“The versatility of the Avid platform has been a foundation in allowing us to evolve and adapt to our customers’ needs,” states Paul Clennell, Chief Technology Officer at dock10. “By providing new products, new workflows, and new capabilities for our customers, Avid is allowing dock10 to push the boundaries of what is in the market today.”
dock10 is the UK’s leading television facility and one of Europe’s top media services providers. Located in the heart of MediaCityUK, in Manchester, England, dock10 runs a 250,000 square foot facility with state-of-the-art studios and post-production services. The company launched in 2011 as a key supplier to the BBC focusing on producing live sports and children’s content. Today, dock10 studios and post-production services are involved in the production of some of the UK’s most popular television shows, including Happy Valley, Match of the Day, and The Voice, as well as VFX-based commercials and corporate videos.
Avid is enabling real-time turnaround workflows supported on location using broadband connectivity.
Paul Clennell, Chief Technology Officer, dock10
dock10 also manages the MediaCityUK network across its 36-acre campus, connecting more than 250 digital and creative businesses. Working in partnership with Avid, dock10 is expanding this network beyond the MediaCityUK campus into the global media production market. “As Avid delivers us new products we’re able to deliver new workflows and in turn provide new capabilities to our clients,” states Clennell. “This gives our customers the flexibility to adapt how they produce content and provides opportunities to produce content that previously may have been unavailable.”
dock10 studios are built on Avid’s infrastructure, including shared storage, state-of-the-art studio workflows, tiered storage, post-production media workflows, and media asset management. “When we opened for business, we made a big investment in Avid because the solution Avid provided was second to none,” states Clennell. “We needed to be able to capture directly from the studio camera to server and to edit growing files on spinning disc using Media Composer to produce promos and highlight packages that could then be played out directly to air. Only Avid could provide that solution.”
dock10 is growing exponentially and now has 80 Media Composer | Ultimate systems, a petabyte of spinning disc storage, as well as tiered storage. dock10 implemented MediaCentral | Asset Management to manage this vast and invaluable archive of its clients’ footage and to provide the production companies using its facilities for repeat programming with access to its library on a repeat basis.
“MediaCentral | Asset Management manages our repeat storage, which comprises everything from Linear-Tape Open (LTO) 6 and 7, to Avid NEXIS and nearline storage as well,” explains Clennell. “In order to manage our customers’ assets, we need the ability to back up safely and ensure we have duplicate copies.”
“Avid is helping us position for the future in a number of ways,” continues Clennell. “Delivering new products is key to supporting new workflows enabling us to deliver new capabilities to our customers, which makes them more adaptable.”
As dock10 delivers production workflows beyond the boundaries of the MediaCityUK campus, they need a solution that works reliably with local connectivity. “As we expand globally, we’re into contended bandwidth potentially as low as consumer bandwidth,” explains Clennell. “Avid MediaCentral enables us to deliver review and approve workflows and rough-cut editing capabilities over relatively low broadband connectivity.”
One Avid feature dock10 considers key to its growth is the ability for customers to capture media in the field and generate a proxy. They submit the proxy over broadband then re-link the high-res media at a later stage. “This is key feature of Avid,” explains Clennell. “It lets customers quickly review dailies, turnaround material, and re-link media and media objects at a later stage to ensure all editing on the low-res proxy can be applied to hi-res media as soon as it arrives.” These remote workflows are facilitating a much greater breadth of output and allowing dock10 customers to tap into a more diverse library of content.
“Being able to work over proxy and over broadband, we are now able to deploy Avid solutions in locations where previously you had to work as an island site. So, Avid is enabling real-time turnaround workflows supported on location using broadband connectivity.”
“Avid is helping us position for the future in a number of ways,” notes Clennell. “Virtualization is key.” Three years ago, dock10 migrated to a complete virtualized environment to support its key business goal of sustainability. “We had an Avid asset management stack with 24 discrete servers; all chugging away consuming lots of power and a significant physical footprint,” continues Clennell. “We wanted to shrink the footprint and the power consumption. This was very cutting edge at the time. It hadn’t been done in Europe before.”
As Avid delivers us new products we’re able to deliver new workflows and in turn provide new capabilities to our clients.
Paul Clennell, Chief Technology Officer, dock10
Working with Avid, dock10 reduced its power consumption by 75%. To put that into context, Clennell notes that if every stack around the globe also virtualized, it would save enough energy to power a town with a population of 30,000 people.
Additionally, dock10 reduced its carbon footprint by enabling centralized teams to produce content remotely. “This is now a possibility thanks to collaboration across Avid platforms,” continues Clennell. “If we reduce the size of the teams going on location, we can reduce our airline miles, and in turn, reduce the production’s carbon footprint. All this combined, makes a very significant, positive impact on the environment.”
“I don’t want our customers to be thinking about the technology,” concludes Clennell. “I want them simply to be creative in what they’re doing and to be able to achieve whatever it is they want to achieve in that production and in that activity.”