TV5 renews its media infrastructure with Editshare’s EFS and FLOW

TV5 at Philippines - Control room

The Philippines-based commercial broadcaster TV5 recently overhauled its media infrastructure, upgrading its production facilities located in Reliance and Novaliches to EditShare’s collaborative secure EFS shared storage and FLOW media management.

A subsidiary of telecommunications giant Philippine Long Distance Telephone company (PLDT), TV5 is one of the Philippines’ three major broadcasters. Over a thousand media professionals are dedicated to creating and delivering news, sports and thematic programming for the Philippine community and beyond. In 2019, TV5 began collaborating on content production and delivery with PLDT subsidiary channels. The goal was to develop entertainment content that could be distributed across their own channels as well as multiple sister networks, including international and digital channels.

Global content distribution presented one major initial challenge. Every production workstation within the TV5 environment was an island with no networked collaborative  storage. File sharing, even between two computers in the same room, was done using external hard drives and USB drives. This had been the case for several years until Angelito R. Salazar Jr. joined the TV5 production team as head of post production in late 2014. He quickly realized the inefficiencies and numerous data security risks waiting to happen.

That scenario triggered TV5’s move toward centralized media management and shared storage. TV5’s first experience with EditShare came in 2016, using a 96-terabyte version of the EFS media optimized file system that according to Salazar, “was a small but very important step in the right direction.” In 2019, the network upgraded to a more fully featured version of the EFS system, mainly for file sharing across its two sites but they quickly realized it could do much more.

The two TV5 sites are approximately 30 kilometers (about 19 miles) apart. Each site is  equipped with a variety of older and newer creative solutions including Apple’s Final Cut Pro® 7 and the latest Adobe Creative Cloud® applications running on a mix of Mac and Windows-based systems, all supported by EditShare’s open platform.

TV5 moved the original EditShare storage system to the smaller of the two sites, adding an EFS 40NL node for near-line parking storage of finished projects and content that may need to be repurposed in the short term. The main site installed an enterprise EFS450 model with additional 40NL parking storage nodes. Complementing the tiered storage at both sites was EditShare’s FLOW media management, which includes FLOW Automation and AirFLOW for remote access and production.

All was going according to plan when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, putting all traditional in-studio and on-location productions on indefinite pause. Fortunately for TV5, the progress the team had already made with EditShare allowed them to easily adapt and quickly pivot into remote production workflows.

Salazar and team had begun using AirFLOW to remotely manage incoming and outgoing content prior to the shutdown. Uploaded content was automatically stored on the EFS shared storage system located at the main site and then automatically replicated to the secondary EFS and available to everyone on the network. As a result, outside producers and advertisers could still submit packages via AirFLOW during the shutdown.

TV5 uses QuickTime as a common wrapper for its standard DVCPRO-50 production files while its sister channels use MXF. Leveraging FLOW’s automation capabilities, TV5 created a common house format for sharing content across sites and sister channels.

“I asked our sister channels if we could remain on DVCPRO-50 and I would just gear up the container to MXF,” Salazar said. “We discovered FLOW has the ability to just quickly rewrap files instead of first having to transcode to another format. I gave everyone test files coming from the rewrapping of FLOW Automation and it worked.”

When the lockdown hit, TV5 could no longer produce new shows and had to tap deep into their content archives for program content, which was all saved as QuickTime MOV files. The automated house format file delivery was a gamechanger for the production team sharing program content and overall business continuity.

EditShare’s end-to-end smart workflow solutions has allowed TV5 to create a secure network enabling the team to remotely access content and facilitate the often extensive review and approval process – a critical element of keeping the operation moving. AirFLOW, which is tightly connected with EFS and thus EFS authorized access privileges, provides a secure private network for accessing content and facilitating proxy-based review and approval workflows.

TV5’s automated workflows, which have freed staff from many manual, time intensive tasks, are powered by EditShare’s FLOW Automation. Working closely with EditShare pre sales team Ee Wah Wong, Salazar estimates TV5 has automated more than 50 processes that were once done manually and streamlined the workflows for an average of 200 files per day ranging from 15 to 90 minutes in length.

As productions begin to return in some form, Salazar and TV5 are confident they are well-equipped for future growth with EditShare’s open, secure and scalable media asset management and shared storage platform. The TV5 solution was commissioned and installed by EditShare and EditShare sales partner Media Village located in Manila and Singapore.

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