Premium TV scores with Lightworks, Gee Broadcast for Premier League

When Premium TV won the contract to provide in match ‘near live’ and delayed highlights of the The English Premier League football for the next three seasons for use by over 50 global Internet and mobile licensees, they chose a new tapeless production system based on Geevs Servers and Lightworks Softworks editors to provide the fast efficient workflow they needed. The ‘near live’ fast turnaround required meant that quick editing of material in place on the central storage while recording was an essential part of the solution.

From live match feeds Premium TV need to be able to quickly create a number of differently encoded clips of the same event for broadcasting to a range of devices/applications. Associated metadata needs to accompany the material. The process is based upon producing a high resolution master clip, associated metadata and then triggering the transmission/encoding process as fast as possible.

A scalable solution was designed using Geevs Servers for multi-channel ingest, a central Edit Share store for the material and attached to this Logging stations and Lightworks Softworks editors. The following workflow provides Premium TV with an extremely fast turnaround of highlight clips and packages.

Prior to the start of each match the feed is assigned to an editing booth(s) and to specific record channel(s) on Geevs Servers.

Once recording has started an operator can press a hardware button or a logger operator can press a button on the keyboard or click a mouse to trigger the creations of a Virtual highlight subclip. This subclip has a predetermined duration starting prior to the button press. This creates a live virtual clip which references the files being recorded without creating any new material. This process is fast because no data movement is required. The Virtual clip can then be loaded by the Softworks Editor for Voice Over and further editing. During this process the editor also has access to the whole recording if any material outside the original selection is required.

When the edit and voice over are completed the Editor triggers the creation of the new highlight clip and a window is displayed with a list of metadata events for the match. These are called up from Premium TVs Oracle Database and are listed chronologically with the most recent at the top. The metadata can be populated from the external feed, or manually. The Editor then selects the event metadata that matches the clip which has just been created. The clip and associated Metadata in XML format are then exported to the encoder machine (in this case a Flip Factory array).

For highlight packages and more complex editing, a selection of subclips can be taken into Softworks via drag and drop from the Geevs clip list or search selection. When Virtual clips are dropped into Softworks the clip appears as an edit but with access to the whole recording from which it was extracted. Softworks can then be used to rapidly edit a single clip, or create a highlights package from a compilation of clips. After editing, the resulting highlight or package can be similarly exported with metadata for encoding or transmission. The export process to create a Real clip is significantly faster than real time.

The whole system was designed and installed in 4 weeks in order to provide facilities from the start of the season.

Andy Measham, COO Premium TV said : “The speed, efficiency and performance of the Geevs Lightworks system has enabled Premium TV to build a world class mobile and Internet production service. The system is already in full use and allows us to work closely with our global licensees to bring viewers the passion, excitement and drama, which makes the Barclays English Premier League such compelling entertainment.”

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