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Jan 27, 2015
Bringing archives into your news workflows

Bringing archives into your news workflows


With story-centric workflow, this approach enables users to aggregate a diversity of information sources into the same news storyIn modern newsrooms speed and accuracy are everything. The difference between breaking a news story or being an “also ran” can come down to the efficiency of your workflow in the newsroom. The ability to capture, store and find information is central – the quality of your journalists’ output relies heavily on their ability to locate and obtain relevant background information to the story that they are writing.

In this environment, the sophistication of your archive and its ability to offer up its treasures effectively can be the difference you are striving for. So, an airplane crashes and your ENG crew are first on the scene – the reporter needs relevant information fast – what is the safety record of this particular aircraft; when was the last time an aircraft crashed leaving this airport; what was the weather like at the time of the crash? This is the kind of information that turns a sketchy scene of the crash report into a well-researched and insightful news story.

But within the constantly changing landscape of the newsroom it is not so easy to maintain your archive. Do you find the task of indexing material difficult to do and time-consuming in your newsroom? And do you struggle to find content that you know exists but have not the time nor resources to locate it within the timescale of news? If you do fall into either or both of these traps you are in good company – in our experience at Dalet these are very common problems.   

When is the right time to archive your news content?
Traditionally, archiving used to be done after broadcast. Stories and related videos were indexed then archived after they had been aired. But, there are new techniques being evolved that involve bringing archives into the heart of the news production workflow. This means starting the archiving process during media ingest! 

Many of our customers have developed a small team of "media coordinators". This team monitors everything that enters the workflow: they add time-coded tags to any relevant content at the earliest possible stage. This automatically creates a clip or a sequence of clips than can then be quickly identified and directed to a journalist and a group of journalists as they work on a news story. 

Straight away, this is valuable metadata information will travel alongside the content throughout the entire life cycle of the story, up to the archive. This is a key term, which we call metadata inheritance. Put simply, it means that you don't have to restart each time and enter metadata from scratch.

But there is much more to it. With story-centric workflow, this approach enables users to aggregate a diversity of information sources into the same news story quickly and easily:

  • Related wires, video material
  • Different versions of the story that evolved over time – for example, the plane crash will certainly make a lot of stories with new elements, but this is essentially the same story.
  • Associated scripts, graphic objects, web links, metadata coming from dope sheets
  • Broadcast right information
  • GPS information
  • Occasionally, journalists will manually enter metadata

All of this information is generated as part of the production workflow so when it comes to the archive, the challenge centres on the capture of high-resolution content on a cost-effective storage medium (traditionally a tape library, however these days more and more storage is utilizing a public or a private cloud). The proxy video remains online. The metadata is there and it is essential since it makes the content searchable.

Within a typical newsroom environment there is little or no time available to re-index each story. If this process can be automated and integrated within the main workflow, it offers major time and cost savings compared with manual indexing!

And what's next – harness the power of the semantic web 
Once you have put an infrastructure in place that is capable of organizing metadata, managing media and providing search tools (it is what we call a MAM at the end of the day), then you can think further ahead – the creative possibilities are considerable.

Developed by Sir Tim Berners-Lee back in 2001, the semantic web is a web of data that can be processed directly and indirectly by machines with very little human intervention. It requires clever technology underpinning data mining, but from a user’s point of view it presents a way to identify and manage complex relational links between broadcast assets and information in a simple and readily understandable fashion.

Semantic web tools make it easy to explore and correlate multiple sources of information, to evaluate what they are finding, and to explore links and lines of development that may never otherwise appear. 

Semantic web tools enable broadcasters to make sense out of what was previously unorganized metadata. Using this technology you can organize your media assets into topic groups, and gain a far better understanding of the personalities related to a story. And importantly, you can easily relate different stories to each other.

At Dalet, we are working on ways to integrate this technology within newsrooms and other production environments. The starting point for this process is simplifying and automating the essential metadata entry process – already we are doing this with many of our customers.

If you believe that it’s time to turn up the burners on your newsroom archive systems, then we would love to talk to you and explain how Dalet can make that process easier and more productive.Contact your local Dalet sales office today and let’s kick off that conversation.


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The module automatically aggregates and displays matching threads. Track story popularity: Real-time engagement data presented in familiar social media style data lets journalists know how their posts are performing with audiences and assists in gauging new story angles. Support for Facebook business pages: In addition to the ability to publish to Facebook personal accounts, journalists can now publish to business pages with full control over draft or as a final post. Advanced social media staging: The new feature allows to time and schedule posts either solo or alongside a developing story (before, during and after a story airs). It also includes the ability to submit and approve social media stories. Emoji library: A 6,000 character Emoji library used by Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat communicators is now part of the Dalet Social Media Framework. News Production, Creation and Distribution for a Multimedia World The flexible Dalet Galaxy five platform allows news operations to either distribute to social media via a traditional CMS integration or to connect directly to Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube. This increases the speed in which news is delivered to a global audience and gives journalists full control over their news engagement with the audience. For more information on Dalet Social Media Framework, please visit http://www.dalet.com/solutions/social-media-framework. * N. Newman, R. Fletcher, A. Kalogeropoulos, D. A. L. Levy, R. Kleis Nielsen (2017). Reuters Institute Digital News Report 2017. Retrieved from this link on April 4th, 2018. Schedule a Private Press Briefing with Dalet at NAB 2018 Members of the NAB registered press are invited to request a private press briefing with Dalet at NAB 2018. For more information, please contact Alex Molina at alex@zazilmediagroup.com. About Dalet Digital Media Systems Dalet solutions and services enable media organizations to create, manage and distribute content faster and more efficiently, fully maximizing the value of assets. Dalet products are built on three distinct platforms that, when combined, form versatile business solutions that power end-to-end workflows for news, sports, program preparation, production, archive and radio. Individually, Dalet platforms and products offer targeted applications with key capabilities to address critical media workflow functions such as ingest, QC, edit, transcode and multiplatform distribution. The foundation for Dalet productivity-enhancing workflow solutions, Dalet Galaxy is the enterprise Media Asset Management (MAM) & Orchestration platform that unifies the content chain by managing assets, metadata, workflows and processes across multiple and diverse production and distribution systems. Specially tailored for news and media workflows, this unique technology platform helps broadcasters and media professionals increase productivity while providing operational and business visibility. Dalet AmberFin is the high-quality, scalable transcoding platform with fully integrated ingest, mastering, QC and review functionalities, enabling facilities to make great pictures in a scalable, reliable and interoperable way. Addressing the demanding needs of studio production, multi-camera ingest, sports logging and highlights production, the innovative Dalet Brio video server platform combines density and cost-effectiveness with high reliability. Adopted by leading broadcasters, Dalet Cube is a suite of applications to create, manage and deliver graphics in a newsroom scenario. Dalet supports customers from the initial planning stages to well beyond project execution. Our global presence includes 17 offices strategically located throughout Europe, the Middle East, Asia Pacific, North America and South America, and a network of more than 60 professional partners serving 87 countries worldwide. This collective experience and knowledge enables our customers to realize potential increases in productivity, efficiency and value of their assets. The comprehensive Dalet Care program ensures deployments remain up and running with 24/7 support 365 days a year. Dalet systems are used around the world by many thousands of individual users at hundreds of TV and Radio content producers, including public broadcasters (ABS-CBN, BBC, CBC, DR, FMM, France TV, RAI, RFI, Russia Today, RT Malaysia, VOA), commercial networks and operators (Canal+, FOX, eTV, MBC Dubai, MediaCorp, Mediaset, Orange, Time Warner Cable, Warner Bros, Sirius XM Radio), and government organizations (Canadian House of Commons, Australian Parliament and UK Parliament). Dalet is traded on the NYSE-EURONEXT stock exchange (Eurolist C): ISIN: FR0011026749, Bloomberg DLT:FP, Reuters: DALE.PA. Dalet® is a registered trademark of Dalet Digital Media Systems. All other products and trademarks mentioned herein belong to their respective owners.
25 Years of Dalet
In 1990, six friends from engineering and business school formed a company that pioneered the first audio software and centralized database solution for the radio industry, Dalet. Canada’s national radio channel, CBC Radio, became the first Dalet system deployed with a centralized catalogue and, throughout the 90s, we expanded across Europe, Asia and the Americas, providing solutions for radio and newsrooms so successfully that in many cases the same software is still in use today. Radio continues to be an important part of our business with large customers such as Voice of America and SiriusXM Radio relying on Dalet radio solutions. One of the six founders Stéphane Guez reminisces, “We knew we wanted to start a company together, but at the beginning, we weren’t entirely sure what that company was going to be. Spread across the northern hemisphere, we’d spend hours talking on the phone with one another. Well before Skype even existed and before cell phones had come to the masses, we’d find ways to connect via telephone, even though we were flat broke and didn't have access to our own lines. When we realized what it was that we wanted to create, there was no turning back.” It wasn’t long before we realized the potential of our approach beyond radio and, in our 10th year we began extending our software to establish a comprehensive solution for television news. That same year, in June (2000), Dalet also became a publicly traded company on the Paris Bourse (Euronext Paris). By 2002, we had created an end-to-end news production system – incorporating NRCS (newsroom computer system), ingest tools, video production features, and playout control with archive capabilities – which was rapidly adopted by the industry’s most forward-thinking broadcasters, including NBC, Prime TV, and Russia Today, to name a few. The first decade of this century saw immense changes in the media industry, with the monumental shift to file-based workflows. With this came the growing need for flexible and comprehensive media asset management (MAM) solutions, a trend that we had identified and were well positioned to address with our background in news and radio. In fact, in 2009, we were honored with the IBC Innovation Award in the Content Management category having provided RTBF with a highly flexible and scalable tapeless workflow, facilitating the production across news, program and sports production operations from ingest to playout to archive. In our 20th year (2010), Dalet completed the strategic acquisition of Italian company Gruppo TNT. With their Brio video server platform, Gruppo TNT had already experienced great success in their domestic market, but Dalet saw the potential in this technology, highly complementary to our own, as the next generation of video servers on the global market. Not only has the Brio augmented our MAM-driven solutions, it has also, on its own merits, become the cornerstone of ingest and studio infrastructure at some of the world’s most prestigious media facilities. “Growing from an idea between six friends into a global business has not been without its challenges,” Michael Elhadad, another of the original six, notes. “We had to take a lot of chances and make decisions based solely on our vision of the future. We’ve had our fair share of disagreements throughout that process! It’s also been extremely rewarding to see the results of those decisions and the success that’s come thanks to the many exceptional people we’ve worked with over the years.” Looking to repeat the success of the Gruppo TNT acquisition, and further complement the now well-established 4th generation of our MAM platform, Dalet Galaxy, in April of 2014, UK-based AmberFin joined the Dalet family. Well known for high-quality transcode and file-based frame rate conversion products, the potential in combining the AmberFin expertise in media formats and processing with the workflow and media management experience of Dalet is truly exciting and already proving beneficial for our customers. Over a quarter of a century, from humble beginnings, we have become a truly international organization, proudly supporting our customers with software-based solutions that have and will continue to innovate and evolve in response to an ever-changing media economy. We especially want to thank the many individuals who have contributed to the success and growth of this company – naturally, all our past and present colleagues at Dalet, our partners, who have challenged us along the way and, of course, our customers who we exist to serve but also who have also provided their invaluable wisdom to help better our offerings. In our 25th year, and as we look to the next 25 years, we will use those secure foundations to continue firmly on that path, working in close partnership with our customers to embark on new journeys and reimagine the media enterprise.
An IBC preview that won’t leave you dizzy
When we write these blog entries each week, we normally ensure we have a draft a few days in advance to make sure we have plenty of time to review, edit and make sure that the content is worth publishing. This entry was late, very late. This pre-IBC post has been hugely challenging to write for two reasons: Drone-mounted Moccachino machines are not on the agenda – but Bruce’s post last week definitely has me avoiding marketing “spin.” There are so many things I could talk about, it’s been a struggle to determine what to leave out. Earlier this year, at the NAB Show, we announced the combination of our Workflow Engine, including the Business Process Model & Notation (BPMN) 2.0-compliant workflow designer, and our Dalet AmberFin media processing platform. Now generally available in the AmberFin v11 release, we’ll be demonstrating how customers are using this system to design, automate and monitor their media transcode and QC workflows, in mission-critical multi-platform distribution operations. Talking of multi-platform distribution, our Dalet Galaxy media asset management now has the capability to publish directly to social media outlets such as Facebook and Twitter, while the new Media Packages feature simplifies the management of complex assets, enabling users to see all of the elements associated with a specific asset, such as different episodes, promos etc., visually mapped out in a clear and simple way. Making things simple is somewhat of a theme for Dalet at IBC this year. Making ingest really easy for Adobe Premiere users, the new Adobe Panel for Dalet Brio enables users to start, stop, monitor, quality check and ingest directly from the Adobe Premiere Pro interface with new recordings brought directly into the edit bin. We’ll also be demonstrating the newly redesigned chat and messaging module in Dalet Galaxy, Dalet WebSpace and the Dalet On-the-Go mobile application. The modern, and familiar, chat interface has support for persistent chats, group chats, messaging offline users and much more. Legislation and consolidation of workflows mean that captioning and subtitling are a common challenge for many facilities. We are directly addressing that challenge with a standards-based, cross-platform strategy for the handling of captioning workflows across Dalet Galaxy, Dalet Brio and Dalet AmberFin. With the ability to read and write standards-constrained TTML, caption and subtitle data is searchable and editable inside the Dalet Galaxy MAM, while Dalet Brio is able to capture caption- and subtitle-containing ancillary data packets to disk and play them back. Dalet AmberFin natively supports the extraction and insertion of subtitle and caption data to and from .SCC and .STL formats respectively, while tight integration with other vendors extends support for other vendors. There are so many other exciting new features I could talk about, but it’s probably best to see them for yourself live in Amsterdam. Of course, if you’re not going to the show, you can always get the latest by subscribing to the blog, or get in touch with your local representative to get more information. There, and I didn’t even mention buzzwords 4K and cloud… …yet!
AmsterMAM – What’s New With Dalet at IBC (Part 1)
If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you may also receive our newsletters (if not, email us and we’ll sign you up) – the latest edition of which lists 10 reasons to visit Dalet at the upcoming IBC show (stand 8.B77). Over the next couple of weeks, I’m going to be using this blog to expand on some of those reasons, starting this week with a focus on Media Asset Management (MAM) and the Dalet Galaxy platform. Three years ago, putting together an educational seminar for SMPTE, Bruce Devlin (star of this blog and Chief Media Scientist at Dalet) interviewed a number of MAM vendors and end users about what a MAM should be and do. Pulling together the responses – starting with a large number of post-it notes and ending with a large Venn diagram – it was obvious that what “MAM” means to you is very dependent on how you want to use it. What we ended up with was a “core” of functionality that was common to all MAM-driven workflows and a number of outer circles with workflow-specific tasks. This is exactly how Dalet Galaxy is built – a unified enterprise MAM core, supporting News, Production, Sports, Archive, Program Prep and Radio, with task-specific tools unique to each business solution. At IBC we’ll be showcasing these workflows individually, but based on the same Dalet Galaxy core. For news, we have two demonstrations. Dalet News Suite is our customizable, Enterprise multimedia news production and distribution system. This IBC we’ll be showcasing new integration with social media and new tools for remote, mobile and web-based working. We’ll also be demonstrating our fully-packaged, end-to-end solution for small and mid-size newsrooms, Dalet NewsPack. In sports workflows, quick turnaround and metadata entry is essential – we’ll be showing how Dalet Sports Factory, with new advanced logging capabilities, enables fast, high-quality sports production and distribution. IBC sees the European debut of the new Dalet Galaxy-based Dalet Radio Suite, the most comprehensive, robust and flexible radio production and playout solution available, featuring Dalet OneCut editing, a rock-solid playout module featuring integration with numerous third parties and class-leading multi-site operations. Dalet Media Life provides a rich set of user tools for program prep, archive and production workflows. New for IBC this year, we’ll be previewing new “track stack” functionality for multilingual and multi-channel audio workflows, extended integration with Adobe Premiere and enhanced workflow automation. If you want to see how the Dalet Galaxy platform can support your workflow, or be central to multiple workflows click here to book at meeting at IBC or get in touch with our sales team. You can also find out more about what we’re showing at IBC here.
An Amsterdam Education! … No, Not That Type of Education
Maybe it’s a result of having two teachers as parents, but I am passionate about education and, particularly, education in our industry. Technology and innovation move forward so fast in our business that even as a seasoned industry professional it can sometimes be tricky to keep pace. That’s why I’m so excited to be doing something a little different with the Dalet Theater at IBC this year – here’s what we’ve got going on. Dalet @ IBC One of the primary reasons for visiting the IBC Show is to find out what’s new. Each morning, about an hour after the show opens, we will host a short presentation to explore all the key announcements that Dalet is making at IBC. Whatever your reasons for visiting IBC, this is a great opportunity to find out what’s new. Bruce’s (Orange) Shorts After a short break, Bruce Devlin (aka Mr. MXF) will be back on stage to preview a brand new series of Bruce’s shorts, due out later this year. Every day at 13:00 and 16:00 Bruce will present two short seminars on new technologies and trends. Partners with Dalet Across the globe, Dalet works with a number of distributors and resellers who package Dalet solutions and applications with other tools to meet the needs of their geographies. We’ve invited some of our partners to talk about how they’ve used Dalet and other technologies to address the needs of their regions (12:00). Product Focus If you want to know a little bit more about Dalet products and give your feet a bit of a rest, at 14:00 each day we’ll be focusing in on part of the Dalet portfolio. Click here to see what’s on when! Case Studies There’s no better way to learn than from someone else’s success. We will feature a number of case studies at 15:00, followed by Q&A, based on the most cutting-edge deployments of the past year. Dalet Keynote The big one…each day of the show (Friday through Monday), at 17:00, we’ve partnered with industry giants, including Adobe, Quantum and others, to bring you Dalet Keynotes, which will focus on the biggest challenges facing our industry today. There will also be some light refreshments and an opportunity to network with speakers and peers after the presentation. We’re expecting standing-room-only for the Dalet Keynote sessions so register your interest (Dalet+Adobe; Dalet+Quantum) and we’ll do our best to save you a seat. It’s going to be an amazing lineup with something for everybody – be sure to check the full Dalet Theater schedule and stop by the stand during the show for the latest additions and updates. Of course, if you want talk one-on-one with a Dalet solutions expert or have an in-depth demo tailored to your requirement, you can click here to book a meeting with us at the show. We'll be in hall 8, stand 8.B77. We can’t wait to see you there – but if you’re more of a planner and want to know what to expect elsewhere on the Dalet stand, visit our dedicated IBC page on the Dalet website. Who knows, you might even stumble across some intriguing bits of information or a clue (or two) for what we might be announcing at the show (hint, hint!). We’re looking forward to seeing you in Amsterdam! Until then…
More Secrets of Metadata
Followers of Bruce’s Shorts may remember an early episode on the Secrets of Metadata where I talked about concentrating on your metadata for your business, because it adds the value that you need. It seems the world is catching onto the idea of business value of metadata, and I don’t even have to wrestle a snake to explain it! Over the last 10 years of professional media file-based workflows, there have been many attempts at creating standardized metadata schemes. A lot of these have been generated by technologists trying to do the right thing or trying to fix a particular technical problem. Many of the initiatives have suffered from limited deployment and limited adoption because the fundamental questions they were asking centered on technology and not the business application. If you center your metadata around a business application, then you automatically take into account the workflows required to create, clean, validate, transport, store and consume that metadata. If you center the metadata around the technology, then some or all of those aspects are forgotten – and that’s where the adoption of metadata standards falls down. Why? It’s quite simple. Accurate metadata can drive business decisions that in turn improves efficiency and covers the cost of the metadata creation. Many years ago, I was presenting with the head of a well-known post house in London. He stood on stage and said in his best Australian accent “I hate metadata." You guys want me to make accurate, human oriented metadata in my facility for no cost, so that you guys can increase your profits at my expense.” Actually he used many shorter words that I’m not able to repeat here J. The message that he gave is still completely valid today: If you’re going to create accurate metadata, then who is going to consume it? If the answer is no one, ever, then you’re doing something that costs money for no results. That approach does not lead to a good long-term business. If the metadata is consumed within your own organization, then you ask the question: “Does it automate one or many processes downstream?” The automation might be a simple error check or a codec choice or an email generation or a target for a search query. The more consuming processes there are for a metadata field, the more valuable it can become. If the metadata is consumed in a different organization, then you have added value to the content by creating metadata. The value might be expressed in financial terms or in good-will terms, but fundamentally a commercial transaction is taking place by the creation of that metadata. The UK’s Digital Production Partnership and the IRT in Germany have both made great progress towards defining just enough metadata to reduce friction in B2B (business to business) file transfer in the broadcast world. Cablelabs continues to do the same for the cable world and standards bodies such as SMPTE are working with the EBU to make a core metadata definition that accelerates B2B ecommerce type applications. I would love to say that we’ve cracked the professional metadata problem, but the reality is that we’re still half way through the journey. I honestly don’t know how many standards we need. A single standard that covers every media application will be too big and unwieldy. A different standard for each B2B transaction type will cost too much to implement and sustain. I’m thinking we’ll be somewhere between these two extremes in the “Goldilocks zone,” where there are just enough schemas and the implementation cost is justified by the returns that a small number of standards can bring. As a Media Asset Management company, we spend our daily lives wrestling with the complexities of metadata. I live in hope that at least the B2B transaction element of that metadata will one day be as easy to author and as interoperable as a web page. Until then, why not check out the power of search from Luc’s blog. Without good metadata, it would be a lot less exciting.
Why Ingest to the Cloud?
With Cloud storage becoming cheaper and the data transfer to services such as Amazon S3 storage being free of charge, there are numerous reasons why ingesting to the Cloud should be part of any media organization’s workflow. So, stop trying to calculate how much storage your organization consumes by day, month or year, or whether you need a NAS, a SAN or a Grid, and find out why Cloud could be just what your organization needs. Easy Sharing of Content Instead of production crews or field journalists spending copious amounts of time and money shipping hard drives to the home site or being limited by the bandwidth of an FTP server when uploading content, with object storage services like Amazon S3 or Microsoft Azure, uploading content to the Cloud has become easy and cheap. Once content is uploaded to the Cloud, anyone with secure credentials can access it from anywhere in the world. Rights Access to Content In recent news, cloud storage services such as Apple iCloud were hacked and private content was stolen, increasing the concern about security and access rights to content in the Cloud. With secure connections such as VPN and rights access management tools, you can specify, by user, group access rights and duration of how long content can be accessed on the Cloud. Both Microsoft and Amazon have setup security features to protect your data as well as to replicate content to more secure locations. Cloud Services to Process the Data By uploading content to the Cloud, in the backend you can setup services and workflows to run QC checks on the content, stream media, transcode to multiple formats, and organize the content for search and retrieval using a Media Asset Management (MAM) System hosted on the Cloud. Cloud Scalability Rather than buying an expensive tape library or continuing to purchase more hardware for a spinning disk storage, with cloud storage, one can scale down or scale up with the click of a button. No need for over-provisioning. Disaster Recovery An organization can easily set up secure data replication from one site to another or institute replication rules to copy content to multiple virtual containers, offering assurance that content will not be lost. Amazon S3 provides durable infrastructure to store important data and is designed for durability of 99.99999999% of objects. Moving Towards an OPEX Model As operations and storage move to the Cloud, you can control your investment by paying as you use services and storing content on the Cloud. Instead of investing on infrastructure maintenance and support, with operations on the Cloud, you can focus the investment on what makes a difference, the content and not the infrastructure to support it. Why Upload to the Cloud? The Cloud is no longer a technology of the future, with cloud storage adopted by Google, Facebook and Instagram, Cloud technology is the reality of today. By adopting this technology you control your investment by usage needs, backup your data and provide secure access to content to anyone with credentials anywhere in the world. The biggest limitation now is bandwidth, and the hurdle is adjusting the current infrastructure to support Cloud operations. Many organizations are turning towards a hybrid Cloud model, where content and services are hosted both locally and via Cloud solutions. Learning from the Cloud experience, Dalet has made initiatives over the past few years to evolve existing tools and services for the Cloud. Dalet now offers direct ingest from the Dalet Brio video server to Amazon S3 Storage and, at NAB this year in Las Vegas, Dalet showcased the first MAM-based Newsroom on the Cloud. To learn more about Dalet ingest solutions, please visit the ingest application page.