T he SMPTE 2017 Annual Technical Conference & Exhibition was held October 23–26 in Hollywood, California, providing an ideal opportunity to showcase the latest Quantum solutions for professionals in the film and television post-production industry. New compression formats, 4K mastering, more complex workflows, growing content libraries—these were some of the many subjects discussed over the course of the event. An end-to-end workflow featuring StorNext® 6 shared storage and data management software plus Xcellis® high-performance storage appliances addresses each of these challenges.

StorNext 6

StorNext is a fixture in the Hollywood post-production community for a reason—it delivers the performance, scalability, and reliability needed to meet the toughest production and delivery deadlines, from small editorial shops to VFX studios to massive media production environments. StorNext lets users rapidly and efficiently ingest, collaborate, deliver, and monetize high-value content. We highlighted some of the capabilities of our latest version, StorNext 6, at SMPTE:

  • Industry-leading 4K performance: Includes validated reference architectures for solving various 4K workflow challenges
  • FlexTier™: Quantum’s technology that extends policy-based StorNext access to public and private clouds
  • FlexSpace™: Purpose-built software that enables distributed, collaborative workflows using Amazon S3–based object store repositories
  • Offline file status and recall for Mac OS clients: A StorNext feature that integrates with Apple Finder to improve efficiency in Xsan environments

Want to know more about StorNext? Click here.

Xcellis Foundation

Xcellis Foundation is our new low-cost storage solution. Built with small post-production environments in mind, the system offers many of the same tools used by high-end facilities at a fraction of the cost. It delivers simple-to-manage scale-out NAS storage without sacrificing any of the enterprise-class benefits of StorNext.

With 48 TB of raw capacity (standard), Xcellis Foundation is fully capable of managing large data-intensive workflows right out of the box. It takes advantage of the innovative capabilities of StorNext 6 to provide built-in storage tiering, including archive to the cloud, and the ability to automate routine tasks. That means you’ll spend less time worrying about your workflow and more time actually creating content. Xcellis Foundation integrates seamlessly into existing operations, supports high-resolution projects up to 4K, and future-proofs your storage infrastructure—all without breaking your budget.

Want to know more about Xcellis Foundation? Click here.

Post-Production Roundtable

SMPTE also provided the opportunity to chat with a handful of post-production executives about their changing workflows over a roundtable dinner at the excellent Osteria Mozza restaurant. Sponsored by Quantum and Dalet, the dinner was attended by IT leaders from major film and television studios, independent production companies, post houses, and VFX studios. We ate well, raised a glass or two, and had far-ranging discussions about topics as varied as the demands of 4K, cloud processing and storage, budgets, and, of course, the topic du jour in Hollywood, Harvey Weinstein. Here’s some of what we talked about:

  • 4K has arrived. There is growing talk about 8K, but many professionals see no current incentive to move to 8K production. Most consumers can’t tell the difference between 1080p and 4K, so 8K is simply unnecessary. High-dynamic-range (HDR) content, however, offers a noticeably improved viewing experience, and we can expect to see more of it, both for HD and 4K, in the months ahead.
  • Workflows have never been more complex. On one hand there’s the growing demand for 4K, and on the other is the fact that a significant portion of viewers are fine watching 480p content on their smartphones. The bottom line is that content is still king, and the workflow must accommodate a wide range of resolutions, formats, and codecs to meet consumers’ viewing preferences.
  • Many content creators are evaluating and experimenting with the cloud, but are not fully implementing it into their workflows yet. A lot of folks are still trying to figure out how to make it work for them.
  • Despite the many benefits offered by the latest technology innovations, most decisions to upgrade production workflows are inevitably based on ROI. If significant dollar savings can’t be clearly demonstrated by advancements in areas such as automation and artificial intelligence (AI), then many facilities are content to maintain their existing processes.

Although our dinner companions rarely reached consensus on any single topic, we did agree on one thing—storage performance and capacity will continue to be important issues as the industry grapples with the changes brought about by higher resolutions, an increased number of collaborators, and tighter budgets. Working with an industry leader like Quantum helps you meet these challenges with confidence.

Want to learn more about Quantum solutions for post-production? Read our case study on Citizen Pictures.

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