Playback Innovations a leading-edge technology company specializing in the area of video server control and tapeless workflow integration for television production is proud to announce the use of it's Pi Control System for the current season of the ABC Televisions hit series “Dancing with the Stars” produced by BBC Worldwide Productions.
The show, which airs nationally two nights a week live on the ABC Television network, sought the services of Playback Innovations for the current season of the show. The show has become a keystone of the ABC program schedule. As a result, this places ever increasing demands on the shows production team to continue to deliver the highest quality programming that time and technology allow. In order to maximize the time that is spent editing the show segments and minimize the time spent in the traditional video-tape based delivery of these segments, the show Producers have embraced the technology necessary to deliver all of the show playback content as files from the post-production operation to the live studio playout facility.
Playback Innovations, through the use of its Pi Control and Media Management system, is responsible for the live show playback elements and integration to the Avid based post facility. Multiple Avid Symphony Nitris bays on Avid Unity shared storage systems are connected via Avid's Transfer Manager application to the two EVS XT video servers. EVS has created a toolset which allows for native file transfer from the Avid systems to the EVS XT production servers with no transcoding required. This architecture maintains the pristine signal quality, which are core to both the Avid and EVS workflow models. As edited content is finalized for broadcast on the Avid's throughout the week the media files are delivered faster than real time to the EVS XT Production servers via fiber optic connectivity across the CBS Television City studio lot.
“The tapeless infrastructure we are using has given the creative Producers greater flexibility in terms of the screening process and delivery deadlines”, said Barry J. Ward Post Production Producer for the show. “The fact that we are able to send high definition Avid DNxHD® files to the studio for playout faster than real time has relieved the usual stress related to legacy videotape based delivery. The days of stopping an edit session down to output to videotape and then re-ingesting the content at the studio are behind us.”
The Pi operator in the studio receives a notification message on their control system when new content has arrived, whether this content is sent before or during production rehearsals, or even when the show is actually on the air. Once the content is delivered to the studio servers, the playback operator uses the Pi Control system to recall the file, do a final quality control check and get ready for air. In addition to managing the pre-produced content the Pi Control system is also used to record and build the weekly recap voting package during the live Monday night performance show.
The EVS XT platform under the control of the Playback Innovations custom control solution has created a new level of reliability and flexibility for entertainment productions of this type. Through the visions of these Companies new standards have been set in the emerging area of tapeless workflow and media management.