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.

Part 1: Consumers Rush for 4K

If you think the transition to 4K will be anything like last decade’s transition to HD, think again.

4K televisions hit the big box retailers at mainstream prices this past holiday season and consumers were snapping them up. Even though 4K content is few and far between, the promise of crisp, clear picture quality has ordinary folks buying devices well ahead of content availability.

So how is your 4K workflow coming along? Even if you don’t currently have a 4K project in the works, the last thing you’d want is to turn down a contract for because you don’t have a plan, much less the technology, in place to create or deliver in 4K. In fact, many producers are creating 4K content ahead of their ability to distribute it now, shouldn’t you?

The tough part of 4K production is streaming 4K content at frame rates of 24fps or greater without dropping frames on a shared storage system. Many storage solutions marketed as 4K can’t handle these higher frame rates, and force you to work off direct attached storage instead. That means disrupting your workflow to download 4K content locally for edit instead of accessing directly from shared storage. And that means saying goodbye to the collaborative environment that’s shortened production cycles to meet the tight deadlines that drive our competitive industry.

Fortunately, with the right plan the transition to 4K need not be painful. First, capture and archive content in 4K, even for projects you’re not editing or delivering in 4K. Then, when purchasing any new equipment, from cameras to monitors to networking to storage, buy components capable of 4K or better, like StorNext Pro 4K. Unlike many other 4K solutions on the market, StorNext Pro 4K does not force you to disrupt your workflow by going back to editing locally (direct attached storage) or acquiring and archiving with a lower resolution CODEC .

Also, when 4K projects come in, don’t rush to transition everything at once. Stand up a dedicated environment for 4K projects, but keep your existing HD workflow in place for ongoing projects. With the right storage solution, you can bridge the gap in your 4K and HD workflows by multi-mounting clients and sharing finished files between the two workflows. So you can transition with ease.

Ready to Learn More?

Are you making the move to 4K? Whether you are building a new workflow  or adding 4K capabilities to an existing Xsan or StorNext deployment, learn more about a StorNext Pro 4K storage solution.

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