Traditional Broadcast to Online Streaming: Nemeton TV Expands Sports Media Production with StorNext

Published on in Advice / Tips & Tricks

With bases in Ireland and Scotland, Nemeton TV is a leading media production company known for delivering premium sporting content for TV and the web. Recently, the company decided to replace an outdated storage environment with a new platform that could handle more content and support a growing array of services. By implementing a Quantum StorNext solution, Nemeton TV has enhanced reliability, accelerated access to content, and gained the scalability for an evolving business.

For more than 25 years, Nemeton TV has been producing captivating sports content for major broadcast networks. When people watch live rugby, soccer, Gaelic football, hurling, or shinty in Ireland, chances are Nemeton TV has played a role in bringing those events to their TV sets and device screens.

“Nemeton TV contributes to virtually every sporting event that happens on the island of Ireland,” says Irial Mac Murchú, the company’s CEO. “We produce entire events for TV and online streaming but also provide satellite uplinks, create clips and highlights for social media, archive content, and much more.”

The company’s services also extend beyond the Emerald Isle. Beyond supporting Irish organizations such as the GAA (Gaelic Athletic Association) and Irish broadcaster TG4, Nemeton TV produces content and supplies people and facilities for BBC Scotland, BBC Wales, Sky Sports, and numerous other organizations. In addition, Nemeton TV collaborates on a range of non-sporting content and helps educate the next generation of media production professionals.

All of this work requires robust, reliable data storage. But the company’s existing storage infrastructure had trouble keeping up with an expanding business. 

Capitalizing on new business opportunities – and facing storage challenges

For Nemeton TV, demand for streaming services has increased tremendously, including from

non-traditional clients. For example, a rising number of corporate sponsors are working with Nemeton TV to stream sporting events on their corporate websites. “This is a whole new area of business for us,” says Irial. “For corporate sponsors, we provide a turnkey solution, from producing the game through streaming it on the corporate website and distributing clips through social media.” 

Unfortunately, the company’s storage infrastructure limited its ability to capitalize on new opportunities. “By 2011, we had a tapeless workflow with a media asset system and LTO archive option, all wrapped up into one environment,” says Fiachna Mac Murchú, technical systems manager at Nemeton TV. “But we came up against limitations of that system and became very frustrated. With our rate of growth, we knew that we had to move to a more scalable platform.”

Maintaining high reliability was critical. “When you’re producing live sports, you have to make sure fans can see every moment of action instantly as it happens,” says Irial. “If you miss something crucial, you will never be forgiven. There are no second chances.”

The Nemeton TV team also wanted to be sure that their storage environment could provide the fast access to content required for their production and post-production workflows. “We need to rapidly ingest data from a variety of sources,” says Irial. “And to produce clips, highlights, and other packages within tight deadlines, team members need to retrieve content from long-term storage rapidly.”

Moving the business forward with StorNext

The team’s previous experience with Apple Xsan storage led them to consider Quantum StorNext—Xsan is based on the StorNext file system. “We knew how robust and reliable Xsan technology was, so it was a natural progression to evaluate StorNext,” says Fiachna.

An archive project for a large client provided an opportunity for hands-on evaluation of StorNext. “One of our sports clients asked us to digitize its match archive from the past 40 years,” says Irial. “After doing some research, we recommended using a Quantum Artico intelligent NAS. As we were ingesting the archived content with that system, we were able to have a close look at Quantum.”

“We got familiar with the system and the interface, and we were able to experience the speed and uptime of the platform,” says Fiachna. “We decided to explore a full Quantum StorNext solution with an LTO library for our future work.”

Ultimately, the Nemeton TV team selected a Quantum solution powered by StorNext scale-out file store. A Quantum Scalar tape library system enables teams to draw from older content to create clips, highlights, and other compilations.

Achieving exceptional reliability for consistent viewing

The Quantum solution provides the reliability that Nemeton TV needs to deliver sporting events and other content uninterrupted to consumers. “You can’t have ‘That 60 seconds of black was brought to you by Nemeton TV.’ That’s not going to make any client happy,” says Irial. “But since installing the Quantum solution, we’ve had 100 percent uptime.”

Boosting performance and accelerating workflows

With the Quantum solution, Nemeton TV teams have the performance to rapidly ingest, access, transcode, output, and archive large volumes of high-resolution content. “Since the Quantum solution has been installed, the speeds have been astronomical,” says Fiachna. “Our transfers from disk to LTO tape and back are multiple times faster than with our old solution.”

Eliminating business obstacles with new levels of scalability

“When we would pitch for jobs in the past, we had to ask ourselves, Can the storage system handle this? Can we scale up?” says Irial. “With the Quantum StorNext platform in place, we no longer have limitations in terms of bidding for new jobs. We can go for very big jobs knowing our storage environment can take whatever we throw at it.”

The Nemeton TV team is now prepared for the future, ready to support new types of productions and a growing client base. “The Quantum solution enables us to meet our current needs while providing the scalability and expandability for what we’ll be doing 5 to 10 years down the road,” says Irial.

Envisioning new services with Quantum

With a robust, scalable platform in place, Nemeton TV can not only handle more content but explore new types of services. “In a few years, there will be an infinite amount of sports available online—and viewers won’t be able to watch it all,” says Irial. “I see Nemeton TV helping to curate content, choosing the best moments and putting them into bite-sized packages that can be fed to various channels. Every individual will be able to see the best of what’s happening on a given day.”

The company could also help its clients conduct deeper sports analytics and provide statistics to viewers along with games. “Viewers want to know how high a player jumped, how fast a ball traveled, and how many points a player has scored,” says Irial. “All that data has to reside in a storage environment and be linked with other multimedia content.”

Nemeton TV now has the storage infrastructure in place to support these and other offerings. “Storage is fundamental to everything we do,” says Irial. “With Quantum, we have the foundation for building a range of new services and ultimately delivering exciting new experiences to viewers.”

Key benefits

  • Achieved the extreme storage reliability required for producing live sporting events.
  • Reduced time to ingest and access content to meet fast turnaround times and tight deadlines.
  • Gained scalability for a fast-growing business that is moving into new streaming delivery models.
  • Implemented a foundation for new services, from content curation to delivery of deep sports analytics.

About Nemeton TV

Headquartered in Ireland with an additional base in Scotland, Nemeton TV is a leading media production company that produces more than 600 hours of live sports yearly. The company’s collective Celtic spirit supports an unconventional blend of passionate creatives, savvy techies, and confident dealmakers. Nemeton TV produces a full range of sports content, including soccer, rugby, boxing, hurling, horseracing, and more. Key clients include the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA), BBC ALBA, Sky Sports, TG4, as well as a growing number of corporate sponsors.

About Quantum

Quantum technology and services help customers capture, create, and share digital content—and preserve and protect it for decades at the lowest cost. Quantum’s platforms provide the fastest performance for high-resolution video, images, and industrial IoT, with solutions built for every stage

of the data lifecycle, from high-performance ingest to real-time collaboration and analysis and low-cost archiving. Every day the world’s leading entertainment companies, sports franchises, research scientists, government agencies, enterprises, and cloud providers are making the world happier, safer, and smarter on Quantum. See how at www.quantum.com

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