The Weather Channel Implements Aspera for Media Distribution and Automation

The Weather Channel has deployed solutions from Aspera to build and manage a new world-class media distribution platform. High-speed Aspera fasp transfers reduce production times from hours to minutes, effectively doubling inbound and outbound velocity and achieving faster content turnaround.

AsperaWith a vision of building the world’s largest, most open and easily distributable library of weather content, The Weather Company realized it was time to transform their media distribution system. The organization set out to build a central, open architecture media hub that could be accessed by globally-dispersed teams and that could efficiently manage the ingest, storage, cataloging, and distribution of large quantities of weather content.

The Weather Company’s central business goals – to present the most accurate weather reporting, the most timely weather, and keep people safe in the process – all depend on speed to market. And with 10 to 20 terabytes of weather content from multiple sources being ingested daily, it was critical to find a solution that could move very large data sets across the globe while maintaining maximum speeds. To accomplish their main goal of fast-tracking content through the production cycle, The Weather Company selected a suite of products from Aspera, including Aspera faspex, the intuitive, efficient platform for person-to-person collaboration and file exchange, as well as Aspera Point-to-Point and Aspera Orchestrator.

Transfer automation with Aspera Orchestrator streamlines content ingest and automatically directs files to the appropriate location, freeing up human resources so they may be refocused on editing, production, and other areas that add value to the organization, and in turn reducing turnaround times.

After processing, editing and transcoding are completed, content is then delivered viafaspex to a number of distribution channels, including, Telecast, and Weather Underground, along with a number of digital apps.

The Weather Company also selected Aspera Console to monitor each step in the production cycle from a single interface, beginning with file ingest, to the editing and publishing of a clip, followed by transcoding and finally distribution to web and mobile platforms. With complete visibility over the transfer environment, The Weather Company is able to identify and troubleshoot any issues that may arise – a welcome improvement over their previous system, which lacked the ability to alert users to failures in the system, requiring individuals to navigate through system logs to track down problems and leaving users frustrated when content didn’t arrive when it was supposed to.

Today the company benefits from the reliability, stability, and ease of use offered by Aspera technology. Plus, the platform offers the flexibility to make changes to the workflow and vendors as needed, allowing The Weather Company to prepare for the unforeseeable future.

“We were able to easily deploy and integrate Aspera – as content flows in we can monitor what is actually happening in the Aspera system,” said Philip Grossman, senior director of content acquisition and management at The Weather Company.

“The main benefit of the technology upgrade is around velocity. We’ve dramatically increased the speed at which we’re able to turn content around and send it back out,” said Bryson Koehler, executive vice president and chief information officer at The Weather Company. “The second benefit is stability. We want to make sure that we’re providing really robust tools that are 100% reliable because we never know when the next storm will strike and we’ll need to deliver those stories and warnings.”

“We are pleased to have been selected by The Weather Company to play such an integral role in their content distribution workflow,” said Michelle Munson, president and CEO of Aspera. “For this project to succeed, The Weather Company needed fast and reliable file transfers to ensure they can distribute news stories as they break. Aspera was able to meet all of their requirements and additionally deliver the flexibility that will allow them to continue to grow and scale out in the future.”

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