Customer story: Cartoon Network

Customer story: Cartoon Network

“ContentAgent’s integration with file-based QC vendors has been of great help. We have QC software from Tektronix and Interra but Vidchecker is our system of choice.”Tony Tedford, Post Production Supervisor, Cartoon Network

Cartoon Network is an American cable and satellite TV channel owned by the Turner Broadcasting System division of Time Warner. Launched in 1992, the channel airs animated programming, ranging from action to comedy.

As part of the Turner Broadcasting System (TBS) portfolio, Cartoon Network needed to respond to the initiative to move to an all-digital platform, and prepare to deliver file-based media from its Los Angeles facility to the TBS HQ in Atlanta.

Back in 2010, Tony Tedford, Post Production Supervisor at Cartoon Network and a working editor on the popular show ‘Ben10: Omniverse,’ started his search for a transcoder that would take his Avid material from the facility’s Media Composers and convert it to a QuickTime file for broadcast. That seems an easy task now but back in the day, as Tedford recalls, things were not quite that simple.

“All the systems we looked at were having a pretty hard time in the Avid environment. We needed a transcoder that would interpret the Avid sequence and preserve the metadata. An option was to render a QuickTime file out of the Avid, but that was very time-consuming – almost twice real-time and it tied up our Avids into the bargain. We’re a very busy facility and need to make the most of our resources so that option wasn’t too appealing.”

“In 2012 we visited NAB, our main objective being to crack this problem. We met with ROOT6 Technology for a demonstration of its file-based management and automation system ContentAgent, and were impressed on a number of counts. We liked the simplicity and flexibility of the User Interface and specifically, its metadata handling capabilities.”

“Subsequently ROOT6 Technology paid us a visit and showed us how the Watchfolders feature in ContentAgent could be used to significantly streamline our workflow. Exported QuickTime reference files from the Media Composers are dropped into a Watchfolder on our Isilon network – where they are picked up by ContentAgent for the automated transcoding; referencing media files residing on our Avid ISIS Shared storage.”

“Since we started down that road we’ve gotten very busy and, as we’re delivering content internationally and for different platforms, we’re now generating a wide variety of file types including DNxHD, SD Letterbox and H.264. ContentAgent has helped shift all this activity out of our Avid bay and onto the ContentAgent transcoder.”

““Additionally, ContentAgent’s integration with file-based QC vendors has been of great help. We have QC software from Tektronix and Interra but Vidchecker is our system of choice. It’s a little friendlier and easier to set up. With so much international content going through, issues like photosensitive epilepsy must be addressed and we find Vidchecker is a good way of alerting us to potential hazards. The QC operation simply sits as a node in ContentAgent’s Workflow Designer and the whole process is automated with status notifications and alerts.”

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