TBN power workflows with ContentAgent

Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN) is the world’s largest Christian television network and America’s most-watched faith-and-family channel. Well known for its deployment of cutting-edge technology, in 2017 the broadcaster embarked on an ambitious program to centralize its media management across multiple sites across the U.S., selecting ContentAgent as a key component. Primarily TBN sought to consolidate different methodologies of file handling and to automate the ingest and transcoding of raw material in a multitude of formats in a consistent and predictable manner to complement the station-wide IPV Curator MAM and Adobe Premiere Pro editing.

From the outset, TBN appreciated that a management system on this scale would require rigorous oversight to ensure a consistent approach to file naming and metadata handling – and to avoid duplication at all costs. To that end worked hand-in-hand with IPV engineers to ensure interoperability with metadata, so that assets arriving into the Curator MAM from the ContentAgent already had rich metadata allowing editors to easily locate exactly what they need.

The ContentAgent’s supplied to TBN were each configured with JobAgent’s – individual PC nodes to accelerate image and format processing tasks in transcode-intensive environments where fast turnaround is essential. Additional options included multiple AVC-Intra codecs and CardAgent – an important option that facilitates the automated import of camera card originated media.

Using CardAgent, TBN is able to eliminate a common bottleneck in post production where a wide spectrum of different camera cards and formats need to be transcoded with associated metadata for editing. CardAgent streamlines the entire process, allowing non-technical operators to initiate a range of pre-determined workflows via a simple user interface which allows operators to browse, select and playback media. Automated workflows can be triggered for transcoding and re-wrapping for the creation of proxies, high resolution copies and backups and the subsequent delivery to Premiere Pro editorial. Associated clip and card metadata is extracted and stored in ContentAgent’s database.

TBN’s Curator MAM, integrated with ContentAgent via an API, enables multiple versions of the same media to be associated as a single clip within Curator, rather than having duplicated files in different resolutions – UHD, HD and proxy. This removes the need to wade through multiple versions of media, making it easier to keep track of assets. It also makes it easier to edit content in different resolutions as needed for different video platforms utilised by TBN. These range from the broadcaster’s online archive to its mobile app that brings more than a dozen global TBN networks to smart phones, iPads, and tablets.

Many different camera card formats ingested across multiple sites in significant volumes can cause major headaches for larger operations such as TBN and the broadcaster was keen to avoid the time consuming issues associated with incorrect or duplicate file naming. The Renaming feature within CardAgent enables operators to globally rename card clips to an established protocol before submitting them to the ContentAgent and initiating an automated workflow. The clip names on the original camera card remain unchanged. Additionally the system enables custom metadata to be added to clips and cards with the creation of mandatory fields if required. This ensures that workflows cannot be initiated if any required information is lacking.

TBN is a pioneer in leading-edge technology to reach more viewers around the world with programming that entertains, inspires, and changes lives. Launched in 1973 with one small station broadcasting to the Los Angeles area, TBN today is a growing family of over thirty global networks reaching every inhabited continent with a broad range of inspirational, entertaining, and life-changing programming twenty-four hours a day.

Larry Haley, Vice President of Engineering and Operations at Trinity Broadcasting Network concludes, “Many organizations still tie up precious staff resources and valuable edit hardware, spending many hours on camera card ingest and administrative tasks. The solution provided to TBN as a key part of our overall workflow has not only saved time and improved accuracy but has freed up staff to concentrate on more creative and valuable tasks.

More information: www.tbn.org