Optical disc

Raycom Sports Archives with Sony Optical Disc

CHARLOTTE, North Carolina—For the past four decades, Raycom Sports has produced college sports content for both subscribed and wired packages. In addition to our current partnership with the Atlantic Coast Conference (managing production for the conference regional sports network and providing production services for ESPN’s upcoming ACC network), we have also produced mobile and documentary content. live for the Carolina Panthers, Blizzard Entertainment, The Basketball Tournament and Hot Wheels Monster Trucks Live. As Coordinating Producer, I have worked with our excellent staff and freelancers to produce Emmy-winning content for Raycom Sports since 2004.

Alex Farmartino

Alex Farmartino

We were recently faced with an exciting but intimidating challenge: to digitize our entire video library. While our current video workflow has been fully digital for several years, 40 years of content creation have left a massive amount of invaluable historical assets on videotape. Our global collection of almost 40,000 tapes ranged from high definition formats like HDCAM and DVCPro to Betacam and 3/4 inch.


We had to take many factors into account when developing our solution. Offsite hosting of a video library can be very efficient with the right budget, but it’s more difficult for midsize production operations like ours. Since storage is a monthly cost in any remote library arrangement, all conversations about storing our video library elsewhere to reduce expenses have resulted in the eventuality of lowering the quality of the archived video or increasing the delay. execution of the recovered assets, and these concessions were unacceptable or too onerous.

So how do you best store these new digital assets locally? Having used XDCAM cartridges since our switch to high definition, we have witnessed the durability and read / write speed benefits of Sony’s disk solutions. This experience, combined with the massive Optical Disc Archiving (ODA) workflow implemented by Golf Channel, among others, demonstrated that massive resource libraries could be stored locally without using data tape. Having also seen the Carolina Panthers implement the ODA solution, we were convinced that the ODA was the best solution for all of our production needs.

Due primarily to the tireless efforts of our production / archive manager, Rob Chorney, Raycom Sports has digitized over 20,000 videotapes as of December 1, 2018. The digitized material, which includes ACC football and basketball games since 1983, accounts for about 85 percent of our Atlantic Coast conference content and about 60 percent of our overall library. Our PetaSite implementation of Sony Optical Disc Archive consists of three chassis housing 190 ODA storage slots and four Gen2 drives. This footprint gives us over 600TB of storage in our active repository. Masstech’s Flashnet middleware enables editors working in our Avid Media Central environment to archive and retrieve assets from the Avid GUI, providing editing efficiency. In addition, having assets more readily available for distribution has increased our video license revenues.

We are extremely satisfied with the PetaSite system and its scalability potential. With the upcoming release of Gen3 technology, I have no doubts that our video library will be securely hosted by Sony for years to come.

Alex Farmartino is coordinating producer at Raycom Sports. A 14 MidSouth Emmy recipient, he has worked since 2004 in live mobile broadcasting and documentary production. He can be contacted at[email protected].

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