Network Ten drives content online

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Network Ten drives content online

Network Ten has embarked on a digitisation project to make its on-air content available online faster.

The project is expected to reduce the time taken to convert on-air content to online from a “few hours” to “as close to real-time as possible”, according to Siva Ahilan, head of technology – digital media, at Network Ten.

“At the moment all our video content is on tape,” explained Ahilan.

“Once we digitise it we can then repurpose it quickly for web and mobile properties. We’ve already implemented the project in some regions.”

Network Ten currently uses Open Text’s RedDot web content management system as the backend to its online properties.

The network looks after the initial design and development of each site, but the individual producers of each show are responsible for populating them with content and maintenance.

“We haven’t taken a structured template approach [to rolling out new websites],” said Ahilan, referring to the workflow most users of web content management tools follow.

“We’ve left it up to the producers like Endemol and Fremantle Media so the sites reflect their individual production qualities.”

Ahilan confirms that this level of customisation posed concerns with ensuring the fast rollout of new web properties.

To counter this, Ten devised what it calls a “vanilla concept” – essentially a standard XHTML structure that can be applied in RedDot and re-skinned for each property.

Ten’s internal design team looks after each site’s interface, but the XHTML and CSS coding has been outsourced to the digital agency, Bullseye.

“We’ve been able to use the vanilla concept to reduce the time taken to build, test and deploy new sites to three to four weeks,” Ahilan told iTNews.

“We’ve also put some constraints on the design team so that we don’t have to change the XHTML too much each time. [Too many changes] would blow the concept out of the water.”

Network Ten claims to have a “technology agnostic” approach to its environment, which is managed by Hostworks.

The network runs VMWare to enable it to scale up and down with traffic volumes, particularly as on-air audiences move online after the screening of a show.

It also runs applications based on ColdFusion, ASP.NET and Java.

“If someone builds a great Ruby-on-Rails application in their garage, we want to be able to use it,” said Ahilan.
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