Discovery Upgrades Massive Archive With Front Porch Digital

Discovery Communications has upgraded its Front Porch Digital DIVArchive content-storage-management (CSM) system, one of the largest in the world, with the addition of DIVAdirector.

Installed at Discovery’s Television and Technology Center in Sterling, VA, which performs playout for all 13 Discovery networks in the U.S., DIVArchive serves content for 24 program feeds in both SD and HD. Discovery’s networks archive 80- 100 hours of programming each day, maintaining between 15,000 and 20,000 hours in storage.

“As Discovery’s requirements have expanded, Front Porch Digital has continued to meet them,” says Jonathan Perkes, Discovery Communications’ VP of engineering. “DIVArchive has proven itself to be solid, stable, and dependable, operating with zero downtime even in such a demanding context. The addition of DIVAdirector, which enables users to search and view content from their desktops, makes the system that much more functional and our operation that much more efficient.”

DIVAdirector is a browser-based, distributed application that enables users at desktops to browse and retrieve digitized video content according to ID numbers or customized metadata fields and to view content frame by frame with a built-in Windows Media Player. Discovery uses DIVAdirector primarily for double-checking commercials and promos, saving hands-on staff time and supporting broadcast reliability. DIVAdirector can be added to any Front Porch Digital DIVArchive or DIVAworks system.

“Discovery is one of the world’s premiere media names, known best for the quality of its programming but also for a pragmatic and forward-looking approach to technology,” says Mike Knaisch, president/CEO of Front Porch Digital. “The integration of DIVArchive and DIVAdirector affords a uniquely flexible and scalable way for Discovery to make its content easily accessible while also meeting its workflow and archiving needs.”

At Discovery, OmniBus Systems’ automation directs ingest of content from videotape into Omneon video servers. DIVArchive then manages the transfer of content bound for long-term storage to a Sun StorageTek SL8500 LTO library. Content required for play-to-air is restored to the playout servers by DIVArchive, also under the direction of OmniBus Systems.

Front Porch’s DIVArchive is a hardware and software system that manages and moves digitized media content throughout its lifecycle, from ingest and production to long-term preservation. Discovery Communications also relies on DIVArchive at its playout centers in London and Singapore, and Discovery Latin America recently purchased a DIVArchive system for its Miami playout facility.

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