How Aframe helped FOX Sports 1
In the fiercely fought battle for sports viewers, FOX needed a competitive edge with a channel that could provide a constant stream of content from an extensive range of global sporting events.
FOX Sports 1 launched in August 2013 to provide the network with its first dedicated national sports news presence. The channel covers a wide variety of sports programming, including UFC, NASCAR and the Champions League, as well as a 24-hour feed of the latest sports news.
To achieve their vision, FOX required a solution that could support the ingest of a wide range of professional, prosumer and consumer video formats to offer stringers maximum flexibility in their choice of camera. Everything from Sony XDCAM, to Panasonic AVC HD, right down to smart phone footage had to be ‘ingestable’ into one system, before being transcoded to a common format, in this case DVCProHD.
Content would be delivered from disparate global locations, so a service that could assist stringers during the upload was essential. The upload technology would have to be intelligent enough to manage erratic and unpredictable connectivity without data loss, as stringers often rely on portable internet devices or public Wi-Fi networks.
Throughout the build for FOX’s new broadcast solution, the team strived to streamline workflows wherever possible, forgoing on-premise systems for cloud alternatives wherever possible. Whilst certain asset management, editing and broadcast systems are on premise, the news gathering solution would need to be fully integrated. Aframe was therefore a clear partner of choice.
“We started the FOX Sports build with a clean slate which meant we could select the very best of breed technology that best suited our rapid workflow philosophy” Clyde Smith, SVP New Technology at FOX Networks.
The ability to handle a wide range of professional media formats, as well as Aframe’s core infrastructure, provided an excellent base of secure, redundant storage options that immediately met FOX’s stringent requirements for its technology partners.
Aframe’s multi-format ingest grants stringers maximum flexibility to use any available recording device without the need to pre-transcode before it is uploaded.
To further expedite the workflow, Aframe creates a house format broadcast version. This DVCProHD file is created at the point of ingest, without any manual intervention. Content can be quickly transferred into a local Quantel edit system or pushed straight to air for breaking news stories.
Stringers can accelerate transfers using Aframe’s built-in accelerated file transfer technology so that even the most unreliable of connections can be fully utilized without loss of data, often at speeds of 15x faster than FTP - maximizing edit-time for crucial fast-turnaround stories.
All camera metadata is included at ingest and is carried with the footage throughout the Aframe lifecycle and into editing, with the ability to add metadata to the timeline using Aframe. This makes all Fox’s media discoverable during production and secures all the team’s feedback as markers within the edit – permitting editors to generate a faster turnaround in decision-making.
Fox Sports 1 continues to roll out Aframe to its network of stringers around the world. With nothing more than an Internet connection, video journalists continue to optimize uploads, share and even simplify collaboration for editing all in one cost effective mechanism.
In recognition of the successful new workflow, FOX Networks Group also won a 2014 Visionary End User award at the Storage Visions conference for their implementation of Aframe.
“Broadcast workflows today still contain steps where manual intervention, such as transcoding, is essential – and in competitive TV formats like sport, that simply can’t exist any longer. We’re honored to be recognized by FOX Sports 1 for the innovative way Aframe saves time and money in getting content from around the world and on air in dramatically improved efficiency.” David Peto, CEO & Founder of Aframe.