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MatrixStore: An integrated digital content governance platform for Imagina US

Leading production company for the US Hispanic and Latin American markets, Imagina US, was faced with the following problems:

– dispersed storage silos
– sharing and connectivity
– access and security to content
– difficulties integrating various technology platforms including ingest, post-production, and archive systems.

The existing setup included two NAS storage devices that ran many services and features, but didn’t have the capability to catalogue and search beyond basic windows functionality. Add to this the fact that some of the media was archived on external hard drives, Imagina US was experiencing enormous challenges finding and recovering media files when needed.

Access to content was also a big issue, with security concerns meaning that a lot of the content was not viewable by the Marketing and Programming teams.

Integrated storage

Technology partner, Unitecnic US, was able to help Imagina analyse the market and the available options. It was important to find a solution that helped Imagina serve its customers in an organised and scalable way not only to serve the tactical needs of today but also to match the company’s strategic plans in the future. In order to achieve this, the ability to integrate into its existing setup and workflows was crucial. MatrixStore object storage, from Object Matrix, ticked all of those boxes, enabling Imagina to integrate management, cataloguing, transfer, flawless backup of post-production projects, and monitoring and visualisation of all stored media.

“Unitecnic constantly scours the market for best of breed solutions that fit the tactical and strategic needs of our customers” explained Ismael Marcer, CTO Unitecnic US. “What empresses us about Object Matrix is their commitment to the industry we work in by the work they do to integrate and automate workflows that to date our customers have performed manually”.

MatrixStore comes with a number of integrated applications that help Imagina keep its media organised within the archive, whilst ensuring easy, and controlled access whenever needed. This includes Interconnect, which enables Imagina to save sequences, ingest, and clips outside its Avid ISIS storage, whilst maintaining all the metadata, so that any content can be retrieved and re-edited at any time.

MatrixStore Vision means that Imagina can view content in low res through the application and download all versions at various resolutions. Being web-based means that it is easy for anyone within the company to have easy access, in a secure and protected way.

Multi-tenancy and managing multiple vaults

With a variety of clients there is a need to use a common platform whilst keeping content separate for each of them. To achieve this Imagina US has established a number of distinct vaults within MatrixStore:

– Imagina Ingest is is a dedicated space for the temporary ingest of original files before processing. This space houses the original materials coming from content providers, both by Hard Drive and direct download by file transfer services such as Aspera or Media Shuttle. MatrixStore integrates natively with those services to make the process all the more seamless.

– The P2 Vault is used for the intake of raw material, mostly footage, both proprietary and for services rendered. All the backups of the footage are automatically saved, giving Imagina confidence that files won’t get lost.

– Imagina Park Media is a space for post-production material storage from Interplay AVID from the MatrixStore Interconnect application. Thanks to Interconnect, all of the company’s important post-production projects are kept ready for re-issue. Any material that you want to reformat is ready for reissue in a matter of hours.

– Imagina Archive contains an extensive history of productions ranging from studio work, Soap Operas, Documentaries and Reality TV programmes. The Archive Vault contains the historical production files and all the corporate videos and photography from these. Naturally this is the largest vault and uses MatrixStore Vision to give Imagina easy access to the stored content. Part of this content Is also accessible from the Media Shuttle Portal used in the International Sales office, located in Madrid, Spain.

– The VoD storage is dedicated to the storage of files processed and ready for VoD. In this Vault, Imagina has several Watch folders for its transcoding systems.

-Customer Vaults. As well as these general vaults, Imagina has setup specific vaults for individual customers, including an archive and promotions vault for Hemisphere TV. Imagina provides complete broadcast services for Hemisphere TV, including ingest, postproduction, broadcast, and VoD services. It was therefore crucial to have a space to manage just that content, whilst giving those people in charge of programming, promotions, and marketing access to content from the broadcaster’s four channels: Pasiones US, Pasiones Latam, Centro America Televisión, and Televisión Dominicana. Again Vision gives them instant online access, whilst ensuring they can only access relevant content.

The setup also includes a material exchange for the Miami and Madrid teams of Hola TV. The Hola TV Media team in Miami has direct access by Mxfs to the content uploaded by the Madrid team in the same way that it can export directly into this Vault.

Essentially, if you do not have security credentials for a vault you do not get access.

Exchanging content

With so many vaults to manage, being able to transfer files between various vaults was also an important aspect for Imagina. Using the client application DropSpot, Imagina is able to manage and restart transfer processes by adding profiles created from using metadata forms.

– Imagina uses its Interchanger vault to exchange all multimedia file types between the office and technical environments. All Imagina customers: Bein Sports, DIRECTV, Hi TV and Hemisphere, use this service executed through FTP. Naturally with all clients having access, the ability to setup detailed access controls and permissions was particularly crucial, ensuring clients only have access to their own content. These access controls are set to the user level, with each user having specific read and write levels configured.

“MatrixStore has revolutionised Imagina’s archive system, giving it an integrated system to manage multiple vaults, whilst ensuring a high level of content security and protection,” stated Marc Andreu, director of media management, Imagina US. “Ultimately, it means Imagina can get back to what it does best –generate great content.”

The systems installed and supported in Miami by Unitecnic US consists of 528 terabytes of MatrixStore object storage and the following Object Matrix applications:

– InterConnect plugin for Avid Interplay PAM
– DropSpot for Ingest and data moving
– MXFS for content access
– Vision browser for finding and sharing content internally and with customers