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M-Net studios implements dedicated central storage with Avid solution from Jasco

29 January 2015

M-Net, South Africa’s first private subscription television service, currently boasts an array of general entertainment and niche channels and broadcasts to 41 countries across Africa. When storage allocation became an issue with the system currently in use, M-Net turned to long-standing technology partner Jasco Broadcast Solutions to provide the answer. Jasco Broadcast Solutions implemented a dedicated Avid ISIS 7500 shared storage solution, along with Avid Interplay Production as well as eight new editing suites utilising Avid Media Composer.

“Within the Multichoice group, production is handled by SuperSport on the sport side and M-Net on general entertainment. Both companies were previously using a single shared system, with partitions to allocate storage to the various areas. However, as the number of channels in the M-Net stable has grown, our storage requirements have increased. We needed to create our own system that would enable us to have a dedicated central storage repository without the restrictions of the previous shared system. Given the success of the solution at SuperSport and its familiarity and ease of use, we took the decision to implement the same system at M-Net. Jasco Broadcast Solutions was the ideal choice as they are the sole distributors of Avid Video solutions in Southern Africa, and we have a long history of working with them,” says Neo Mojaji, Head of Post Production at M-Net.

The Avid ISIS 7500 is a reliable online system for the storage, protection and optimisation of media content. It is designed specifically for media production, ensuring real-time media delivery while protecting digital video assets. It offers a centralised repository of storage so that multiple users are able to access and collaborate on content without the need to create multiple copies of video, optimising storage while maximising the efficiency of workflows. The ISIS 7500 also offers massive storage capacity up to three petabytes, delivering scalable storage for growing volumes of high definition video footage.

In addition, the solution allows for remote pre-production and editing. This is essential for the broadcaster as it moves further into the African broadcast environment, enabling editing in the field or at remote locations while providing access to the ISIS centralised storage solution. It also offers connectivity for countries in Africa into the M-Net environment for the sharing of content across the different regions. In addition to these solutions, a total of eight new editing suites with Avid Media Composer were also deployed to assist M-Net with digital delivery requirements through Africa as well as day-to-day editing and post-production capability. Together, these solutions enable M-Net to increase production capacity.

“The entire project ran for around seven months and was completed in early August. M-Net can now leverage the benefit of connected remote workgroups and increase the speed and efficiency of content turnaround and delivery thanks to the collaborative abilities delivered. The new editing suites integrate seamlessly with the 10 existing suites at M-Net studios, and all suites integrate into the ISIS storage, which enables a ‘hot desking’ system with regard to editing. Video editors and post-production crew can effectively work at any desk in any editing suite and have access to all of the footage they require. In addition, ISIS is a fully redundant storage solution, which means that media will always be secure and available when needed,” says Paul Divall, Managing Director – Intelligent Technologies at Jasco, incorporating Broadcast Solutions.

“We are also able to benefit from having our own dedicated system, as we now have full control over the allocated storage, workspaces and workflows. This simplifies our process as we no longer have to share storage with SuperSport, which itself requires significant storage. We are now able to configure our storage to meet our specific requirement. Avid is a leading industry solution provider that offers reliable, scalable solutions, and Jasco has delivered the technology we require along with Service Level Agreements (SLAs) to cover system upgrades, technical faults and more. This solution will continue to deliver benefits well into the future,” Mojaji concludes