You feel the need for speed. Your post-production studio has numerous team members working on high-resolution video content. Whether they’re editing, animating, applying visual effects, matching colors, or making other contributions to projects, they need powerful workstations and high-performance storage that can keep up with these demanding tasks. Because they’re under tremendous pressure to meet tight deadlines, your team members can’t afford performance lags that can slow processes and ultimately jeopardize completion dates.
As much as technology companies would like to believe that they are serving a global market, in reality tech adoption varies widely by region. What happens in London isn’t always what happens in Toronto, much less what happens in Seoul or Mumbai. The adoption of 4K is happening much faster than it did for HD, even though 4K is pulling along other data-intensive technologies: high dynamic range (HDR), high frame rates (HFR) and 10-bit or greater color depth. Now that 4K displays are available worldwide, the question turns to 4K Ultra HD content delivery: by broadcast, by cable, by satellite, or by IP? This challenge is even greater in Asia, where content delivery varies more by locale than in other regions.
By 2020, 3.3 trillion hours of video will be captured globally, generating 859 PB of data. In my meetings with customers looking to implement new video surveillance systems, I’ve seen a great deal of enthusiasm for the possibilities the latest camera technologies offer, as well as for the opportunities to leverage innovative new analysis tools. These conversations have changed substantially over just a couple of years, as new use cases for video surveillance have emerged. Organizations are just starting to understand the fact that they’ll need a more sophisticated approach to storage if they want to make full use of the new tools available to them and cope with longer retention requirements, all while keeping the total cost of ownership manageable. The storage approach they choose can either become the limiting factor for what they want their system to accomplish, or it can enable video surveillance to become a true business asset. In a new whitepaper, Josh Woodhouse, a senior analyst with IHS, explores the key considerations for implementing storage to support a modern video surveillance infrastructure.
Another year, another new format – or ten! Broadcasters are now surrounded by a sea of formats. Everything from HD-SDI, streaming formats, 4K/UHD and last but by no means least the many variants of IP based transport mechanisms like J2K or SMPTE 2022. It’s an increasing challenge for the industry to handle the mixture of all these sources especially when distributing content to the many output channels a broadcaster needs to address on a daily basis. Adding custom graphics and branding to the video forces us to have multiple versions of the same clip, eating up storage space and increasing the need for video management. Meanwhile broadcasters are often still stuck having specialised devices for singular tasks - video server for video, graphics servers, audio systems and vision mixers to name just a few. This isn’t anything new but a solution is urgently needed as we’re seeing these new formats arrive constantly. As we gear up for IBC 2015, let's take a look at these basic concepts and the understanding of how an efficient broadcaster should ideally operate, and dive into the creation of a new video, graphics and audio workflow centered on Viz Engine as a powerful video playback system.
It’s no secret that the stakes are high in sports broadcast. As Quantum’s Skip Levens said, there are “no second takes, millions of highly discriminating and knowledgeable customers scrutinizing your every move, and every play has the potential to make history.” There’s a lot of money to be made, but the competition between networks can be as fierce as anything on the road, field, court or diamond. So it’s no surprise that sports production pushes the envelope when it comes to adopting new technology. We’re only halfway through 2015 and we’ve seen some amazing leaps forward this year, in five key areas: Higher Definition Content, Camera Ubiquity, Real-time Data Analysis, In-Stadium Screens, and Live In-Home Experiences.
Video editing has always placed higher demands on storage than any other file-based applications, and with today’s higher resolution formats, streaming video content demands even more performance from storage systems, with 4K raw requiring 1210 MB/sec per stream—7.3 times more throughput than raw HD. In the early days of non-linear editing, this level of performance could only be achieved with direct attached storage (DAS). As technology progressed, we were able to add shared collaboration even with many HD streams. Unfortunately, with the extreme demands of 4K and beyond, many workflows are resorting to DAS again, despite its drawbacks. With DAS, sharing large media files between editors and moving the content through the workflow means copying the files across the network or on reusable media such as individual USB and Thunderbolt-attached hard drives. That’s not only expensive because it duplicates the storage capacity required; it also diminishes user productivity and can break version control protocols. In this blog, we'll look the key differences between major storage technologies and well as general usage recommendations.
Video production is entering yet another major transition – the move to 4K. Much like the move to high definition (HD) several years ago, the new ultra-high definition (UHD) 4K-resolution formats have the potential to disrupt workflows, strain existing infrastructure and require costly unplanned upgrades. Those who remember how bumpy the change from SD to HD was are understandably nervous about what this looming 4K transition will bring. With lessons learned from the past, the industry is ready to make the change from HD to 4K. The technology has evolved, the tools have evolved and workflows have evolved. The challenge, however, is to make sense of all this change and put the right pieces together to enable a successful transition. The following five key tips will help you to make a smooth transition to full 4K production.
It’s so exciting to see today’s announcement that Quantum will be taking on a larger role in selling Dot Hill storage. This is not just another storage channel deal – let me explain why. The partnership of Quantum and Dot Hill began in workflow storage. Quantum enjoys a unique position in the market in serving the needs of the most demanding workflow storage applications – from video production to surveillance, cybersecurity and research. These applications have storage needs which are quite different from traditional corporate applications. They need different solutions. Both companies have noticed that there are adjacent markets and customer needs where tighter collaboration between us—leveraging the technology of Dot Hill and the technology and channel reach of Quantum—can deliver broader value to our customers and partners. Which brings me to the announcement today: Quantum is becoming the branded face of Dot Hill storage.
In the fast-paced entertainment industry, the technology for both creating and consuming content can shift sharply and quickly. Making the right technology choices, at the right time, with well-timed implementation can mean the difference in moving your business forward or wasting a lot of time and budget fixing bad decisions, or worse, losing the business. These three market trends have the power to disrupt your workflow, but by making a few key decisions today you can transition smoothly in 2015, plus prepare for what’s to come in the future. In Pt.1 of the series we look at a technology that's going to be on everyone's mind at NAB 2015: 4K.
Workflows are evolving as producers, large and small, are utilizing the full range of tools available to create compelling stories. Whether they're a post-production facility focused on motion design or a broadcaster delivering election results, collaboration and speed are core workflow requirements. The adoption of high resolution content has increased editorial flexibility, allowing visual effects and compositing teams to enrich the visual experience. At the same time, producers are managing a wider range of ingest sources, meaning editors have more content to draw upon. With all this increased complexity, storage solutions must meet demands for speed and capacity while remaining open and reliable.
Like so many mid-sized media facilities, a recent customer I talked with was relying on Apple Xsan for shared storage supported by Apple Xserve RAID. They had nearly a dozen Mac clients and running Final Cut Pro with high-speed SAN access to the shared content, plus another handful of users downloading content on the Xsan through a Mac client acting as a file server. It was a pretty typical setup for an efficient, collaborative media workflow. Unfortunately, they had a pretty typical problem too. Apple built the last of its Xserve servers In January 2011, which means all Xserves are over three years old and closing in on the typical end-of-life for servers. The server alternatives available from Apple don’t offer the redundancy features that reduce downtime, and with the short production cycles and rigid deadlines in the news business that’s a risk they couldn’t take. So like so many others, this customer took the server upgrade as an opportunity to rethink their workflow.
Since they were first introduced over a decade ago, shared storage solutions have been the industry standard for sharing content in media workflows, enabling teams to collaborate more effectively. With shared storage, multiple users can directly access content across a SAN connection at the same speed as direct-attached storage. Shared storage has the power to stream high-resolution content to team members at rates high enough to never drop a single frame. That’s where a fully-featured management platform like StorNext Connect comes in. StorNext Connect allows you to install, manage and monitor all your StorNext shared storage resources—storage, CPU, memory, network—in an intuitive graphical view.
In the weeks since NAB Quantum has seen incredible interest in these three solutions because they resonate with the pressing issues that many broadcasters and post-production facilities face. Take 4K as an example. Many organizations know that they will move to 4K but they are not yet ready to replace their legacy systems. With Quantum’s StorNext Pro 4K solution, broadcasters and post-production facilities can quickly launch a new 4K workflow or add 4K capabilities to an existing Xsan or StorNext deployment. When there is an opportunity to move 100% to 4K the Quantum StorNext Pro 4K solution will easily scale with them. To be sure, Quantum is not the only vendor that has announced support for 4K workflows. However, just because some vendors say that they support 4K are they truly up to the task?