News Production & Post

Sky hires The White Room to help it go tapeless

27 October 2011
Sky hires The White Room to help it go tapeless

BSkyB has appointed media technology training consultancy The White Room to train 700 of its broadcast operations and sports production staff as it moves to a fully file-based production system.

The training not only tackles the hands-on, button-pushing aspects of the new technology but also the cultural and contextual issues involved in Sky’s workforce moving to the new file-based workflows.

Sky is the first major UK broadcaster to transfer all production to a digital workflow. But such a major broadcast operation moving all of its production to a system which needs to be modular, interoperable, workflow-based and cost-effective at the same time is a challenge. Staff face a major shift in the way they work.

In response to this, The White Room is working with media technology company Mediasmiths – which helped design the new tapeless file-based infrastructure at Sky – to train 700 staff. They will be introduced to the new concepts, workflows and terminology involved in adopting an entirely new way of working.

“The shift to a totally file-based environment is exciting but also very challenging for Sky. Going tapeless will streamline the traffic of incoming and playout media, allow more effective collaboration and enable more efficient working. But it also presents significant perceptual and functional challenges which this training has helped us overcome," said Chris Whatmore, Sky’s Deputy Head of Broadcast Operations.

Paul Collins, programme manager at The White Room (pictured) added: “Sky wanted us to focus on the change management aspects of moving away from physical tapes, helping staff to see why such a fundamental shift was being made and the benefits. We’ve also been working with employees to demystify file-based technology and the jargon that surrounds it.

"Tackling the cultural issues, as well as practical hurdles, that arise from people no longer having physical media to carry from room to room, is key to ensuring an organisation adapts quickly to digital workflows.”

The White Room also provides digital production training to the BBC and is in discussion with other international broadcasters about helping them to manage the shift to digital production.


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