Transmitting love...live


Kieron Seth# TV-Bay Magazine
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by Kieron Seth
Issue 101 - May 2015

A year after its launch, Transmitter is developing a real name for itself. A partnership between the BPI and music media company LoveLive, it's a dedicated online music channel designed to promote the best music talent Britain has to offer. The content produced is shaped and driven by its viewers, and optimised specifically for YouTube with fan participation and interactive social media at its heart. Transmitter allows fans to connect directly with their favourite artists and exposes them to both chart-topping and upcoming acts.

Over the past year, artists featured include Jessie J, Olly Murs, Union J, Passenger, Kasabian and Tinie Tempah. The channel does not simply exist to promote the latest music videos - it's all about exclusive performances, live interviews, impromptu gigs, original behind-the-scenes chat and getting personal with the artist.

"With over a billion monthly users, weighted heavily in favour of millennial audiences, YouTube is by far the world's number one source for music content, so it was the natural home for Transmitter", comments Martin McGourty, PR and Marketing Manager at LoveLive.

The venture now forms an important part of the work of the LoveLive team. As such, the company needed to upgrade its post-production infrastructure to cope with the massive influx of media files and video clips that have to be quickly turned round to share with eager online audiences.

"At any one time, the team could be working on between five to 20 projects." Remarks Kevin Molloy, LoveLive's Head of Production, Europe." Our existing editing workflow badly needed updating to cope with the increased workload and to safeguard our content. One thing we were clear about was that sticking with directly connected storage was creatively very limiting and, from a security point of view, it needed an upgrade."

Initially, the team looked at SAN options, but were quickly put off by the cost of licences and lack of scalability. Next up for consideration was an Ethernet-based NAS system, as Molloy explains:

"On paper it's very attractive. It makes sense to share files over a LAN and we assumed that transferring data to and from archive would be a simpler process. But we didn't realise quite how true this would turn out to be."

LoveLive turned to GB Labs' Space, a scalable and easily expanded NAS storage system which delivers very high concurrent stream counts. Unlike generic NAS devices, it is optimised for media ecosystems and can sustain its performance even with multiple users attached, simultaneously reading and writing 4K, HD and proxy video clips and high bitrate audio files.

The ability to support any format has been essential. LoveLive uses a variety of cameras from DSLRs and ENG camcorders, up-to large sensor 3K and 4K cameras. Mac Pro workstations connect to the tier one storage, running Adobe Premiere Pro and After Effects, and Avid ProTools. A key advantage for users is that Space integrates easily with third party systems. For LoveLive, this means that their EVS multi-channel recorder can capture directly to the system, with editors cutting content even as HD files are still growing. Molloy contends:

"As you can imagine, there's a lot of file and project management involved, so Space's common sense approach to data management is very welcome. We purchased a GB Labs LTO Space four-tape central back up system and the archiving and restoring of projects is fast and very straightforward. Transmitter is growing so quickly that we need to ensure everything is running smoothly from a technical standpoint - we're interested in their nearline offering as well as their super-fast SSD online platform. Time will tell what we do next."

Much of the LoveLive's work involves filming in the field with multiple cameras. This posed a particular issue, namely, how to turn around content fast when the crew is in a remote location, such as at the Leeds and Latitude festivals. To address the problem, LoveLive again turned to GB Labs, and its portable Midi Space RAID storage system. Based around the same principle as the rack-mounted Space, the desktop version is light enough to be used in a temporary studio or OB van, giving fast, sustained performance to multiple concurrent users. The improved productivity is matched only by the enhanced security offered by Midi Space: data saved to the drive of a laptop is highly vulnerable compared with the protective environment of a RAID system.

Molloy concludes:

"With our huge workload and painfully short turnaround times, we push Space and Midi Space very hard. But we've never lost any data, even when we suffered a hard drive error. And even with a disk out of action, the editors were still able to do their job - it's a very impressive system."


Tags: iss101 | transmitter | lovelive | music | pop | social media | the saturdays | the wanted | union j | jessie j | Kieron Seth#
Contributing Author Kieron Seth#

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