First Published by TVB Europe, November 2020
When Swiss Italian language broadcaster RSI (Radiotelelevisione svizzera di lingua italiana) needed to overhaul its approach to media assets and editing, it found a unique challenge. The public service broadcaster – based in Lugano, Ticino – operates three radio stations, two TV channels and a wide range of multimedia services and is part of SRG SSR.
RSI wanted to overhaul its asset management, but at the same time needed a tool for post production that would help it import, acquire and organize all the material needed for editing video in Final Cut Pro X and audio in Pro Tools.
RSI partnered with US-based media solutions leader Primestream to use its Workflow Server production and automation platform, for documentaries, magazines and studio productions.
The Primestream Workflow Server software platform provides industry professionals with essential tools that allow craft editors to easily browse their media database and trigger customizable script-based Workflow Server automated workflows. The Primestream solution allowed RSI in 2015 to move the craft editing tool from Final Cut Pro X to Adobe Premiere.
For RSI, the production process begins in the Traffic System. The product versions to be created are defined, and, if necessary, it is determined which files or parts of files to restore from the digital archive.
By sending this info Workflow Server via XML, the interface created by Primestream works with RSI’s Traffic System to interpret the data and creates a structure with the project number, place holders for the final product to be produced. Then, from a link, the archive material is automatically moved by the broadcaster’s system. This means it is possible to add material to the project at any time.
The Primestream Workflow Server client is installed across RSI’s office PCs making it possible to view all the files that are present in the projects. This allows editors to make a choice of content to use during the editing process.
At the end of the production process, video and audio metadata is added that describes the content and positioning of the various languages. These parameters are used by the transcoders to standardize the product to RSI’s diffusion and archiving standard.
One core challenge for RSI was to clearly mark content across Switzerland’s three official languages (German, French and Italian), with the goal to have two languages in the end product, both with stereo and 5.1.
RSI senior broadcast engineer Franco Tarchini explains: “For that we have to use the metadata to describe the language for each track and which transcoder can work with it. At the beginning, we would have identified about 60 different audio use cases, which is a huge workload, but Primestream makes this much easier for us.”
RSI also uses Primestream’s technology at its Workflow Server Ingest Operations Center, which is responsible for purchasing and downloading content from the major sources, and ingesting video content that will be utilized for RSI programs and productions.
All these parts (video files, audio files, pictures) have to be inserted into the project used for video editing, with the material often supplied on different systems and formats.
The purchased material is imported and submitted to an automatic quality control, where the identification of the file and the test result is provided in Workflow Server to fill in the metadata.
RSI also has incorporated into its Operations the Workflow Server Primestream Xchange Suite to access the material from remote locations. Xchange is a web-based, enterprise-ready software platform offering single 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, downloaded as a proxy at another location where the content can be edited and upon completion of the proxy edit it is synchronized with the high resolution in order to complete the production process.
“We have a great relationship with Primestream,” adds Tarchini. “The Primestream Workflow Server allows directors who prepare a production and collaborators in charge of controlling the quality of the product, to be able to perform these operations remotely and more easily.”