarded SGI the contract to u

To significantly improve pre- and post-production workflow and efficiencies for broadcast and media production efforts, the Miami HEAT basketball organization installed a scalable content management solution from SGI. The National Basketball Association (NBA) 2006 World Champion Miami HEAT awarded SGI the contract to upgrade its tape-based ingest environment in November of last year.

The HEAT asked SGI to design a small, bundled system that could fit in one rack and provide ingest, storage, editing, and archive of game footage. They purchased an 8TB SGI® InfiniteStorage array and an SGI Origin server to create a Network Attached Storage (NAS) environment for their five Avid Liquid editing stations. Working in an SGI shared storage environment, where content is digitized once and then immediately accessible as context-specific data to all, producers and editors are now able to put more time into the actual creation of a promo, graphic, program or marketing pieces.

“The SGI NAS eliminated the duplication of digitizing media, specifically the time that it took to copy media from nonlinear station to nonlinear station,” said Ed Filomia, Senior Director of Broadcast Services, Miami HEAT. “Creating a workflow where the media gets digitized to a central storage improved the workflow and the efficiency of our producer-editors. At this point the 8TB system basically just takes us through the season, but the great thing about the SGI NAS system is that it’s plug and play. If we want to upgrade, we can simply buy another chassis, populate the array and we’ve got additional storage. As the cost of the drives continues to drastically drop, it’s becoming more and more affordable to increase the storage.”

Housed atop the AmericanAirlines Arena in downtown Miami where all home games are played, the Media Production department functions as an in-house post-production studio for the HEAT’s marketing department. The rotating staff of 15 producer-editors uses the SGI NAS system to create content for HEATV, an in-arena network that broadcasts to 20,000 basketball fans each and every game night. HEATV won four Golden Matrix Awards at the 2006 IDEA Conference (an nternational association of electronic display system and scoreboard operators), including Best Overall Video Display for all sports. The Media Production Department also produces content for NBA TV, seen nationally, as well as Sun Sports, the exclusive regional TV partner of the Miami HEAT (available via cable and satellite in the South Florida market). That content is used in pre-game shows, half-time shows and within the on-air broadcast.

Seventy broadcasts are produced by the Miami HEAT on Sun Sports and, in addition, HEATV produces a half-hour “exposé” type program, Inside the HEAT. The 23-minute show features a combination of in-depth looks at players, tours the behind the scenes operations, game highlight presentations, and covers special features such as HEAT Dancer auditions. The Miami HEAT Media Production and Broadcast departments have received a number of Suncoast Regional Emmy Awards (Suncoast is a chapter of the National Association of Television Arts and Sciences) for Sports Broadcasting, Sports Features and Promotional Spot-Program. HEATV content is also streamed to All types of corporate and sales presentations for major sponsors are produced by the mini post house, in addition to advertising promotions to boost ticket sales for the numerous events that come to the AmericanAirlines Arena during NBA offseason, from Shakira to U2. In addition, the Media Production department also produces motivational videos for its legendary coach Pat Riley.

Last summer, the HEAT Media Production department needed to expand storage and expand their nonlinear workstations from three to five. At the same time, NBA Entertainment, which produces NBA TV, was implementing the No. 1 high-tech powerhouse in the world of sports content management: In its Secaucus, NJ headquarters, NBA Entertainment contracted with SGI Professional Services to help architect an SGI InfiniteStorage production and archive solution enabling NBA broadcast engineers to catalog and store all the action from every NBA game as it occurs. Filomia visited Secaucus, and saw an SGI system in place, providing the functionality that the HEAT required.

“Having a kind of ‘big brother’ in the NBA go through it first made the decision a lot easier,” said Filomia. “I needed the reassurance that the system would work and because we wanted a turnkey system for a networked storage solution, having SGI physically in the NBA, and working at the NBA, was significant enough for me to make the choice with SGI. What we wanted to do, the Miami HEAT and SGI, was to basically create a module for other teams in the NBA and other sports. The SGI system is providing us with the tools that we need to produce all the different presentations for all the different mediums. We have very high standards here in Miami. And, the expectation, after winning a World Championship, is huge: We’re the hottest ticket in America right now and we’re under a magnifying glass. The important thing is that we feel confident that SGI will be with us as the expectations continue to rise.”

“The World Champion Miami HEAT has tapped the world-renown expertise of SGI data migration-on-demand solutions relied upon by national and international broadcasters, scientific and government researchers, and enterprises needing immediate, contextspecific access to live streaming content for stadiums, on-air broadcast and mobile delivery, or seamless access to archives of historical content,” said Louise Ledeen, Media market segment manager, SGI. “The dramatic difference of SGI InfiniteStorage solutions is that they can scale from multiple terabytes to hundreds of terabytes and be easily grown from NAS to SAN solutions with no data conversion necessary.”

The Miami HEAT purchased an SGI InfiniteStorage NAS 2000 consisting of an SGI Origin 350 NAS Server and an SGI InfiniteStorage S330 storage array. SGI Professional Services integrated the encoders, asset management software, and Avid nonlinear editing workstations to create one centralized, shared environment.