A long history of success
IPV has worked with the Golf Channel for many years. The relationship began with live proxy creation, but IPV and the Golf Channel and went on to form a strong partnership, delivering many years of highly exciting and relevant content production. IPV allowed the channel to instantly access live ingest and archive material for reliable metadata logging of their valuable content.
Today, the focus on highly accurate tournament data capture and presentation for logging continues. Expanding that unique user experience and pushing live log data into the editing and production platform. Through this long running partnership, IPV has worked with the Golf Channel to deliver a logging system that’s second to none.
The Challenges of Live Golf Broadcasts
“What we are is based on our media.” That’s how Shauntice Diaz, Lead Systems Engineer at the Golf Channel, talks about the content that they live and breathe. “We’re capturing anywhere from 14 to possibly 24 streams or more for period or 6-8 hours 4-5 days a week”. Some weeks there are multiple tournaments, which can mean up to 40 live concurrent inbound streams. It doesn’t take a golf enthusiast to appreciate that providing this sort of coverage is a mammoth task.
What makes it even more challenging is the complexity around the narrative of the tours, tournaments and matches. These create huge amounts of data - which is part of what makes the sport so interesting to its fans. There are multiple feeds, on multiple courses, stretching across multiple days. For all of these, fans want to see data on things like pin location, player stats, club selection, distance…the list is almost endless. And, to confuse matters further, events at different times of day or on different courses can be closely intertwined.
“Golf may appear to be a live tournament, but it involves an awful lot of playback; things that you see might have happened earlier in the day or on a different day or be going on in parallel” comments Browning. “So, it’s a lot more complex than say a single football game with live playback.” In fact, golf is one of those sports where there are multiple matches being played out at the same time. These need tracking and logging in order to help editorial teams tell the story and avoid missing any exciting events.
“We capture pretty much every major tournament
that occurs from week to week.”
This means that there’s constantly a need to dip in and out of different content, which editors and producers need to find quickly. Metadata must be processed, managed and used to accurately tag each clip. Only then will the editors have the information they need about the event to create compelling content for their viewers.
But doing all this tagging manually was a time-consuming job heavy on manpower and could leave finished content littered with inaccuracies. As Browning says, “It’s funny how many ways people will spell Tiger Woods’. It was clear that a new logging system was needed to speed up this process as well as an engine dedicated to managing the metadata.
To really work for the Golf Channel, the new logger needed to fulfil several criteria. Firstly, they wanted to use data from SMT (SportsMEDIA Technology), a data source that provides the granular detail discussed above for every golf match. Although this data is extremely useful, it’s copious and hard to navigate unless presented in the right way. “IPV really knows how to engage with and present this data intuitively”, comments Browning.
Integrating A Winning Workflow
As discussed, the Golf Channel had already worked closely with IPV to develop a coherent way of managing assets that made it easy to ingest and locate content. Having ruled out many well-known logging vendors, IPV presented a solution: an upgrade to their existing IPV products with an entirely new and highly configurable logger, tailored precisely to work for Golf and importantly, integrated with Avid.
“Avid is involved in all stages and parts of our system and we needed a tool that can work effectively with it” says Diaz. “It’s the ingest, our shared storage, our editing platform”. With vendors struggling to deliver in these key areas, Golf Channel looked to see if IPV could extend its solution to deepen the integration with Avid. Golf channel considered numerous vendors but struggled to find a solution that delivered in these new key areas.
The team knew that they enjoyed working with IPV, and the new logger was no exception. IPV were happy to incorporate the Golf Channel’s requirements, and the Golf Channel felt confident that IPV would deliver.
How Curator Helps Bring The Golf Channel's Video Out-of-the-Rough
So, how does the new system work? To meet Golf Channel’s data need, IPV’s Metadata Central deciphers SMT data, organizes and displays it in the IPV Curator Logger. The way that it processes and presents this data, even at scale, makes it highly valuable. IPV’s sophisticated data engine improves consistency and data accuracy.
This includes processing metadata into controlled and automatically managed vocabularies, removing umlauts and diacritical marks, tracking live data and creating a chronological view of the historical data to ensure it always matches up with the correct content. Additionally, the layout is intuitive – buttons, drop-down menus and keyboard shortcuts make it simple and swift to view and select the data you’re interested in. Working with SMT, Curator also ensures that only relevant data to the clip you’re logging is shown.
When it comes to Avid, IPV Curator’s seamless integration turned out to be second to none. Diaz explains: “Any new feeds that we get from tournaments go into shared storage and IPV is able to spy these feeds. IPV interacts with Avid to see what new feeds are coming in and creates high quality proxies off them and immediately it becomes readily available to our loggers.” The content is logged live, and those logs are instantly fed back into the editing system, where editors can easily find the clips they need to make editing decisions quickly.
In Browning’s words, “there are a limited number of vendors out there that can really handle a growing file… most companies have to wait until the file is closed on the Avid system before you can start to log it. IPV was able to develop their system so that it can log live on the content as it comes into the Avid, and that’s unique to them.” Being able to work with Avid to a very high level of competency sealed the deal for Golf Channel.
The top 3 impacts Curator has on The Golf Channel as a business
Flexible & high-performance logging
The latest IPV Curator logger is built using IPV’s sophisticated HTML-5 player and backed with their intelligent metadata engine, Metadata Central. Users can interact with live growing feeds and annotate media with clean and fully automated vocabularies.
The Curator system is completely configurable. The flexibility of the platform meant IPV were able to easily integrate it with other systems Golf Channel systems - such as their existing Avid production editing solution.
IPV’s proxy-based workflows have helped Golf Channel to more easily manage live events and large metadata vocabularies. Running as a proxy-based solution, the storage is 98% more efficient than using the high resolution.
“IPV is best in class for golf and sports media video content management. They were able to develop a system that we depend on daily and we’re very happy with the system.”
The Golf Channel's Final Shot
When asked what else they like about the IPV Curator solution, both Browning and Diaz emphasize that they can’t imagine using anything else.
Diaz points to the ease with which users can find content they need, as well as the ability to stream low-resolution proxies to avoid using up storage and bandwidth and is excited about the AI integrations, which will help to automate the creation of metadata by using speech-to-text and captioning.
The Golf Channel believe that before they had this solution from IPV, they would have needed more than twenty people but with IPV’s effective solution this workload can be handled by two people.
Ultimately, conversation always comes back to the things that IPV have shown they can do better than anyone else: high-performance, accurate logging and a seamless Avid integration experience.