Discovery Networks MENA, the Dubai-based division of Discovery Communications, recently upgraded its workflow systems with Avid MediaCentral Platform to optimise production processes and aid creative collaboration.
Discovery Networks MENA produces about 175 hours of local content per year, including cooking shows for Fatafeat, the popular Middle Eastern food channel, while also producing channel branding and localised trailers and promos for international content.
The legacy post-production infrastructure was inflexible and incapable of meeting Discovery Networks MENA’s evolving needs. Creative staff were working in isolation, while simple repetitive tasks took up too much time. As the system approached end-of-life, the Discovery Networks MENA technical team took the opportunity to select a more flexible, scalable and future-proof solution that would provide the ability to create, distribute and manage content more efficiently and profitably using one single common platform.
The technical team approached Avid, which is installed at many of Discovery’s global sites, and was impressed by the significant end-to-end production efficiencies and flexible deployment options that the Avid MediaCentral Platform offers.
“We worked closely with Avid to design and implement a comprehensive workflow based on the Avid MediaCentral Platform,” said Bassem Maher, technical and IT manager, Discovery Networks MENA. “It solves many of our challenges by connecting our operational areas, allowing us to automate time-consuming processes and enabling our creative staff to collaborate. It also has the flexibility to expand and adapt easily as our requirements change.”
Avid’s comprehensive and creative workflow tools and integrated and efficient platform are on full display at Discovery. Their editors use Avid Media Composer® stations to cut programs and trailers, with the addition of the Avid Artist | DNxIO video interface to accelerate hi-resolution workflows from capture to output.
Avid NEXIS software-defined scalable storage provides virtual pools of storage, providing easy and simultaneous access to files enabling the Discovery creative team to collaborate in real time. Avid MediaCentral | UX, the cloud-based web front end to the Avid MediaCentral Platform, allows remote access to production assets, including low-res video clips which facilitates quick review and approval by producers in any location with an internet connection. Avid Interplay | Production provides comprehensive production and asset management tools to streamline the production process. The Avid Global Services team designed and installed the new workflow, as well as providing staff training and helping the Discovery team get ready to go to air.
“As a whole, the Avid solutions have transformed the way we work, and each component has improved our production process at every stage of the workflow,” said Maher. “For example, the Avid NEXIS centralized storage has enabled a truly collaborative environment for our editors, allowing them to share files and access projects without interrupting each other’s work, while MediaCentral | UX lets producers review and approve content remotely via the cloud, which means they are not tied to the edit suite and can be more productive.”
“In a competitive market, broadcasters need their content to stand out while keeping budgets under control and maximising productivity,” said Jeff Rosica, president, Avid. “They also need systems that will easily adapt to future requirements such as moving toward cloud-based workflows. Avid’s integrated solutions have enabled Discovery Networks MENA to achieve a production workflow that is streamlined, collaborative and future-proof, allowing them to focus on producing high quality, engaging creative content while saving time and resources.”
The new workflow went live in November 2016.