Discovery Communications Depends on Rimage to Distribute Video Content
We needed something that could push content to DVD media automatically.
Discovery Communications, the world’s number one nonfiction media company, reaches 1.5 billion subscribers globally, delivering programming that “empowers people to explore their world and satisfy their curiosity.” Ian Knox, Director of Media Operations at Discovery Communications in Silver Spring, Maryland, oversees media distribution at one of the largest production companies on the East Coast. Dailies, press kits, duplications, quality control discs, and syndication content are just a few examples of video that the Media Operations department doles out both internally and to the public. For around-the-clock production, Ian and his staff depend on Rimage’s content distribution solution to turn media around quickly, professionally, and affordably.
“We needed something that could push content to DVD media automatically…”
Ian Knox, Director of Media Operations, Discovery Communications
Every day, Ian and the Media Operations team publish and distribute video content that supports all of the Discovery Communications’ 120-plus worldwide channels. The production staff must fill the demand of all inside and outside video requests, delivering professional content at a swift pace.
Before Ian discovered Rimage, the team had a small capacity duplication system that could handle reasonably sized orders. However, for larger and more complex jobs, the work had to be outsourced. “The current system had served a purpose,” says Ian. “But it eventually became unreliable and slow.”
Ian needed a solution that would bring all content publishing back in-house plus give him the capability to deliver disc orders of all sizes—all while saving time and money. “We needed something that could push content to DVD media automatically so that staff could focus on other parts of the job,” he says.
After doing a substantial amount of research and talking to other experts in the production field, Ian found his solution in the Rimage Producer series, Rimage’s most powerful and feature-rich system. Designed for high-volume, non-stop CD, DVD and Blu-ray Disc publishing and duplication, the Producer system is a great fit for the team’s workflow.
At the beginning of 2008, Media Operations purchased two Rimage Producer systems and 20,000 discs. Since then, the group has purchased 100,000 more discs, and Ian estimates the team produces 200-300 discs a week, all in-house. Each system is equipped with three input bins to boost throughput and support simultaneous recording, and the external output bins allow staff to remove completed discs without disrupting operation. The team can distribute more content with faster turnaround times than ever before. “The systems have allowed staff to deliver content to the masses more quickly and efficiently,” says Ian. “Plus, we can deliver multiple projects simultaneously.”
Happy With Blu-ray
The Producer’s front-swappable recorders are especially important to the team’s workflow. Since the initial purchase, Ian upgraded one of their Producer autoloaders to fully incorporate four Blu-ray drives. The process of swapping out the recorders was quick and straightforward, and with the system’s new Blu-ray capabilities, the production staff can distribute even more diverse projects without increasing output time.
Production staff quickly noticed changes in the appearance of the discs. The Rimage Everest thermal retransfer printing system permanently fuses waterproof and scratch-proof images to the disc surface, creating photo-realistic labels faster and at a lower cost-per-disc than inkjet printers. “The print quality of our labels drastically improved,” says Knox. With the Everest’s versatile printing options, the team has a creative pallet to work with, ensuring each disc conveys the right message. The intuitive Rimage software also enables customized graphics, which further supports Discovery Communications’ brand and business goals.
Exploring the Possibilities
When it comes to working with Rimage, Ian is very pleased. Rimage has been quick to provide components when needed, and Knox is impressed with the way Rimage stands behind its products, especially the Rimage Media Kits. “The Media Kits are convenient and eliminate all guesswork,” he says. Ian also likes the possibilities for product enhancements, and Rimage’s archiving solutions are especially noteworthy. “I can see how that solution could easily fit into our workflow.”
Rimage has allowed the Media Operations team to bring production and distribution back in-house, where they meet the media demands of their varied audiences quickly, efficiently, and inexpensively. And as new challenges arise for the Media Operations team, Ian is glad to know there are always more solutions to discover with Rimage.
“The systems have allowed staff to deliver content to the masses more quickly and efficiently.”
Ian Knox, Director of Media Operations