Managing Over 50 Years of Space Exploration Content with CatDV

For more than 50 years, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) has explored the solar system, stars, galaxies, and even Earth itself with robotic spacecraft. It is also responsible for NASA’s Deep Space Network—a worldwide system of communications complexes that serve as portals to distant spacecraft.

JPL’s television production facility is tasked with archiving and preserving the historical content dating back to the early days of rocketry and interstellar space exploration. JPL also produces videos to communicate details of current exploration missions to the public at large and generates educational materials for students at all levels.

JPL had struggled to manage that large volume of media assets. The organization’s in-house production team needed to address three main workflow challenges: an obsolete asset management database with very limited search capabilities, a time-consuming review and approval process, and a complex procedure for publishing content to the web.

Implementing CatDV and Gaining Fast Access to Files
JPL chose CatDV to organize and manage all of its priceless media assets. CatDV helps the JPL production team dramatically reduce the time needed to find files. In the past, editors had to search a database by title, hoping it contained the file they were seeking. Now with CatDV, all of the files are cataloged and tagged, enabling quick and easy access to content.

Accelerating Review and Approval Processes
Reviews and approvals are also faster with CatDV. Previously, producers were unable to view projects throughout the editing process, since there was no simultaneous access to all the materials. Now all the metadata generated in the system simply imports directly from CatDV to the project so that everyone can access, edit via proxy, or review.

Producers can view the source materials or raw materials and mark using timecode or in and out points, simply feeding their choices into CatDV. These capabilities have enabled them to dramatically increase productivity and complete more and more projects.

Simplifying Delivery of High-Quality Assets
The JPL team needs to maintain the quality of assets, which are published to the web. Using CatDV, editors can create eight different compression algorithms. Files are then effortlessly delivered to the web team and ultimately published onto the website.

Enabling Users to Find Compelling Videos Easily
CatDV also helps people who want to view the media assets that JPL creates. The JPL team uses CatDV to catalog finalized programs as well as continuing projects, such as videos on the Mars rover, so that the public can search the website to quickly see what is available to download.