As a multi-lingual organisation with 6 offices globally and a highly receptive worldwide audience, communication is at the heart of Kenneth Copeland Ministries (KCM). With a dedicated Roku channel and producing daily, weekly and monthly on-demand videos, KCM has a powerful voice online. Traditional television broadcast via satellite and local networks plays an equally important role with daily and weekly program delivery to the “God Channel”. Its multimedia reach goes further still: over a million Facebook friends and nearly 170,000 Twitter followers give KCM a significant presence on social media.
The video team owns high value video projects going back several decades while the creative workgroup is constantly at work creating new programming to meet the organization’s busy media schedule. The quality of the productions is extremely high, having made the transition to HD a number of years ago. The team has always invested heavily to deliver its audience the best quality pictures and sound. This standard is now what the viewers expect, whether they’re watching on a 50 inch screen in the living room or using a tablet on their daily commute.
The results, filmed in the ministry’s studio, in the live arena, or on location anywhere in the world, are truly broadcast-quality. Unusually, even the content it streams via YouTube retains a high end look. These results come from years of live production experience, and continual technical development in the video department.
The broadcast engineering team has always worked with leading suppliers to invest in and integrate the right equipment. Recent projects have included the fitting of a new HD truck and the roll out of SMPTE-compliant fiber infrastructure in the studio. Over the years, the post production unit has been transformed a number of times. Video editing has undergone several fundamental revolutions, moving from linear to non-linear, from tape to file-based workflows and from individual workstations to sharing HD projects around central storage.It was the recent upgrade of the online storage system that was the team’s biggest concern. Having invested previously in SAN technology, the team was well aware of fiber channel’s shortcomings, especially the cost of client licensing, the performance issues and the high level of support needed.
It was the recent upgrade of the online storage system that was the team’s biggest concern. Having invested previously in SAN technology, the team was well aware of fiber channel’s shortcomings, especially the cost of client licensing, the performance issues and the high level of support needed. The team’s research ultimately pointed to network attached storage (NAS) as an alternative storage technology gaining attention in the industry. Benefiting from standard Ethernet connectivity, license-free clients, support for mixed OS networks and simple capacity scaling, NAS would have clear advantages for the team. Initially, however, the reality appeared very different as the technical experts began to assess the available options.
They discovered that some manufacturers’ marketing claims simply did not match the real world experience. The team was left frustrated by the poor performance, lack of reliability and poor user experience of many of the systems.
When reseller TM Television in Dallas presented GB Labs’ Space system, they were initially doubtful that it could buck the trend. However, their hesitation proved misplaced. Performance and speed, ease of installation and use – Space ticked all the boxes. The team was so impressed it did something unprecedented and placed the order for Space before NAB 2014. After their return home from Vegas is usually when the final decisions are confirmed or a decision to keep researching is made. With Space there was no need to go thru that last process.
The Space NAS
, expanded with EX units
to 192TB, now resides at the centre of the creative workgroup, serving Mac workstations running the Adobe Creative Suite and Mac & PC-based DAWs loaded with Steinberg Nuendo. The storage has allowed the team to migrate all the data from the ageing and diverse storage systems onto the protected environment of the GB Labs RAID system.
The Space Solution
The workgroup uses a combination of 10Gb Ethernet for HD video content and 1Gb connectivity for sound editing. The storage is integrated with an Elemental Server processing unit as well as the organization’s ingest server.
The result is that the editing to broadcast workflow is now fast, stable and secure. Turnaround times from program recording to on-air transmission or upload to social media are short and Space’s high stream count gives the editors the freedom to be creative in their work, with no frustrating system slow-down, dropped frames or storage downtime. Performance is unmatched for an HDD system, users’ productivity is enhanced and concerns over system stability are consigned to history.
The team notes that it has been one of the smoothest integration experiences of the last 20 years. From the evaluation stage to the install, Space has thrown up no nasty surprises and has worked virtually glitch-free.
In terms of future expansion, KCM has a number of options: as the size of the workgroup increases, Space can be dynamically scaled with the use of further EX units. Inserting additional RAID controllers will deliver even higher stream counts while the new HyperSpace add-on unit offers near-SSD levels of sustained performance.