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TECHNOLOGY CLASS Why you might regret automating QC workflows. by Bruce Devlin However, an absolutely critical factor in this process is the quality of your media assets. If the media fi le is not fi t for purpose it can result in the consumer’s viewing experience falling short of expectations. Furthermore, a poor quality media fi le can become toxic within a workfl ow and can create issues and even major system failures if it is not identifi ed, ring-fenced and fi xed at the earliest possible stage. Automated QC – yes or no? I n today’s electronic media environment, broadcasters and content owners live and die according to the quality and versatility of their media assets. Not only do consumers expect the best quality viewing experience, but they also expect that viewing experience to be possible on the widest range of devices, at any time and in any situation. This might seem like a Herculean challenge, however the evolution of fi le-based workfl ows has provided the means for broadcasters and content owners to service this new multi-platform demand effi ciently and profi tably. Using one of the new generation Media Asset Management (MAM) platforms, it is possible to manage media output in the highest quality and across a broad diversity of viewing devices. 48 | KITPLUS - THE TV-BAY MAGAZINE: ISSUE 107 NOVEMBER 2015 So, we all agree that media QC is a critical issue. The next question is how to achieve the optimum QC facilities without it becoming excessively costly and slowing down your workfl ow, thereby reducing overall effi ciency. There is always a balance to be struck between process automation and manual intervention, and the task is getting that balance right. The EBU are clear on this subject. The organization recognised QC as an important topic for the media industry in 2010. The following year it started an EBU Strategic Programme on Quality Control, with the aim to collect requirements, experiences and to create recommendations for broadcasters implementing fi le-based QC in their facilities. Today, facilities are able to benefi t from the fi ndings on this Programme. Firstly, the EBU does not recommend entirely manual QC systems – it says, “Broadcasters moving to fi le-based production facilities have to consider how to use automated