Product Spotlight: t-m Production Suite

Apr 29, 2002  •  Post A Comment

What it is: DreMedia’s t-m Production Suite is a software system that gives journalists additional search functionality and is layered on top of existing media-asset-management systems or newsroom computer systems.
How it works: The software is based on technology developed by DreMedia’s largest investor, San Francisco-based Autonomy, and operates as an intelligent search tool to analyze speech, text and images and allow that data to be categorized and understood. Essentially, it is smart enough to understand what is being asked by the journalist making the search request, said Matt Karas, CEO of DreMedia, based in London. The software system also includes speaker identification technology that catalogs and matches the voices of famous people. While television journalism is, of course, a visual medium, the majority of the searches through archives and past footage are based on speech, he said. “Ninety-nine percent of news is speech driven. Most of what you are reporting is someone’s account of something. You can say, `Find me stuff on Tony Blair talking about Ireland,”’ he said.
Benefits: The system increases productivity because it shortens the time to air, since video can be quickly found and retrieved, he said. The system allows text, newswires, archives and video all to be browsed from the desktop. “Its job is to tell journalists what’s available to them,” Mr. Karas said. The search also tells the journalist the time code and jumps to that point if the customer uses a desktop video browsing system. The system can also tell the user where on a tape the desired byte is and then jump to that by interfacing with a tape machine.”
Not an asset management system: The t-m Production Suite differs from an asset management system, which stores video and can search manually inputted metadata. Because DreMedia’s system automatically understands what it is searching, the need to enter metadata into archived video is removed, he said.
“Our system goes hand in hand [with an asset management system] and adds intelligence to the solution that stores the video,” he said. While DreMedia’s system doesn’t rely on metadata, it can search metadata that may be included with ingested footage. “What this means is the dirt-under-your-fingernails-journalists who are hacking out copy every day don’t have to speak to two surly librarians to get the tape they need,” he said.
Customers: The system is currently being used by the BBC to index new and old video and audio clips for BBC News Interactive.
Target market: TV broadcasters and TV production companies.
Cost: The system starts at $250,000.