BBC Cymru explain how they use MatrixStore to ensure content is available for re-use.

With BBC Cymru Wales currently being the largest BBC production centre in the UK, outside of London, and with more projects moving into the region the demands placed upon the post-production team in Cardiff have been steadily growing. Their production infrastructure includes Avid ISIS and Unity systems with over 50 editing clients.

When new projects came into the department capacity was required on the existing Avid ISIS storage platform allowing the editors un-fettered access to the HD media files. In order to provide that storage space content from other projects would be moved off onto other platforms including offline media. The situation was far from ideal as the production teams required instant access to that content which created a real data management and workflow headache.

One project in particular that needed to be protected and made available online for versioning and re-purposing was the acclaimed Human Planet series broadcast in early 2011. More recently the department also had a requirement to keep key clips from previous years Rugby footage to be available online for re-use using Interplay to find and retrieve the clips on demand.

The issues they faced included:

  • All the media files needed to be available on-line in order to re-version the content for different markets.
  • There was little or no space on the Avid ISIS to accommodate the 30 Terabytes of full resolution HD content.
  • Adding more ISIS chassis was not viable commercially nor relevant to the workflow.
  • The storage platform needed to automate the protection of the content and guarantee its availability.
  • The solution needed to be compatible with AVID editing clients.
  • Moving content to and from tape was laborious and error prone so LTO was ruled out.
  • The storage would be required for other departments within Post production each requiring distinct storage silos.
  • Some of the other departments rely on the Avid Interplay production asset manager.

After considering many different options ranging from adding more ISIS chassis to a big bucket of raw disk the MatrixStore from Object Matrix was selected a the best solution. MatrixStore acts as a resilient nearline repository, complementing the ISIS shared storage and providing guaranteed access to clips as and when required.

Out of the box MatrixStore provides:

  • Centralised Vaults providing instant data protection and access to all assets.
  • A scalable solution that requires little or no management.
  • Capability to add and search on Metadata.
  • Ability to keep legacy content available online and browsable from Avid client machines.
  • High availability of data and automatic failover in the case of a hardware failure.
  • Ability to add in future storage technologies as and when they become available.
  • Security against accidental or malicious deletion.
  • Object Matrix also provided ’InterConnect’, an archive application that enables content to be moved to and from the ISIS storage whilst keeping the Interplay database in sync.

Nick Pearce, co-founder of Object Matrix stated, “Helping broadcasters and post-production companies to protect content long term whilst providing guaranteed access to that content for re-purposing is what MatrixStore was made for. The integration with AVID Media Composer and Interplay just makes it easier for editors or administrators to get their hands on the data when they need it without leaving the environment they are most comfortable with.”

About BBC Wales

BBC Cymru Wales provides a wide range of English and Welsh language content for audiences across Wales on television, radio and BBC websites. Outside London, BBC Cymru Wales is the largest BBC production centre in the United Kingdom, The BBC Wales post-production team produces a wide range of programmes for local output and S4C, alongside some of BBC network’s best known productions; Doctor Who, Torchwood, Casualty, Crimewatch and Human Planet.

The View From Object Matrix

We are of course delighted to have been working with the team in BBC Wales over the last 18 months and look forward to continuing that relationship into the future with the Interconnect plugin.