Medway middleware used for relinking and sequence archive
Two clever Medway workflows have been recently developed by Marquis Broadcast and are currently in use by large broadcasters. These enable relinking, integrating and archiving of Avid projects; especially useful between a main facility and remote editors. Here’s a summary of how each of these workflows operate.
Workflow 1 – Relinking and integration
Most broadcasters use a Media Asset Management – or MAM – system to manage hundreds of gigabytes of media and data. With the new Medway workflow, the MAM manages all the content in the system and sends it via Medway into Avid. When Medway sends media into the Avid system, it’s transcoded down into a lower resolution proxy format. The editor is able to work on the sequence using the proxy content and, when finished, they can pass the sequence back to Medway just using the standard Media Composer ‘Send To’ export.
Medway then takes this sequence information and uses it to work out the partials of all the high-resolution content required, i.e., how much of the hi-res media is needed to go back into the system. Medway will then pass this information to the MAM system, which will check whether the required hi-res content is online or off on tape. If it’s on tape, it will bring it back into the online system, and then pass the list of files back to Medway, which is now referencing the hi-res content.
Medway will then automatically bring in the hi-res media partials (just the segments required, not the whole media clip) and ingest into Avid. The files are created in Avid as linked versions of the original proxy assets. Once the high-resolution files are in, the Media Composer editor can switch the sequence to link to the hi-res content. The transfers happen automatically but the editor can monitor progress via Interplay or the Medway client if required.
Workflow 2 – Sequence archive and proxy relinking
A large US broadcaster needed a workflow that enabled Avid sequences to be exchanged between its main site and remote editors. So, Marquis Broadcast developed a clever function within Medway to solve this, based on its Sequence Archive function, which allows you to export an edited sequence from Avid and leave it as a sequence, rather than flattening it to a single file.
Medway takes this Avid sequence, finds the media that’s referenced, and then locates segments of the media files plus the original sequence and saves it as a .tar file that can be sent out to remote-based editors. The file is reworkable by the editor at the remote site, who can re-edit the sequence and add additional content into the timeline. Once completed, the editor can then send the sequence back to the main site via Medway.
The idea behind this Medway workflow is to minimise the amount of data being passed between the main site of a company and remote sites. For this customer, the workflow was further enhanced so that when the sequence archive is initially created, Medway transcodes it to a proxy format, so the sequence that’s sent to the remote site is as small as possible. Working with proxy files gives the advantage of using smaller files, especially when the remote team may be struggling for bandwidth out on location. Editors simply need to be running Media Composer and Medway on their laptops, so that they are able to continue working on the same sequence that was started back at the main site.
The local team will then shoot any additional footage in high resolution and send their edits back, again via Medway, to the main site. The Medway system will then automatically link up the proxy files with the original high-resolution files, plus will add in any new footage from the remote team. This Medway workflow is ideal for low bandwidth, fast-turnaround work, such as news production, automatically combining Avid sequences, proxy files and relinking.
To find out more about Medway, please visit Marquis Broadcast on booth SL14816 at NAB in April. To arrange a meeting there, visit marquisbroadcast.com/nab. You can also head to the Marquis Broadcast website at www.marquisbroadcast.com.
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