News Production & Post

ITN turns to Front Porch for archive

9 February 2007

Front Porch Digital has announced that ITN is using Front Porch Digital DIVArchive to provide the content storage management for its news production operation. One of the largest of its kind in Europe, ITN’s system is unique in providing facilities to production staff, while additionally making content available via ITN Source, its fast-growing online clip sales platform.

“This is a significant development of the system we started to create back in 1998, when, although we were using video servers, it was still cheaper to store material on tape,” said Keith Cass, director of technology, ITN. “Now, with all video servers supporting file transfer, and with the maturity and cost-effectiveness of digital archiving, we have been able to complete another stage of the vision we had at the outset: using best-of-breed components such as DIVArchive to greatly optimise our workflows and gain in operational efficiency. The system supports our news contracts with ITV News and Channel 4 News and, at the same time, provides an expandable and adaptable digital platform for the burgeoning ITN Source operation – a great way of reusing ITN’s enormous archive to create what we intend will be the most advanced moving-image resource in the world.”

ITN’s system, integrated by Sony, relies on a core Quantel SQ server and Sony PetaSite for mass storage, with DIVArchive providing the content storage management middleware. The Front Porch Digital system is capable of storing 100,000 hours of footage at IMX30 resolution. It makes a copy of high-resolution archived assets in QuickTime format for viewing by archivists preparing shot lists stored on the in-house database. Shots selected to be made available via ITN Source are flagged as part of this process, in which the system uses two separate search and retrieval facilities – one unrestricted set for ITN newsroom use and a second restricted set for publication on the ITN Source website.

“The system ITN has created is a fine example of the content storage management benefits DIVArchive can provide, not only in streamlining the core business of news production, but also in allowing the company to repurpose its assets for an entirely new business development,” added Rino Petricola, senior vice president and managing director for Front Porch Digital International.

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