Production automation

Busby provides tools to enable the automation of production workflows from kick-off to contribution.

Planning and process mapping

When using Busby, production processes are analysed and broken down into identifiable, manageable stages; something often known as process mapping. This is recorded as a workflow and each step configured in Busby’s workflow editor. Steps may be automated using scripting, control and scheduling tools. Manual steps and quality control gates can be incorporated into otherwise automated workflows.

Busby maintains records of everything done, displays the status of each job and can exchange information with existing scheduling and budgeting tools.

Process mappingAnalyse and record exiting, or new, production processes.
Workflow stepsBreak each process down into manageable steps
AutomationUse the Busby scriptable busby toolset to make each step do exactly what is required
Manual stepsAdd manual steps where human interaction his required or adds value
Quality controlBuild quality control gates into any workflow

Typical Applications

Busby is used by a wide variety of organisations in many different roles. Organisations using Busby to manage production workflows include: Sky TV, The Globe Theatre, Advanced Broadcast Services.

Applications of Busby in production applications include

Scheduled recordingRecord to a schedule from single or multiple sources
Time shiftingRecord a line feed for later transmission
Voice oversRecord and add voice-overs to programme content
Review and markupReview sources or finished material and add markers with comments or custom metadata
VersioningCombine existing material with additional content to create new versions

Resource management

Busby includes calendar based scheduling tools, integrated with information about job requirements and resources.

When scheduling jobs Busby ‘knows’ the required resources and can schedule them into diary based time slots. The system checks each booking for the availability of resources, so that clashes are prevented and warnings issued when resources are over-committed.

ScheduleCalendar based scheduling
Allocate resourcesManual or automatic allocation of resource to jobs
Allocate usersAllocate jobs to users to run or supervise
Enable clash detectionBuilt in clash detection prevents over allocation of available resources

Running jobs

Jobs may be initiated in several different ways: manually, by the arrival of a file, by a message from another system or by an alarm.

Once initiated, jobs are tracked on a progress board through each stage of the workflow. Progress boards carry important information about the job including live status and where a step naturally takes a long time to complete, the job card can also show a progress indicator.

The table below summarises some of the steps that might be included in a production workflow.

Initiate workflowsManually, to a timed schedule, on receipt of a massage from another system, by an external event (alarm)
Status boardsProgress of every job easily monitored through Busby’s job status boards with ‘click-through’ to more detailed information.
Automated stepsMost steps will be automated though the Busby toolset customised with scripts
Managed manual stepsManual steps allowing human intervention, review, routing choices and addition of metadata
Quality gatesJobs can be paused for quality review at any stage in a workflow
Record keepingBusby logs all operations and custom reports can be produced

Asset management

Integrated within the Busby ecosystem is a media asset manager (MAM), supporting video, audio and other assets using a hierarchical cataloguing system that allows many individual files, or instances to belong to the same parent event. This allows, for example, all the source elements required to compile a finished programme to be tracked and managed through the same parent.

A browse viewer comes as standard with the MAM with the capability both to play multiple files in sync and add custom markers and metadata when needed.

An out-of-the-box set of metadata fields is included and these can be extended to support whatever is required in a given application.

The MAM can be used to package and deliver assets to external processes such as editing and client review. It also features a very fast indexer to allow searching across the full range of data associated with each asset and stored within the system. The search service can also be configured to provide custom search capabilities.

Store and catalogue production assetsHierarchical catalogue with powerful searching facilities
Link with metadataAdd out-of-the-box and custom metadata fields
Submit to transcoding and other workflowsOne click submission of media to workflows
Make browsable copiesBuilt-in transcoding for making browse copies of ingested media
Multi-camera browse viewerView browse copies either individually or in synchronised multi-camera viewer
Add markers to contentAdd time-anchored markers and metadata to media records


Moving from one format to another is a frequent requirement of production workflows and Busby supports this both through its internal transcoding engine and integration with third party transcoders where this is needed.

Creating browse copies for the MAM and other viewing systems is done through the Busby transcode engine. Transcodes can also be built into workflows as a automated workflow step.

Flexible transcoding to a wide range of formatsTranscode from ingest to ‘post’ and ‘post’ to distribution as required
Track shuffling/substitutionAdd/move audio tracks and sub-titles
Language managementAdd multiple languages, distribute only those required
Built into workflowsSubmit media packages to workflows directly from the media manager


Send both media files and formatted metadata to third party platforms using integrated formatters and transfer protocols

Move files using a wide range of protocolsInitiate distribution of completed media directly from the media manager
Integration with cloud platformsStore and retrieve media on cloud platforms
Metadata formatting for media exchangeGenerate correctly formatted data for use in 3rd party scheduling and layout systems
Record-keepingBusby keeps logs of all operations and can generate custom reports
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