NESN Selects Sony Media Backbone Production System

NESN, the New England Sports Network, has selected Sony’s Media Backbone Production System for content management. After making the difficult decision to carry out a global changeover from their legacy system a year ago, NESN completed an exhaustive nine-month examination of existing technologies reviewing some ten different systems. Key factors that apparently differentiated Sony’s Media Backbone Production System from competitors included its superior content management, turnkey design, open IT infrastructure, and top-rated support.

According to Dave Desrochers, NESN’s Vice President of Engineering, the Sony system will break production bottlenecks to give producers fast and easy access to NESN’s extensive archives.

“Sony’s Media Backbone Production System leverages metadata to open up our content so we can maximize its value. In the fast-paced world of live sports production, if it is a hassle to find clips, they’re useless. With the new system, we’ll be able to punch in search terms like ‘triple play’ and immediately have a wealth of thumbnails to choose from. This promises a tremendous bonanza for New England sports fans since we’ll be able to put things into context for them fast. It’s a bonanza for our team, too, because we don’t have to trudge through hours of content to find ten-second clips,” said Desrochers.

Other key factors that make Sony’s Media Backbone Production System the clear choice included how it addresses longstanding issues that had made work with NESN’s legacy system problematic.

“The unequivocal praise we heard from Media Backbone Production System customers for its reliability and service impressed us. Our legacy system taught us about the unexpected issues that go with products utilizing third-party integrations. We were plagued by unreliability and downtime. At our vendor’s direction, we would upgrade an element to solve one set of problems, and suddenly find we had a lot of new problems as pieces of the puzzle became incompatible with the upgrade. The Media Backbone Production System is a single system and so it sidesteps that entire dynamic,” Desrochers said.

Though the Media Backbone Production System is a turnkey package, it is not a proprietary one. It does not require customers to use proprietary components. Instead, key elements like storage can be increased with everyday commodity products.

“The system’s open IT infrastructure is a relief from feeling forced to buy expensive, proprietary components. We felt unable to contain the costs with our old system since we had to constantly keep updating as dictated by our vendor. Now, we are free to buy cost-efficient off-the-shelf components as needed,” said Desrochers.

NESN’s extremely positive experience with other Sony equipment including XDCAM HD camcorders for ENG and MVS-8000 HD production switchers sealed the deal.

“Our experience with Sony service has been singularly excellent. When there’s an issue, we have someone on the phone immediately addressing it. If they cannot resolve it, there’s someone on site the next day that can. Our research into multiple reference sites and our site visits with Media Backbone Production System customers showed that this is how Sony does business. The tech teams we met could not have spoken more highly about this product and the support provided for it. In the end, that made this an easy decision for us,” Desrochers said.

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