Access Hollywood upgrades its live studio production with EVS
Currently in its 19th season, Access Hollywood is NBCUniversal’s top-rated nationally syndicated entertainment news show. The program, which earned its second consecutive daytime Emmy nomination in 2015, needed to ensure it had the most flexible, streamlined live production workflow to meet the needs of a rapidly changing media landscape.
The explosion of new content formats and rapidly advancing technology required a change of thinking and a new upgrade for the hit television show. The new solution had to facilitate the handling of multiple formats quickly and efficiently, and facilitate very fast production turnaround.
The new system is an upgrade of the program’s prior EVS-centric workflow driven by EVS’ XT server, IPDirector asset management suite and IPEdit non-linear editing module, originally implemented in 2010 to deliver a tapeless production to the Burbank studio. The prior upgrade delivered a tremendously more efficient, streamlined and resource-saving, all-HD workflow.
The new workflow takes a leap forward, anchored by EVS’ XS media production server designed for fast-turnaround productions. The Access Hollywood team selected the system based on its powerful dual networking broadcasting and IT capabilities. The XS makes recorded media instantly and directly available across the production network for simultaneous preview, rough editing, archiving, playback and post-production. The server supports a wide range of formats and codec configurations to fit all types of workflows, streamlines media transfers and better preserves quality. Featuring high-bandwidth 10GigE connectivity, the server also allows high-speed file delivery to and from the EVS system.
EVS’ workflow and transfer tool Xsquare is also part of the new studio, easily handling all media transfers, content transcoding and orchestration of all load-balancing tasks. Together the new solutions speed the entire production process and eliminate the waiting time required with manual conversion.
As with the prior EVS system, the workflow integrates seamlessly with tools such as Avid Media Composer, and includes the use of EVS tools such as IPEdit for extensive real-time and on-the-fly editing.
The new solution gives the Access Hollywood production team the ability to handle the proliferation of new content formats quickly and easily. “Ours is an XDCAM world that requires a lot of conversion when ingesting,” says Erick Diaz, technical operations manager at Access Hollywood/NBCUniversal. “The EVS upgrade allows us to share files seamlessly with greater speed and efficiency; our central playback from Avid is now four times faster.”
The solution is also streamlined and easy to operate. Xsquare makes it easy to create and configure even the most complex workflow, providing the flexibility to create a customized workflow from a highly intuitive interface.
Perhaps most important is the flexibility and freedom the system provides, driven by the XS server. “It’s always interesting to see the new and creative ways our team uses EVS tools,” adds Diaz. “They’re experts with the equipment and their ingenuity is impressive.”
For EVS’ Henry Alexander, SVP, market and product, the solution is functioning exactly the way it was designed. “EVS’ expansive solution suite is ideal for ultra-fast turnaround studio environments that demand precise editing capabilities, reliability and flexibility. It’s a cooperative process, and working with programs like Access Hollywood keeps us all innovating and evolving.”