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Leading Up to NAB, Bitcentral CEO Fred Fourcher Provides Insights on Oasis
By: Bitcentral, Inc.
A decade ago, media asset management (MAM) was seen by most broadcasters as a big-ticket item, feasible only for top-tier networks. However, much has changed since then and most important is the pressure on broadcasters to compete in today's multiplatform world, where even small-market TV stations are expected to deliver a wealth of content to the Web and mobile devices in addition to their core broadcasts.
More and more broadcasters are deciding to invest in software-based media asset management systems that use metadata to track a piece of content from ingest through production to playout, and then archive it in a way that allows easy future access. The accompanying photo illustrates a Bitcentral Oasis asset management and archive system at Raycom's WFXG Augusta, GA.
"When you think about asset management, it comes down to how well you tie together the workflow. Unless the assets are all tied into the workflow, they don't get used," says Fourcher. "At TV stations, our MAM is seamlessly folded into what they do every day."
Bitcentral's Oasis™ started with placing disk-based content servers at TV stations that could store news stories and allow for easy sharing within station groups or from the field via a broadband connection. Today, Oasis is used by more than 200 stations including those of the Raycom, Hearst and Tegna station groups. Each month, about 500 stories per station are shared by Oasis's heaviest users, says Fourcher, and stations generally keep about seven days of content on high-speed solid-state servers.
Bitcentral now offers on-site or off-site digital archiving through its Oasis Wellspring™ product, which can store content on disk-based servers or LTO systems, depending on customer preference.
Fourcher says the key to Oasis' success has been integration with newsroom computer systems (NCRS) like Avid's iNews and AP's ENPS through the MOS (Media Object Server) protocol. This integration makes accessing the video in Oasis seamless to news directors and reporters using the NCRS and makes it easy to grab a relevant story from another market to add variety to the nightly newscast.
An early focus for Bitcentral was providing easy access to the MAM from the field, which Fourcher says was a product differentiator. Fourcher says Bitcentral now is looking at "extending an asset management system upstream into the connected camera workflow, and downstream into all connected platforms."
He adds, "Bitcentral is working with camera manufacturers that have built-in encoding capabilities in their camcorders to make sure they can transmit files directly into Oasis. We also have created an add-on product to Oasis called Multipath™ that handles digital distribution to Websites, mobile apps and social media platforms."
The company, whose corporate headquarters is in Newport Beach, CA and whose Latin American headquarters is in Mexico City, Mexico, provides software solutions that maximize the value of media workflows. Our reliable and flexible product offerings provide customers with the features they want and world class support to back them up. Since 2000, we have gained a trusted partnership reputation with news and media customers, providing them with efficient media workflows that result in higher productivity – all while helping them increase their audience reach and competitive market position. We design forward-looking, pragmatically designed and exceptionally reliable media solutions in news, sports, and emerging-platform content.
We are dedicated to creating a culture of proactive sharing and listening to understand, an environment that attracts and retains the right talent, as well as to providing the right resources and the right tools for a productive and rewarding work environment.
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