France’s L’Équipe 21 Deploys Dalet Sports Factory

Dalet Digital Media Systems, a developer of Media Asset Management (MAM) solutions, software, and services for content producers, has announced that L’Équipe 21, the most popular sports news channel in France, has deployed Dalet Sports Factory as the end-to-end news, studio production, broadcast, and MAM system at the company’s new television facility. The broadcast center has relocated to the headquarters building of parent company L’Équipe, the famous sports newspaper.

Modular by design, Dalet Sports Factory provides L’Équipe 21 with all the necessary tools for the 24/7 channel, including a complete newsroom computer system, desktop video production, sports-specific tools for slow-motion replay and highlight creation, as well as broadcast playout and multiplatform distribution. The underlying Dalet Media Asset Management platform transparently tracks multimedia content and metadata throughout the content creation chain, preserving essential information and making it far easier to produce and distribute content to different platforms.

Dalet Sports Factory gives L’Équipe 21 a much more unified and efficient workflow than the older system, which relied on a mix of multiple systems. The entire project, from order to on-air, was completed in just three months. “That includes building the infrastructure, installing the system, adapting the workflows and metadata schemes, training and going live. The Dalet system is quite comprehensive and provides the key operational components. So it was very cost-effective, and we were able to move very quickly, avoiding the headaches often associated with large integration projects,” says Philippe Espinet, director of operations, L’Équipe 21. “Because Dalet is an open, IT-based system, the few integrations were easy to implement. Our staff immersed themselves in the project along with the Dalet Professional Services team, who provided excellent support. Coaching was key; we trained 150 users in just five weeks. With Dalet’s fully integrated system, it’s very easy for our journalists, as all the tools are right at their fingertips.”

“L’Équipe 21 demonstrates the versatility of Dalet Sports Factory with tools that cover typical sports production and live events as well as 24/7 news formats and magazine programs. L’Équipe 21 went beyond a simple update of their equipment when they designed their new plant. They created a streamlined, asset-based workflow that enables them to produce more content more efficiently so it can be optimized for use on many platforms,” says Stephane Schlayen, COO, Dalet. “This MAM-driven approach is driving the entire industry, and Dalet’s solutions with a versatile MAM platform offer the flexible framework and relevant toolsets to enable this new model. The result is improved productivity on the operational side and more ways to rationalize expenses and to realize new revenues on the business side.”

Dalet Sports Factory is built on Dalet’s robust Media Asset Management platform, which provides lifecycle content and metadata management with comprehensive and customizable data schemes that allow L’Équipe 21 to catalog and access its valuable assets. As content is enriched throughout the production chain, metadata is tracked, making it far easier to publish to multiple platforms. To preserve the value of the valuable archive, the metadata from the older system was imported into the Dalet MAM system so that content is readily searchable and available to everyone who needs it. It’s also possible to create data models that facilitate production for multiplatform distribution.

Because all Dalet solutions are modular, customers have the freedom to choose the best toolsets for their particular workflows. At L’Équipe 21, journalists rely on Dalet’s full-featured newsroom computer system to manage wires from AFP and rundowns, script stories, edit video and prepare video packages with voiceovers and CGs generated by Vizrt. When craft editing is required, Dalet Xtend for Apple Final Cut Pro provides for the seamless exchange of videos, shot lists, EDLs and their metadata between for a collaborative work between Dalet users and Apple Final Cut Pro editors. Journalists can access content and Dalet tools using the Dalet desktop client or via the Dalet Web Space using a standard web browser. Dalet Sports Factory also has a range of toolsets to meet the unique demands of sports broadcasting. For instance, L’Équipe 21 uses Dalet Hilites Espresso to generate instant replays of key plays with slow-motion effects.

The technical infrastructure at L’Équipe 21 is IT-based and well integrated. Dalet Brio servers manage 24 video ingest channels in DVCPro 100 as well as playout for replays and commercials from Master Control, and A/B roll and carts playout from the Production Control room. Fiber connects the NetApp online production storage that delivers 4 GB/s to the Brio servers that playout directly from the NAS. A separate Oracle Sun ZFS storage device automatically archives high-resolution video material. The Dalet MAM is integrated with the CTS Enterprise traffic system and a Vizrt graphics system. Rhozet transcoders convert files into appropriate formats for new media publishing. The openness and flexibility of the Dalet system give L’Équipe 21 the freedom to incorporate new equipment and workflows as the company’s needs and requirements change over time.