Since its introduction in 2014, Avid’s powerful MediaCentral platform has proven to be a game changer in broadcast workflows. While removing bottlenecks from team tasks has always been central to its development, Avid has remained persistent in its pursuit of streamlined, collaborative workflows. With the increased data demands of 4K and 8K UHD currently driving large demand for content creation in post-production, Avid has been working to take the MediaCentral Platform to the next level for post-production workflows.
New York City broadcast and post professionals received a detailed briefing on these new developments with the recently launched MediaCentral | Editorial Management technology module, at a special event in midtown hosted by Video Corporation of America (VCA), an Avid Elite Solutions Partner. With everyone from Major League Baseball (MLB) to top NYC post house specialists in attendance, Avid had one of their own big guns on hand in MediaCentral | Editorial Management’s product manager Dave Colantuoni.
In a panel discussion led by VCA experts Rich DiLorenzo and Steve Rapanaro, Colantuoni went in-depth on the challenges being faced by today’s post professionals in small- to mid-sized facilities, and how MediaCentral | Editorial Management is designed to conquer the obstacles to collaborative workflows.
It turns out the good news is directly intertwined with the bad news: Although more content is being created than ever before, the manpower and budgets for post have not necessarily increased in step. “There’s so many channels, so many venues to consume content—it’s a never-ending quest for high-quality programming,” Colantuoni observed. “It’s driven by the networks and OTT operations, which in turn drives the efficiency needed in products. When we were talking with these content providers, one of them told us, ‘There is an incredible demand for post-production with this increased amount of content being produced, and there is concern that there’s not enough of it to handle the demand.’ That’s shocking – and that’s just one content provider.”
With such urgency on the client side, Avid recognized the need to enable highly intuitive media management within a streamlined user interface, forming the core philosophy of MediaCentral | Editorial Management. An all-inclusive platform that empowers collaborative workflows for entire teams to take part in media creation, Avid’s MediaCentral | Editorial Management is a simple-to-deploy asset management tool. It enables small-to-mid-size post-production and broadcast teams to collaborate through secure, reliable and easily configured media workflows from an integrated panel inside Avid’s Media Composer video editor, as well as from a Web browser and mobile clients.
Colantuoni pointed to Editorial Management’s new HyperBin architecture as a primary feature that speeds up teamwork project-wide. For the first time ever, assistants and producers can create and modify HyperBins, add markers and metadata and perform other asset management tasks from Avid’s MediaCentral | Cloud UX, an easy Web browser interface that frees up the editor for creative tasks by reducing the time spent finding and managing media.
“This is extended functionality that goes beyond the traditional Media Composer bin,” Colantuoni explained. “An editor browsing for content has a lot more access to media than before. They can now search across projects and have filtered views within the Web browser. That HyperBin functionality is also available within the Web browser, with sharing available across the network. If an assistant creates a bin and fills it with media, for example, the editor will see it immediately in their project.”
Avid listened carefully to customer feedback as they designed the new features, ensuring that the MediaCentral user interface would still feel totally familiar following the upgrades.
“Editors don’t have a lot of time to learn a lot of new functions,” Colantuoni said. “They told us, ‘We’re comfortable with the existing workflow.’ But someone who knows Media Composer should be able to pick up Editorial Management in 30 minutes.”
With shooting ratios climbing ever higher, efficient asset management (MAM) and collaborative workflows are firmly in the spotlight. To that end, Colantuoni emphasized that Editorial Management’s capabilities were developed from the ground up, and they use the MediaCentral Platform architecture that has been in development for a few years now. “This is not a mini-Interplay or Interplay light,” he said. “It’s borne out of a brand-new platform we’ve been building. It’s awesome for handling scalable workgroups, meant specifically for post-production.”
A key factor for increasing asset management efficiency is that function’s unification into one cohesive environment within MediaCentral | Editorial Management. “Everything is under the same roof – plug ‘n’ play,” noted Colantuoni. “From a user perspective, there is now a single UI for things like searches and bin structures. It’s more muscle memory, less learning curve.”