By David Nortier, General Manager, Signiant EMEA
For many years we have been talking about file-based workflows and it’s fair to say that data is fast becoming the norm at every stage of the production and post-production path. The plethora of codecs, formats and platforms has introduced a technical challenge of marshaling all this data into usable, transmittable files.
Thankfully the DPP, a union of UK broadcasters, is in process of defining the standards by which they will accept files into their organisations for future transmissions. Each element of the production has been considered — from acquisition to distribution. As the metadata standards are defined, Signiant has been instrumental in aiding the DPP in the process. The results of this were recently published in the DPP’s report titled “The Bloodless Revolution.” And, signs of progress are emerging as ITV have selected “Emmerdale” as their first show to fully integrate the DPP blueprint into its workflow.
Following Signiant’s involvement, the company’s R&D team looked to develop a tool to support the Broadcast community, each of whom are enabled with Signiant file transfer technologies, to ensure materials due for distribution arrive to the broadcaster fully compliant with the DPP standard. Non-compliant files are costly for both parties. The broadcaster has to check each element for proper format, not just once but a second time if they must be resubmitted, whilst the production company incurs the cost of reworking the file to ensure compliance with the stated delivery specification. Not only have both parties incurred costs, but wasted time fixing and resubmitting the files. File-based workflows are designed to introduce high levels of efficiency and yet at the final hurdle, too many were failing.
Signiant has developed an asset compliance tool, which when integrated into the workflow, allows the broadcaster to select the standard with which any file they receive must conform to. Signiant solutions then verify the file before it is delivered. In fact, the solution takes things one step further, whereby the software will not allow the file to be transferred if it doesn’t reach the technical standard required.
By introducing the compliance element before the file has been sent, Signiant removes the need for the broadcaster to check the files, thus giving peace of mind that the asset can enter their transmission supply chain, and saves both parties considerable time and money. This approach also gives an early warning to the producer that his material is yet to reach the standard required with the added benefit that his reputation as a technically capable supplier remains intact.