Swiss Italian-language broadcaster RSI (Radiotelevisione svizzera di lingua italiana) operates three radio stations, two TV channels, and a wide range of multimedia services and is part of SRG SSR. RSI is based in Lugano, Ticino, Switzerland.
When RSI needed to overhaul its approach to media assets and editing, it faced a unique challenge. RSI wanted to overhaul its asset management capabilities, but at the same time needed a tool for postproduction that would help it import, acquire, and organize all the material needed for editing video in Apple Final Cut Pro® X and audio in Avid® Pro Tools®.
For the solution, RSI partnered with Primestream – a leading provider of software solutions that streamline media production. RSI has installed Primestream’s Workflow Server™ production and automation software platform for its documentaries, magazine programs, and studio productions.
Workflow Server provides RSI video operations with essential tools that allow craft editors to browse the media database easily and trigger customizable, script-based automated workflows. Primestream has built a complete ecosystem around the Adobe Creative Cloud suite to enable editors to work seamlessly with RSI’s chosen Premiere Pro editing tools. The production process begins when Workflow Server creates placeholders for events created in the RSI traffic system, LOUISE. From there, the Workflow Server suite handles the orchestration of multilanguage versions of each asset, including archiving and restoration of assets as needed.
Through the interface between LOUISE and Workflow Server, the project folder structure is automatically generated by the traffic system, including project number and final product name.
The Primestream Workflow Server client is installed across RSI’s office PCs, giving users maximum flexibility to view all the files that are present in a given project. Editors can easily access and s elect a broad range of assets during the editing process.
In the final stage of production, video and audio metadata are added that describe the content and audio labeling of various languages. These parameters are used by the transcoders to format the program for archiving and distribution according to the standards of various platforms.
One core challenge for RSI was to deliver versions of content in Switzerland’s three official languages (German, French, and Italian), with the goal to deliver all three versions in both stereo and 5.1.
RSI Senior Broadcast Engineer Franco Tarchini explained, “To meet that goal, we have to apply metadata to describe the language for up to 60 audio tracks for each version. Done manually, that would be a huge and time-consuming task – but Workflow Server automates the entire process.”
RSI also uses Workflow Server at its Ingest Operations Center, where all content is purchased and downloaded from major sources and then ingested for use in RSI programs and productions. All assets (video files, audio files, and still photos) need to be made available to video editors for use in upcoming productions, and the material is often supplied on different systems and formats.
The purchased material is imported and submitted to an automatic quality control system, which then hands off the file, together with a file ID and quality results, to Workflow Server for creation of metadata.
In addition, RSI is now using Workflow Server in conjunction with the Primestream Xchange™ media asset management (MAM) platform to facilitate seamless access to content from remote locations. Xchange is a web-based, enterprise-ready software solution that gives single-site and multisite operations global access to their content and workflows. With the Xchange Suite, content can be uploaded from any location in the world, visualized remotely, and then downloaded as a proxy at another location for editing. Upon completion of the edit, the proxy is synchronized with the high-resolution file in order to complete the production process.
Tarchini adds, “We have a great relationship with Primestream. The Primestream Workflow Server allows everyone — from the directors who prepare a production to the collaborators in charge of final quality control — to be able to perform these operations smoothly from any remote location.”