Case Study: : San Francisco Giants Hit a Home Run with SGL

Submitted by Software Generation Limited

AT&T ballpark, home of the San Francisco Giants, had the third HD video board and fully integrated HD control room in Major League Baseball installed in 2007.

In the control room, the production team’s primary job is to feed content to the scoreboard and keep the fans entertained. The HD installation in 2007 was the starting point for the expansion of the Giants’ video production operations.

SGLLogoWith material dating back through the 1960’s and 1970’s stored on various tapes such as QIC and Beta, the Giants had a vested interest to digitize its back catalog to retain the historical value both for the club and for future generations. As well as the important task of digitizing material, the SF Giants also create a large amount of new material for the scoreboard, the website, TV and advertising, which also needs to be cataloged and stored.

To answer its growing requirements, the Giants’ operations team required a fully integrated digital workflow that would ease its existing time consuming and manpower-heavy archive process.  This involved archiving on external hard drives or pushing material to XDCam and logging on Excel spread sheets.

The Giants began the process by hiring Brad Martens, a specialist Digital Media Coordinator.  Following this appointment, in January 2012 working closely with systems integrator Cutting Edge, Martens selected a new workflow that would enable the club to catalog and store both old and new material, significantly improving workflow procedures and thereby providing secure storage for its valuable content.  The new system was made up of an Avid ISIS online shared storage system and Avid Interplay PAM. An SGL FlashNet archive followed in January this year, providing the Giants with a fully integrated digital workflow.

Avid Interplay incorporating the SGL FlashNet archive provides the Giants with a number of benefits that aren’t available with other systems, primarily due to the unique level of co-development between Avid and SGL.  Entire sequences can be archived in native format and if a clip already exists in the archive as part of another sequence, there’s no need for the operators to re-archive it.  This level of integration and understanding at format level is unrivalled in the Avid content archive arena.

As the ISIS runs at about 60/70 per cent capacity, the Giants production team have to make decisions 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 they like to show footage on the scoreboard to welcome them.   It’s difficult for operators to pull those clips quickly so they keep that material online. On the flip side all the material from 2009 – 2011 is archived as it’s unlikely to be required in the short term.

When current material is shot for a TV Show, the website or adverts, the operations team sets archive rules using SGL FlashNet based on when the material will be needed. If they decide it’s not required for some time it’s sent straight to the SGL archive.

The workflow between SGL FlashNet and Avid Interplay is seamless.  The Giants have a long-term investment that was quick and easy to set up and maintain.

“We made a huge investment in Avid with Interplay and ISIS and required an archive that fully integrated with that workflow,” says Paul Hodges, Executive Producer, SF Giants. We looked at a couple of other systems but nothing was as seamless as SGL.  Cutting Edge did a great job, they were really behind SGL and they’re fully trained on the entire workflow so it was a no brainer.”

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