Signiant touches down with NFL11 February 2008
It’s hard to ignore an American Football story in the wake of the weekend’s Superbowl upset, and so to the news that the NFL Network has deployed Signiant’s digital media distribution technology to transfer game footage for broadcast on weekly highlight shows including NFL Replay, writes Andy Stout.
The NFL broadcasts up to sixteen games per week, with each game averaging more than three hours in length. That adds up to nearly 50 hours of footage that needs to be reviewed, bookmarked, filed, retrieved and edited into NFL Replay, a 90-minute highlights program.
Using Signiant, NFL Films footage from each game can be uploaded to a secure, shared, digital storage folder, where it can then be reviewed and edited by NFL Network employees. These clips are then securely sent across a high-speed, Wide Area Network spanning almost 3000 miles.
After game footage is shot, it is converted from film into digital video and tagged with metadata to make the content easily catalogued and searchable. This content is often combined with other archival footage and becomes accessible by the production staff at NFL Network, NFL Films, and partners.
For NFL Replay, game highlights are transferred from NFL Films to NFL Network in California where, with a four-hour turnaround deadline, editors can then search metadata tags attached to each clip, make selections, and assemble edited sequences. The edited content is then placed in a shared access folder, where it is automatically transferred back to New Jersey for play-to-air at 19.00pm. In many cases, the show is still being assembled at 16.30pm. Moving HD content from coast-to-coast in an accelerated and secure fashion makes working within tight deadlines possible.
“Using Signiant’s digital media distribution management solution, we are seeing realtime transfer of HD which has resulted in a reduction in post production time and cost, while increasing the quality of NFL Replay and other NFL Network produced programming,” said Jeff Howard, senior executive of engineering and broadcast technologies at NFL Network and NFL Films. “Not only are we moving our game footage where it needs to go quickly and securely with Signiant, we’ve also increased our productivity levels and freed up employee time to do other tasks which is helping our entire business to run more efficiently.”
“Signiant is proud to collaborate with such an innovative group of people and contribute to entertaining millions of people weekly,” said Tony Lapolito, vice president of marketing at Signiant. “After assessing the needs of NFL Network for collaborative production, Signiant delivers the speed, reliability and security that NFL Network needs to move their media to the right place at the right time.”