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What fast turnaround can learn from sport

A special report from our sister mag, TVBEurope: Tapeless workflow specialist Timeline TV will tell the Fast Turnaround TV 2012 conference on 13 March how techniques used for sports production can be applied to general programming, writes David Fox.

Sport was years ahead in embracing tapeless technology, and Timeline is now employing this expertise on a wider gamut of programming, including news events and documentaries. It places particular emphasis on workflow and media management, to gain maximum efficiency without compromising creativity. “We’re applying the basic principles of sports production to general programming that needs to be high quality and fast turnaround,” said Stephen Davis, Timeline’s commercial director (right in picture), who will be speaking at the conference along with Dan McDonnell, Timeline’s managing director (left). “We’re used to higher stress levels in sports production, and we’re able to bring the same level of energy,” along with considerable expertise in server-based productions – Timeline was set up to provide EVS systems for sports and has “delivered the biggest EVS solutions outside of EVS,” added Davis. The new multi-channel playout centre it has set up for Racing UK, which goes on air from Ealing Studios in west London next week, is a model of the efficiency that can be gained from going tapeless, particularly using the IPDirector database (Timeline claims to be Europe’s leading supplier of IPDirector implementations). Since setting up in 2006, the company has expanded from providing tapeless server systems for outside broadcasts to flyaway production units, RF and comms, as well as setting up post facilities in central and west London – with a third facility opening at MediaCity UK in April. A full report on Timeline’s workflows, its new production and playout centre, and its work on such programmes as ITV’s hit drama series Downton Abbey and Sky Sport’s darts coverage, will be in the March issue of TVBEurope.