Back in the days of analog television and tapes, media was ruled by transporters ensuring the moving of content and by strong media players with the possibility to afford heavy postproduction farms and a high number of employees, the evolution to tapeless systems is the perfect answer to the rising demand of content, getting rid of transportation costs and tapes archives, lowering complexity of tasks and reducing the delay before airing a program.
Today’s digital world allows decentralised activities, which is a complete revolution for the media players, allowing reduction of costs at all levels of a company. Television does not need heavy infrastructures anymore; it has to be thought as a service, giving scalable solutions for the media world.
Think outside the box
RTL CBS Asia Entertainment Network needed to find a solution which covers the complete media workflow with reduced costs, secured platform, open to new technology, easy to manage and simple to install.
Launching a new channel on a new market is a challenge, reducing the infrastructure and operational costs are paramount. On the technical side RTL CBS Asia Entertainment Network needed four main blocks of the media workflow:
- A strong content management system with an archiving infrastructure,
- A postproduction infrastructure for editing, transcoding, subtitling and dubbing the videos,
- A tapeless distribution platform to be able to exchange content easily,
- A playout platform with constant monitoring of the signals.
Other challenges were the short time until the launch and the restricted budget. Therefore both partners decided to move out of the comfort zones and look squarely into the future, in new ways of workflows.
BCE’s Integrated TV Services
BCE’s Decentralised TV Services is a complete revolution for the media industry. The workflow of a channel is geographically decentralised while remaining globally integrated allowing the reduction of costs at all levels of a company.
For RTL CBS Asia Entertainment Network, the challenge was perfectly clear and BCE’s Integrated TV Services was answering all their needs in content distribution, management and broadcasting.
BCE’s content management solution is organised around three main developments:
- The MediaCMS allows the multiple management of content, triggers work orders, enables fast editing and automates postproduction tasks
- The distribution with Movie2Me©, BCE’s own development for file transfer using public Internet
- The Broadcast software solutions, Athena© for managing the content and its rights, Cronos© for creating long and short term planning and Adonis© for processing the running order.
All these applications are accessible through the Cloud.
The MediaCMS is a cloud-based tool which can fit to any TV workflow, its intuitive graphic interface allows immediate action with almost no learning curve.
The received content can be previewed in low resolution, edited and its metadata integrated. The program also allows to setup work orders such as transcoding, quality check (QC), subtitling and dubbing, the customer will always have access to a general interface which indicates the work in progress of such orders and if the final customer has received the files.
RTL CBS Asia Entertainment Network named BCE for the main postproduction tasks (in Luxembourg) while SDI (the world biggest subtitling company) would be in charge of the subtitles and dubbing. But the system can be configured with any other partner, anywhere in the world.
The MediaCMS also integrates, via web access, a smart editing platform. The customer is able to visualise the content in low definition and to edit it via the insertion of timecodes which will then be calculated in the original program. As a result RTL CBS Asia Entertainment Network is able to deal with regional needs such as censorship, local advertising breaks, etc…
To allow this easy exchange of content between the different players, the MediaCMS includes the high-speed content distribution system Movie2Me© interconnecting RTL CBS Asia Entertainment Network with BCE and SDI, as well catch-up and VoD deliveries to RTL CBS Asia Entertainment Network affiliates.
The Broadcast software solutions
In order to reduce the costs, the broadcast software solutions are based in Luxembourg, where over 20 channels are already operated at BCE’s infrastructure.
Thanks to a Cloud-based access, the customer is able to connect and work seamlessly from Singapore, Hong Kong or from anywhere in the world. The employees can access:
- Athena©, and manage the program library (details, type, description, etc…), the rights and the accounting. The software is also linked to the MediaCMS allowing the perfect monitoring of the archived content.
- Cronos©, and create the long- and short-term planning, deliver chronological TV program grids, including detailed titles, materials, costs and rights information.
- Adonis©, and create and manage the running order, the primary and secondary events as well as control the media information such as time breaks, segments etc…
The broadcast playlist is then sent to BCE’s playout platform, via fibre to Hong Kong and uplinked to APSTAR satellite covering the Asian market.
Broadcasting and expanding
The channel RTL CBS Entertainment HD was launched on 1st September 2013. The channel is available in English and local languages in up to 29 Asian markets including Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam.