beIN SPORT’s new French presence relies on EVS

Owned and operated by Al Jazeera, the beIN SPORT 1, beIN SPORT 2 and beIN SPORT MAX HD channels launched in France during summer 2012 and broadcast live sports coverage as well as magazine-style shows and in-depth sports news programming. Underpinning these channels’ rapid growth is an end-to-end digital workflow enabled by EVS servers and logging solutions, and integrated by broadcast engineering specialist Unitecnic within a demanding 90-day timeframe.

Devised with a focus on speed, quality and reliability, beIN SPORT’s sophisticated worfklow sees content being recorded natively in AVC-Intra 100 on five EVS XS servers and three XT3 servers, with the servers configured to record up to 32 feeds simultaneously. Four IPDirector workstations for content and production management are each equipped with the Ingest Scheduler application for controlling the recording process. WHAT’S On, the traffic system from MediaGeniX, assigns a unique ID to all ingested media that is used throughout the entire production workflow, from EVS’ Ingest Scheduler to the Marina automation system.

The feeds are streamed to a 220 TB XStoreSAN, which is used as a central storage platform. As a result, all files are immediately available in high and low resolution, allowing all users to access media on the central storage for editing and playout. Content stored in the XStoreSAN can be browsed with the IPDirector and pushed to post-production or the XS servers for playout with a simple drag and drop.

During live productions the eight-channel XT3 servers record up to 12 live clean feeds and are controlled by LSM remote control panels, which are used for clipping and highlights creation as well as delays. Concurrently, eight IPDirector workstations are dedicated to logging live action. The stations are also used to swiftly browse all of the incoming material.

Loggers use IPDirector to assign descriptive metadata to all significant events and actions. Using a predefined keyword grid or dictionary, loggers are able to assign the right keywords to incoming feeds for a very simple and intuitive way to ensure easy identification. Metadata is stored in a central database system where operators, editors or journalists looking to create highlight packages at a later stage can search for them to retrieve files quickly and easily.

All file-based content is instantly available for editing. Journalists in the newsroom use Xedio CleanEdit to prepare highlight packages, news reports, and add voice-over recordings. EVS’ non-linear editing tool supports multiple formats and resolutions on the same timeline, allowing users to make rough-cut edits in low resolution directly on the XStoreSAN. A Vizrt plug-in helps journalists to shape content quickly by adding graphics, while final edits (EDL) are easily pushed to post-production for advanced editing or to the galleries for playout.

Craft editors working on promotional campaigns with Apple Final Cut Pro use EVS’ IPLink to search for content stored on the XStoreSAN and edit the content directly from the central storage. The edit suites are also equipped with an EVS export plug-in, allowing the editors to export completed packages to the central storage.

Transmission of beIN SPORT 1 and beIN SPORT 2 is carried out with two redundant XS servers controlled by a Marina automation system from Pebble Beach Systems. Two additional XS servers are used for the transmission of beIN SPORT MAX. All XS servers are connected to EVS’ high-speed network, XNet2, and can be controlled by IPDirector. Consequently, operators can control and synchronise all playout channels from a single interface.

Two studio galleries are used for the magazine shows and sports news programming. Each studio is equipped with two XT3 servers and IPDirector software. Through MOS protocol support and an Active X plug-in, the IPDirector suite integrates seamlessly with Avid’s iNews Newsroom Computer System (NRCS). As a result, content and associated metadata stored on the XStoreSAN can be accessed and added to the rundown list. In addition, any running order managed from the iNews client interface is automatically kept up to date on the IPDirector.

For deep archive, operators store media files on LTO tapes and subsequently restore the files when they are needed on the central storage using IP2Archive. The new EVS digital archive management solution integrates with DIVArchive, the hierarchical storage management (HSM) system from Front Porch Digital, and an IBM TS3500 automated tape library. In total, beIN SPORT has the capacity to archive 20,000 hours of content in hi-res; more than 900TB of material.

Reflecting on the completed installation, Israel Esteban, CTO at beIN SPORT, comments: “We’re providing the premier sports channels in France and needed an extremely high-quality file-based workflow solution. With EVS, we got just that: a fully integrated workflow with robust, intuitive and sophisticated tools, as well as a high degree of integration with third-party systems. In short, critical capabilities to meet our exacting goals.”

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