In Broadcast - January 2013 - 30


I N T E R N A T I O N A L

N E W S

WWW.INBROADCAST.COM | ISSUE 15 - JANUARY 2013

InVIEW

SOA Expands The Possibilities For Content Production And Distribution
Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) offers a means to offer radically enhanced adaptive workflows and hedge against future developments… By Michael Grotticelli US Correspondent

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fter years of struggling with m a ke s h i f t m e d i a a s s e t management systems deployed as a way to repurpose content and make the best collaborative use of available bandwidth, broadcasters are taking a cue from the banking industry and leveraging IT-centric SOAs to deliver an ever-increasing volume of multi-platform content in an organised, efficient and secure manner. It all sounds easy – a number of software seat licenses and a networked infrastructure that fosters collaboration – but it is not. Yet, several major US broadcasters, such as AMC Networks, Turner Broadcasting and PBS member stations, are taking the plunge and reaping the rewards. Banks use such an electronic file system to allow its customers to access their accounts exclusively (and highly securely), without giving access to anyone else the account holder does not want to. An SOA for media production and distribution works in much the same way; providing only the tools needed for a particular task to a specific (pre-authorised) person assigned to that task, while denying them access to any other part of a production workflow. A properly deployed SOA functions as a tightly integrated modular software platform that supports every part of the content creation and distribution life cycle through a common user interface. It allows producers and managers to get the maximum productivity out of their staff and equipment on hand. Basically, with an SOA the job defines the tools used, not the other way around. So, for example, a media logger would not have

A

editing tools at their desk while an editor takes that ingested media without having to worry about file encoding. Unlike a typical collaborative workflow solution, the SOA architecture provides individual tools to perform various job-specific tasks while at the same time helps management to better organise staff by providing secure access to content in a variety of IT-centric ways. Such an overarching platform can also make use of cloud-based services to expand the network’s capabilities without having to throw large sums of money at the problem when a broadcaster needs to expand or launch new services. “[SOAs] are useful when implemented correctly,” said Ian Fletcher, CTO of Workflow and Playout at Miranda Technologies. Fletcher was one of the chief architects of Miranda Technologies’ iTX Enterprise Suite of software tools that manage the entire content lifecycle for news and studio production. He also helped develop the G3 series of file-based products, one of the first implementations of an SOA in the broadcast space and the predecessor to iTX, while part of automation vendor Omnibus Systems, about ten years ago. “It’s certainly not a new idea, but it’s a new buzz term that our industry has adopted,” Fletcher said. “I would say we’ve had a lot of interest from customers that want to pursue this model. It’s clearly the future, in one form or another.”

Diagram 1: SOA establishes a structured hierarchical workflow

New Flexibility
Early file -based work flows were generally based on highly customised, tightly coupled software architectures that were difficult and expensive to adapt and maintain. With the advent and maturation of SOA technologies, broadcasters are finding new flexibility along with the ability to quickly adapt and commoditize elements of their media workflows. However there is still much work to be done and the industry needs more experience in how to do

SOA enables smarter working

it effectively. “I think a lot of people don’t realize that deploying a SOA takes careful planning and a lot of customisation work,” said Jimm Popowytsch, Vice President of Engineering and IT, AMC Networks. “Everybody’s view of what an SOA should look like is going to be different, and that includes the manufacturers of this technology. There’s so many little implementation things that you have to deal with in order to make it all work.” AMC Networks Broadcasting & Technology is located in Bethpage, New York. From a state-of-the-art technical facility the company has consolidated all of its origination and satellite communications functions under one 62,000 square foot facility that keeps AMC Networks at the forefront of technology, providing both standard definition and high definition digital pathways. “We deployed a number of filebased silos very early on in our digital conversion that are very customised and were labourintensive to establish,” said John McCoskey, Chief Technology Officer, PBS. He oversees operations at the Public Broadcast Service’s Arlington, Va. HD-SDI facility. “Going forward, our goal is to become a lot commoditized and a lot more standards based. We think customisation can be a bad thing.” The Advanced Media Workflow Association (AMWA) is the organisation tasked with developing standards for how to move and

manage content. Brad Gilmer, Executive Director of AMWA, is leading the move – along with his colleagues at the European Broadcasting Union – to create a standard way for broadcasters to process and move content while reducing manpower and CapEx resources. The goal of the standards work, including the on-going (and slowly evolving) Framework for Interoperability Media Services (FIMS) project, is to ensure successful SOA deployments. Basically, the FIMS group, made up of representatives from virtually all of the technology vendors serving the broadcast industry, wants thirdparty technology to work together for the good of the customer. With such a compatible system, broadcasters will be able to manage multiple versions of content and distribute them efficiently to the right outlet. “There are very few manufacturers anymore that can just say ‘users don’t have any choice, they have to buy everything from us,” Gilmer said. “If that’s the case, and by and large it is not, then those manufacturers are stuck with the same sort of integration problems that their users are facing. They have to continually and repeatedly do point-to-point integration and custom work rather than moving to a single architecture that can accommodate a variety of users requirements. The SOA model is really cost-effective for everyone involved.”
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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of In Broadcast - January 2013

In Broadcast - January 2013
Contents
InNews: Harris Corporation Agree Sale of Broadcast Communications
InNews: Grass Valley Opens Solutions Center in Boulogne Office
InSound
InFocus
InStudio
InPlay
InFile
InTest
InMedia: Evolution of the Broadcast Systems Integrator
InMedia: Swedish Film Institute Chooses Divarchive 7.0
In Broadcast - January 2013 - Intro
In Broadcast - January 2013 - In Broadcast - January 2013
In Broadcast - January 2013 - Cover2
In Broadcast - January 2013 - Contents
In Broadcast - January 2013 - InNews: Harris Corporation Agree Sale of Broadcast Communications
In Broadcast - January 2013 - 5
In Broadcast - January 2013 - InNews: Grass Valley Opens Solutions Center in Boulogne Office
In Broadcast - January 2013 - 7
In Broadcast - January 2013 - 8
In Broadcast - January 2013 - 9
In Broadcast - January 2013 - 10
In Broadcast - January 2013 - 11
In Broadcast - January 2013 - 12
In Broadcast - January 2013 - 13
In Broadcast - January 2013 - 14
In Broadcast - January 2013 - 15
In Broadcast - January 2013 - 16
In Broadcast - January 2013 - 17
In Broadcast - January 2013 - 18
In Broadcast - January 2013 - 19
In Broadcast - January 2013 - 20
In Broadcast - January 2013 - 21
In Broadcast - January 2013 - 22
In Broadcast - January 2013 - 23
In Broadcast - January 2013 - 24
In Broadcast - January 2013 - 25
In Broadcast - January 2013 - 26
In Broadcast - January 2013 - 27
In Broadcast - January 2013 - InSound
In Broadcast - January 2013 - 29
In Broadcast - January 2013 - 30
In Broadcast - January 2013 - 31
In Broadcast - January 2013 - 32
In Broadcast - January 2013 - 33
In Broadcast - January 2013 - InFocus
In Broadcast - January 2013 - 35
In Broadcast - January 2013 - 36
In Broadcast - January 2013 - 37
In Broadcast - January 2013 - 38
In Broadcast - January 2013 - 39
In Broadcast - January 2013 - 40
In Broadcast - January 2013 - 41
In Broadcast - January 2013 - 42
In Broadcast - January 2013 - 43
In Broadcast - January 2013 - InStudio
In Broadcast - January 2013 - 45
In Broadcast - January 2013 - 46
In Broadcast - January 2013 - 47
In Broadcast - January 2013 - 48
In Broadcast - January 2013 - 49
In Broadcast - January 2013 - 50
In Broadcast - January 2013 - 51
In Broadcast - January 2013 - 52
In Broadcast - January 2013 - 53
In Broadcast - January 2013 - InPlay
In Broadcast - January 2013 - 55
In Broadcast - January 2013 - 56
In Broadcast - January 2013 - 57
In Broadcast - January 2013 - 58
In Broadcast - January 2013 - 59
In Broadcast - January 2013 - InFile
In Broadcast - January 2013 - 61
In Broadcast - January 2013 - 62
In Broadcast - January 2013 - 63
In Broadcast - January 2013 - 64
In Broadcast - January 2013 - 65
In Broadcast - January 2013 - 66
In Broadcast - January 2013 - 67
In Broadcast - January 2013 - 68
In Broadcast - January 2013 - 69
In Broadcast - January 2013 - InTest
In Broadcast - January 2013 - 71
In Broadcast - January 2013 - InMedia: Evolution of the Broadcast Systems Integrator
In Broadcast - January 2013 - 73
In Broadcast - January 2013 - 74
In Broadcast - January 2013 - 75
In Broadcast - January 2013 - 76
In Broadcast - January 2013 - 77
In Broadcast - January 2013 - 78
In Broadcast - January 2013 - 79
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In Broadcast - January 2013 - 81
In Broadcast - January 2013 - InMedia: Swedish Film Institute Chooses Divarchive 7.0
In Broadcast - January 2013 - 83
In Broadcast - January 2013 - 84
In Broadcast - January 2013 - S1
In Broadcast - January 2013 - S2
In Broadcast - January 2013 - S3
In Broadcast - January 2013 - S4
In Broadcast - January 2013 - S5
In Broadcast - January 2013 - S6
In Broadcast - January 2013 - S7
In Broadcast - January 2013 - S8
In Broadcast - January 2013 - S9
In Broadcast - January 2013 - S10
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http://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_INREVIEW2016
http://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_201612
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_201611
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_NABSHOWNYexpo
http://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_20110708_DEMO
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_201610
http://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_inshowguide2016
http://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_201609
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http://europe.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/lesommet/inbroadcast_APAC03
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http://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_NABSHOW2016
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http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/lesommet/inbroadcast_APAC02
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_201512
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http://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_BROADCASTASIA2015
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