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How a Dallas NHL Team used an Avid Upgrade to Increase Storage and Utilize Assets 3x Faster

Jason Walsh says he’s been with the Dallas Stars® ice hockey team almost forever. After graduating from the University of North Texas with a degree in Radio, Television and Film, Walsh used his interest in hockey to land an internship with the team. He immediately broke career ice by working on the 1999 Stanley Cup broadcast crew when the Dallas Stars beat the Buffalo Sabres 4-2.

“After such a stellar start to a career, immediately one thinks the team will win every year,” said Jason Walsh, vice president, production and entertainment, Dallas Stars. “Of course, that’s not the way it works.” A decade and a half later, Walsh remains enamored with the sport and what his expanded media crew of nine and technical crew of 22 can creatively produce.

For the last eight years, Walsh and his department have worked with TM Television on everything from obtaining individual gear to installing full editing suites. A long time user of Avid video and audio production technology, the Dallas Stars had relied upon non-linear editing for creation, but by 2014 their older Avid system had left the team’s media department with a storage system maxed out.

“Over the years, our entire media library had been converted to digital. With the new DSLR cameras and the sheer size of each video file, we just ran out of space,” explained Walsh, who said 40 terabytes of storage with their older system wasn’t enough. “We needed three times that capacity.”

TM Television Technology Solutions

For the storage and access problems, TM Television recommended two upgrades: Avid ISIS® 5500 and an Avid Interplay® system that would enable quicker search and access of video content.

Storage & Networking Solution: Because the Dallas Stars have a history with Avid storage solutions, TM Television quickly ruled out third party storage, electing to stay with Avid for storage hardware, along with Dell switching using 1 and 10 Gigabit connections. To determine how much capacity the Dallas Stars needed, TM Television account managers used deep industry knowledge. “We looked at the whole picture, the volume of data to be accessed and the specific codecs being used, to ensure we recommended the right sized system,” explained Adam Oas, TM Television territory manager.

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From there, TM Television used mathematical calculations to determine precise storage recommendations based on the number people accessing the system at one time, the type of files being used, and the file volume being produced. Oas further said, “We also calculated the overall viability and speed of the system, ensuring that when productions are firing on all cylinders, we could guarantee that the department wouldn’t have work waiting on technology.”

Organizing & Access Solution: Avid Interplay for asset management, Avid MediaCentral UX for logging and access and Vantage® by Telestream for media ingest and deliverables.

“Our experience with sport teams tells us that winning the Stanley Cup, World Series, or various other championships creates an ongoing need to access historical moment footage for input into highlight shows, explained Randy McCraw, technical support manager, TM Television. “Likewise, the need to access old footage to honor past players is also required by professional teams.”

Additionally, McCraw factored into the evaluation the way in which the system had been used and what was needed in the future. With the older Avid system, the Dallas Stars’ media department could easily track footage by the project, but it had no way to track player video clips from years gone by. So, with Avid Interplay and, of course, correctly entered metadata, the media department would easily be able to find the video assets in any search.

Avid Upgrade Results

“As our old system reached its end of life, we had problems that started to occur,” explained Walsh. “When you start working on a platform like ISIS, you get stability. So upgrading gave us peace of mind.” Walsh, who spent a quarter of a million dollars in the upgrade said it wasn’t an easy spend for a small organization but, “content is king and this content is what will push our message; we needed something to count on.”

“When you start working on a platform like ISIS, you get stability. So upgrading gave us peace of mind.”

The Avid upgrade had been on the Dallas Stars’ radar for years, so once funds were available, they approached TM Television. “It’s all about the relationship, the stability and the comfort in knowing that we’ll be taken care of,” explained Walsh. “That’s the beauty of the [TM Television]relationship – it doesn’t just end on the purchase date; there continues to be support and that’s why they have our business.”

About the Dallas Stars

Based in Dallas, Texas, the Dallas Stars are an American professional ice hockey team and are members of the Central Division of the Western Conference of the National Hockey League (NHL). The franchise relocated to Dallas for the 1993-94 NHL season and play at the American Airlines Center. The stars have won seven division titles, two President’s Trophies, two Western Conference championships and the Stanley Cup. For more information, visit http://stars.nhl.com/.

About TM Television

TM Television is a leading supplier of digital video, audio and workflow products to the broadcast, production, post-production and corporate industries. Offering the most technologically advanced hardware and software products from leading manufacturers in the industry, TM Television provides the best workflow solutions, ongoing service and expert advice/guidance for all media and production needs. www.tmtel.com

Contact Information

TM Television
2440 Lacy Lane, Suite 110
Carrollton, TX 75006
Office: 972-243-4772
Toll free: 888-346-9870
Email: Sales@tmtel.com

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