In Broadcast - January 2013 - 72


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

N E W S

WWW.INBROADCAST.COM | ISSUE 15 - JANUARY 2013

InMEDIA

Adapting To The Evolutionary Challenges Facing A Broadcast Systems Integrator
The role of the Systems Integrator (SI) is constantly changing and now more rapidly than ever… By David Phillips Managing Director, TSL

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roadcast Systems Integrators (SI) started some 30 years ago or so to fill the resources gap that was beginning to appear with the growth of new channels as well as major technology advances. During the ensuing period until now, significant changes have occurred in the offerings available from SIs. This has been brought about by: • An ever faster change in technology; • A massive increase in the number of channels – together with the changing definition of what a broadcaster actually is; • Skill gaps appearing in the broadcasters; • The desire to outsource services; • The need for support of complex software-based systems after onair acceptance. We are observing broadcasters investing significant proportions of their budgets in the technology transition to file-based workflows which allows media to be sent to multiple platforms and provide general OTT (Over-The-Top) functionality. The urgent need to make this investment strongly reflects current consumer demand. However, care needs to be taken in how this investment is made when it comes to the actual project itself. A solution needs to be based on the client’s actual workflow and not on technical needs. In order to achieve this aim, it’s very important to invest more time in planning than was previously expected. A common error is not allocating enough time up front to accurately define requirements. It cannot be emphasised enough just how critical it is to get the initial specifications right. We recommend between six and 12 weeks for defining the detailed workflows and full operational requirements. From here, an appropriate system design can be designed, noting the balance between essential and “nice-tohave” functionality. All too often the operational team can demand every possible functionality that’s available on the market, without realising the true cost. This is where the SI can demonstrate significant added

value by constructively managing the customers’ expectations and the design process to ensure the system ends up meeting the requirements, as well as being within the client’s budget. A good and experienced SI, who undertakes several file-based projects every year, can offer intelligent and vital guidance on this detailed design – this should be the SIs real area of expertise. This resultant workflow design is then turned into a practical design that should be delivered with existing technology. Whilst every project like this will require an element of customisation, the SI can recommend appropriate technology and vendor selection to avoid excessive customisation taking place, with the inherent risks to the project timeline and potential overrun costs.

TSL’s prebuild facility in full swing

Attainable Targets
The desire to deliver the most advanced and innovative solutions must be tempered by the ultimate goal of delivering a project to a defined timeline and budget, so all targets set must be attainable. With independence from the SI, comes the ability to work with clients to develop bespoke solutions, often comprising of sub-systems from a selection of suppliers, to meet the project’s goals. An SI can use its commercial leverage to get a good deal should be able to set up a proof of concept system quickly to allow comparison between vendors and to get a feel for the systems under consideration. The requirements of established broadcasters can be very different compared to “start-up” operations that we’re frequently seeing. Existing broadcasters regularly need to upgrade facilities within their current buildings so the migration to the new systems must be carefully managed to ensure continuity of operations and particularly if transmission is involved. The latter is critical in the modern era, where high value sports and entertainment programmes attract large paying audiences and

advertisers. A good SI can use its experience to plan a controlled switchover that ensures continuity of output, as well as advising in respect of the people, side of operating the new technology, especially as broadcasters move from a tape to file based system and from SD to HD. It is important for broadcasters to manage this transition of operations, as techniques are fundamentally different. If this process is well managed, the broadcast operators will gain a wider scope for creativity and can significantly enhance job satisfaction.

Change Management
For both existing and new broadcasters, an SI can advise on the design such that it will allow future expansion and enhancements to happen with relative ease. TSL would say, with a fairly high level of certainty, that every system will be both subject to changes during the build itself and changes subsequent to onair acceptance. Thus, a carefully structured change management process is always needed, and a good SI can work to keep costs under control in this process. An often sought requirement is for the SI to manage risk reduction by taking Prime Contractor responsibility. Indeed, this may well be a preferred route for the SI itself, as it allows for good Project

Management methodology and Project Governance. Furthermore, an experienced SI should have a comprehensive understanding of the construction industry working practices, which is vital for system delivery into a new or modified building. Pre-fabrication facilities can significantly reduce the onsite build time saving costs as well as allowing building work to be completed in parallel to the broadcast systems work. Asset tagging and electrical safety testing (PAT) are other services expected from an SI these days. After Final Acceptance, there exists a system which can be supported on an on-going basis by the company which built it i.e. the SI. This is a growing area of interest and has benefits for both the client and the SI in terms of revenue and costs. A good SI should also instigate a training plan, together with full documentation, for the systems as so many aspects of the system are inter-related, rather than being able to be treated as individual islands. The most successful projects are those that have been built through teamwork and sensible pragmatic co-operation. As we do at TSL, an SI should be able to provide consultancy, design, procurement services, a pre-build facility, installation and commissioning with training as well as ongoing support.


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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
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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
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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
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