DISCOVERY LATIN AMERICA
An automated workflow
environment for file-based content.
Primestream’s FORK provides
a customizable platform with
automatic scripting capabilities
for tapeless workflows.
A ONE-STOP, NONSTOP SHOP.
Discovery Latin America is unique amongst Discovery
Communications’ subsidiaries in that they do a little bit of everything:
They cut their own promos and commercials, create
their own graphics, and broadcast content to almost a
dozen countries in Latin America and Brazil. “We’re a
nonstop, one-stop shop,” says JC Sierra, Digital Media
Engineering Manager for Discovery Latin America in
The facility’s primary function is to take the programs
produced for US markets by Discovery and its
affiliated networks (such as Animal Planet and TLC),
and adapt them for Latin American markets.
© 2012 Primestream Corporation
The division offers over 8
channels in two languages
(Spanish and Portuguese for
Brazil) with channel feeds
customized according the
needs of advertising and sales
Discovery Home & Health
TLC: Travel Latin American
Liv (Latin American TV channel)
Content is re-edited to match the broadcast timing
for the destination country, while the voice dubbing is
performed in the destination country itself.
Texted versions of Discovery’s U.S. shows are retitled
with Spanish and Portuguese graphics. “There’s a
group here for each region,” Sierra explains. “If you’re
going to air a show in Argentina, the content will be
slightly different from the same show we’re airing in
Mexico or Brazil, because there are different cultures
even amongst the Spanish-speaking countries.”
Discovery’s Tape Acquisition Racks
“The idea is to get rid of tape in this office,”
JC Sierra, Digital Media Engineering Manager
Teams of producer-editors (called “preditors”) within each regional group
produce and edit their own spots on Final Cut Studio, Final Cut X, or Avid
Media Composer, taking in and sending out more than a hundred hours of
content per week. Currently, an initiative is underway to streamline the flow
of that content, starting with the adoption of a completely file-based workflow
and system automation via Primestream’s FORK Media Asset Management
“The idea is to get rid of tape in this office,” Sierra remarks. “For the most
part, the programs we air are file-based. We have the ability to go to tape in
case of an emergency, but we don’t usually send anything to tape. If a tape
is sent to us from Discovery headquaters or any of our affiliates, it’s ingested
and becomes a file and it will always stay a file.”
Traditionally, editors had to QC their spots from a tape machine, which usually
meant a monopoly on the content or playback machine. “With the FORK Media
Asset Manager’s Production Server and Production Client software, now we
have a tape machine on everybody’s desktop,” Sierra says.
Q & A with JC Sierra:
How many preditors at your facility?
What’s the shortest turnaround for content?
How many people are in your department?
4 with myself.
What’s your background?
1995 – 2001 editing graphics,
2001 – 2012 engineering.
What version of Final Cut?
FCP 7 and FCP X.
How many nonlinear editing systems?
11 Avid and 24 Final Cut.
What version of After Effects?
What version of Media Composer and
DS? Version 5.0.3 soon 6 and DS 10.5.1
Is the facility Mac or Windows based?
“It’s the next level of filebased
My environment here is just
not possible without FORK.”
Digital Media Engineering Manager
A PIECE OF THE ACTION
“Every file that comes in, no matter what format, has to go through a
script,” Sierra states. “They’re the livelihood of my system.” –JC Sierra
The FORK Production Client is a versatile cross-platform
software application that allows users to view the clips
and modify their metadata, as well as perform a number of
powerful and highly customizable action scripts available
within FORK Production Server application. Discovery’s
unique action scripts are customized by Primestream to
perform all automated actions in the background as well
as actions initiated by the users.
“We had a lot of meetings with Discovery to address
their workflow needs,” says Primestream’s engineer Tang
Kanjanapitak. “Discovery wanted something that was
easy to use and completely automated, as a responce
we developed and implemented a solution that’s 99.99%
suited to his workflow.”
“Every file that comes in, no matter what format, has to
go through a script,” Sierra states. “They’re the livelihood
of my system.” Using the “Send To” command, files are
distributed to unique folders to be archived, transcoded,
or tagged before moving to a 378 TB SAN storage area
network or a Diva-controlled Spectra T950 LTL5 tape
archive. Discovery Latin America is currently a standarddefinition
operation, so all HD content is down-converted
to SD by a Telestream Vantage.
For file-based drops into FORK, a script registers the
full-resolution files with Edit2Playout, a FORK watch
folder and media verification application, then a FORK
Render Farm Unit running Telestream FlipFactory and
Episode generates a standard-definition MPEG2/IMX 50.
VFT proxy for editing in Avid or Final Cut, or for viewing
it with the Production Client. The QC “Send To” delivers
the files to an Omneon Media Server once a program is
ready to air.
“We don’t touch any of the scripts. They just work,” says
Sierra. If a script needs to be rewritten, a Primestream
engineer can remotly access the Discovery system and
make the changes.
Meanwhile, Sierra is able to monitor system activity with a
customized FORK Production Server and Client interface.
“When a file is ingested, the file name pops up green,
which means there’s no proxy. When it turns red, a proxy
is available, but it hasn’t been archived. When it turns to
grey, it’s been archived,” he says.
“The great thing about FORK Production Server is that
I don’t have to teach people 100 different interfaces,” he
continues, “though in an emergency I still have access to
the native control GUI’s for the SAN and Diva archives.”
XCHANGING IT UP.
The producers, editors, and technicians at Discovery
Latin America also make use of the web-based FORK
Xchange client to view, edit, add metadata and create
markers on the proxy content.
“With the web interface I can watch transactions as
they’re happening, and I don’t have to install the client,”
says Sierra. “Connecting to the server is as easy as
launching a browser.”
FORK Xchange also offers mobile device support
(Android and iOS), an HTML5 media player,
and “Smart Bins” with preset query fields that
will automatically organize media into formatted,
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“With the web interface I can watch transactions as they’re
happening, and I don’t have to install the client,” – says Sierra.
A web-based interface means that system
maintenance and upgrades can be simply performed
on the main server with little to no effect on the
working environment “You come in today and it’s one
version. You come in tomorrow and it’s completely
different one, no installations,” says Sierra. “We do an
upgrade on the back end and use the same web link to
access the server.”
Primestream’s technical support license not only
encompasses FORK and all its elements, it also covers
everything FORK touches, including Discovery’s
hardware and third party software. “We’re immersed in
their system 24/7,” says Kanjanapitak.
THE NEXT LEVEL.
FORK, it’s a media management platform
flexible enough to adapt to any production
enviroment. “It’s the next level of file-based
workflows.” JC Sierra
Jc Sierra has seen media technology evolve over and over again in the
nearly two decades he’s been with Discovery Communications, and he’s
had to adapt to any production enviroments workflows. FORK, it’s a
media management platform flexible enough to adapt to any production
enviroment. “It’s the next level of file-based workflows,” he says.
“My environment here is just not possible without FORK.”
PRIMESTREAM SOFTWARE SOLUTIONS ENABLE
BROADCASTERS AND MEDIA ORGANIZATIONS
TO CREATE, MANAGE, AND DISTRIBUTE CONTENT
OVER THE AIR, VIA SATELLITE, AND TO “SECOND”
SCREENS SUCH AS MOBILE PHONES, TABLETS,
AND THE INTERNET.
The Primestream FORK line of products combine multiple modules in a single, integrated software
suite. This feature-set includes industry-leading media asset management, advanced metadata and
scripting that empowers media organizations to implement automated workflows – freeing humans
to do what they do best — create.
Based on an open and hardware-agnostic architecture, FORK integrates with a wide range of
hardware and software solutions from multiple manufactures. This high level integration provides
complete control for end-to-end management of the production process, with significantly improved
efficiencies that maximize the use and value of our client’s media assets.
Primestream delivers its solutions through a dedicated professional network of partners and systems
integrators — a team that adheres to the industry’s best practices and ensures the highest possible
engineering standards. Deployed in more than 300 broadcast operations across 40 countries,
Primestream’s proven solutions are implemented by some of the world’s leading broadcasters, news
and sports organizations, uplink services providers, online digital media operations, production and
More information about Primestream‘s FORK solutions:
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