Although the bare copying files in dependency from the storage media can be a challenge, we understand by "file-based ingest" far more. Issues are obviously arising form the various video essences. But only the associated technical, legal and descriptive metadata make a video file a video asset. Unfortunately, the sources of such assets in terms of the quality of the delivered materials differ massively. Therefore, we divide them into different categories.
Category 1 Ingest
It exists when professional, powerful storage media (Sony XDCAM, SxS, Panasonic P2, etc.) from the production environment (NG-camera, OB van, recording room, editing, sound, etc.) are used as sources. They are adapted to the technical and operational processes and were mostly even in their own environment prepared for production (eg formatting, barcode, etc.). Thus, the data structures are predetermined and the technical quality of assets predicted.
In the case of Category 1 ingests a graphical user interface allows the operator to access the source media. The selection of the files to be checked in happens there. Next, the metadata must be detected or requested. For the operator, this step ends with a click on "Start Ingest". Now the workflow system begins with the fully automated processing of the job. In addition a "collection tape" can be generated. Thereafter the assets are stored on a central production storage. Finally, the CheckIn is done into the production MAM or CMS.
Category 2 Ingest
The level of difficulty rises when, although still professionals with professional equipment are working, but such equipment is not identical to own house standard. Other cameras, video servers, editing systems, etc. do save the assets possibly in other formats, with other metadata structures or other storage media. As a result, a conversion into its own archive, production and playout standards is necessary.
For category 2 ingest an expansion in terms of the source media and their processing is necessary compared to a category 1. Thus the user interface allows access to other professional storage media than the standard house. The processing workflow is given an extension to a transcoding into the house format and possibly in other formats for browsing.
Category 3 Ingest
It gets exciting when the sources are no longer predictable. Especially in the area of day-by-day production and news the contents are supplied via diverse ways from different sources. We can expect a fairly predictable level of quality from news agencies. However, each agency will deliver their own video and metadata format. Freelancers or changing partners often lack of sufficient professional equipment and level production processes. Viewers, which offer a snapshot, do have no insight into the needs of the television world. As consequence a more elaborate treatment of the sources is necessary before they can enter the production chain.
In category 3 ingest we need to expecte any source storage media. Therefore, the ingest station is equipped with connections for USB sticks and hard disks, software for Internet and FTP downloads is installed and readers for professional storage media are available. To avoid that viruses can creep in durable a special software resets the macine to its original state after each reboot. The computer is connected via a special secure DMZ with the company network.
Especially in category 3 ingest the relevant files are first selected and then copied down from the source media. Again, the relevant metadata is detected or requested by an Ingest Operator. Once the actual ingest was started an processing of the sources happens that exceeds the treatment of sources for the other categories. If the file format allows it the sources are virus-scanned. A transcoding into the house format is mandatory step. Depending on the further processing steps a "collection tape" is created and possibly a preview format is generated. Thereafter the assets are moved to a central production storage. Finally the CheckIn into the production MAM or CMS takes place.