During the last nine years, DHX Media — a leading creator, producer, and broadcaster of family entertainment — has amassed the world’s largest independent library of children’s programming. The DHX library features some of the best-loved and most-watched children’s shows from the last 45 years, including Caillou, Teletubbies, Yo Gabba Gabba!, Inspector Gadget, and more. DHX also owns Family Channel, the most-viewed children's television channel in Canada, as well as three other children’s channels in Canada.
The DHX library is packed with more than 11,000 archived half-hours, including multiple languages and versions. In order to access, manage, and maximize opportunities for such a massive amount of media assets, DHX recently embraced Avid Everywhere and implemented a fully integrated media asset management system built upon the Avid MediaCentral Platform.
Replacing an outdated system
With the overwhelming success of digital delivery services like Netflix, Amazon, and others, old shows are finding new audiences—providing DHX with valuable opportunities for their library of content. But to best take advantage of such opportunities, DHX Media needed an efficient and scalable media management workflow.
Previously, DHX used a network folder structure to manage its media. The system was adequate initially, but as the DHX Media library expanded, the need for a more efficient system became apparent. Previously, team members had to look through network folders to locate media, which became time-consuming and inefficient. And once a team member located a media clip, they couldn’t use proxies—the system required them to open the media in full resolution. This required large amounts of bandwidth and slowed down the production process.
DHX Media also faced challenges with transcoding and frame rate conversion. Many older shows in the library – some dating back as far as 1967 – were originally produced for standard definition. Most of the media in the DHX library was digitized from film at 29.97fps, but media distributors require that media be uploaded in the original frame rate—24fps. Each transcode and frame rate conversion from the original master clips created new generations of files, but DHX didn’t have any way of reconciling them.
Furthermore, the company’s production departments used several independent databases with no way of automatically connecting the metadata with the media. This made it difficult to know which media was current and required team members to copy and paste metadata between various databases—a very time-consuming and detailed process.
A powerful new workflow
When DHX began looking at asset management systems, they saw that Avid Interplay | MAM could connect all of their systems together into one streamlined and efficient workflow. The Avid professional services team spent two days with DHX to understand their unique needs and challenges.
The new Avid workflow, centered around Interplay | MAM, enables DHX Media to increase productivity, streamline its production processes, and efficiently manage its massive library of content. The Avid workflow provides DHX with a highly scalable and flexible media management solution as the company continues expanding its business globally.
The new Interplay | MAM workflow integrates the company’s media storage, transcoding, and distribution processes, making their entire production workflow much more streamlined and efficient. Team members can easily see all the versions that have been created from the original tape version without going into multiple databases to find media.
“Interplay | MAM allows our team members to work with low-res proxies instead of hi-res masters, which really accelerates our production workflow,” says Matthew Haliniak, vice president of Distribution Operations at DHX. “They can start a project faster because they don’t have to import hi-res media into their production environment.”
Moving forward, a key part of DHX’s business plan includes adding new content to its library and finding new distribution partners. Since Interplay | MAM is inherently scalable, DHX can continue adding assets into the system seamlessly. The Avid MAM solution not only makes DHX more efficient, it will help accomodate more growth and expansion down the line.
“The Avid MediaCentral Platform provides us with a simple and hassle-free way to manage media across our entire network,” stated Haliniak. “We anticipate that since it’s powered by the platform, Interplay | MAM will enable us to accelerate our entire production workflow, maximize our business opportunities, and deliver content to our audience in entirely new ways.”
The Avid MediaCentral Platform provides us with a simple and hassle-free way to manage media across our entire network.MATTHEW HALINIAK, VICE PRESIDENT OF DISTRIBUTION OPERATIONS, DHX
Moving forward with Avid
When it was time to select a technology partner for DHX, Haliniak says the openness of Avid Everywhere and the MediaCentral Platform made Avid the winning candidate. The new Avid system is completely customizable, and DHX can easily integrate their existing third-party solutions. Avid worked closely with the DHX team to provide a solution to meet the company’s unique needs, and Haliniak says DHX is looking forward to continuing to work with Avid in the future.
“Avid was willing to invest the time it took to explore our workflow and provide a unique solution,” Haliniak explains. “Avid coordinated the logistics of the implementation, and helped us understand the possibilities of our new workflow. Those extra efforts made a big difference.”
As DHX moves forward, Haliniak says the company will continue to look to Avid for innovative technological solutions and industry-leading leadership. DHX is currently preparing to implement an Avid Interplay | Production system, which will allow DHX production teams to quickly share projects between the company’s multiple locations throughout Canada.
Avid Everywhere provides us with a powerful foundation as we continue to expand our business.MATTHEW HALINIAK, VICE PRESIDENT OF DISTRIBUTION OPERATIONS, DHX
“Our Avid workflow enables us to accelerate our entire production workflow, maximize our business opportunities, and connect with our audience in entirely new ways,” Haliniak concludes. “Avid Everywhere provides us with a powerful foundation as we continue to expand our business.”