The 2012 MLB World Series champions, the San Francisco Giants, recently installed Software Generation Ltd.’s FlashNet archive system to help digitize and store an archive of video footage that goes back to the ’60s and ’70s.
The installation, which sees FlashNet fully integrated into the Giants’ Avid workflow, was carried out by systems integrator Cutting Edge. SGL develops content archiving and storage management software for media and entertainment companies.
In January 2012, the Giants installed an Avid ISIS online shared storage system and Avid Interplay PAM system to begin the transition to a digital workflow. The SGL FlashNet archive followed in January of this year, allowing the Giants to begin the process of digitizing a huge catalog of material dating back 50 years. This material, which is currently stored on various tape formats such as QIC (Quarter-Inch Cartridge) and Beta, has significant historical value for the club and for future generations.
The team’s in-house production unit is also constantly creating a large amount of new material for the scoreboard, the website, TV and advertising. This continuing acquisition of content means that the ISIS operators need to run the system as efficiently as possible, pushing old material off as new material comes in.
“The ISIS is always running at about 60 to 70 percent capacity,” explained Paul Hodges, executive producer, SF Giants. “We have to make the decision as to which material stays online and which gets sent to the archive. Some of the very old material from the ’70s is kept on the ISIS, because when a player from that period comes to see a game, we like to show footage on the scoreboard to welcome them. It’s quite hard for us to pull those clips quickly so we have to keep that type of material online. On the flip side, all the material from 2009-2011 is being archived because we’re unlikely to need to use that for a while.”
Hodges added that the workflow between SGL FlashNet and Interplay is seamless, and that training was very quick and easy. “We made a huge investment in Avid with Interplay and ISIS and required an archive that fully integrated with that workflow,” he explained. “We looked at a couple of other systems but nothing was as seamless as SGL.”
“This installation is an excellent reference for other sports production facilities,” explained Doug Wynn, SGL’s VP sales for the Americas. “The material held by these teams has huge historical value that needs to be preserved for future generations. Using a digital workflow, facilities can digitize their material and also find new ways of working that enable them to run with greater efficiency and save money.”