Brand New School Makes the Move to Uncompressed HD


What did you do over Christmas 2008? I spent the whole two-week break rebuilding the post production workflow at Brand New School, the prestigious commercial production and design firm in Santa Monica, CA, and the experience let me stretch every technology muscle I had built up in 10 years as a video engineer.
At the time, Brand New School was using a lot of digital Betacam decks, along with a few legacy U-Matic VCRs and even some VHS for archived footage. But the most baffling equipment area I was confronted with was a manual patch panel that was so complicated I had a hard time figuring it out. It had been originally designed for analog signal paths by a company more focused on creative than on production and the swirl of wires coming out of the back of it looked like a 500 lb. mass of spaghetti. We had also acquired a series of analog-to-digital converter boxes of multiple heritages, but even these different brands of equipment could not talk with each other easily.
I needed to slice through that Scythian knot of cabling, and had to find a sword that the budget could afford. Back when I was working at the networks I’d gained experience with high-end routers that were both powerful and flexible, however they were also out of the budget range of an independent commercial production company. But when Blackmagic Design introduced their Videohub routers, my initial examination revealed this was a technology that had the capabilities I needed at a price we could afford.
As a powerful broadcast grade routing switcher, our Workgroup Videohub features 12 inputs and outputs each with a bidirectional deck control port, 12 monitor outputs and SDI to carry both audio and video on the same cable. It even boasts 3 Gb/s SDI, all in a compact rack mount chassis only a few inches thick. Blackmagic’s Videohub eliminates the hassle of physically patching cables because everything is permanently connected to it and there is never a need to manually change connections. Since we wanted to be able to use uncompressed high definition video throughout our post production chain, it was also important that built in SDI re-clockers on each SDI input which regenerate the entire SDI video signal were included.
With an eye toward eventually adopting full 1080P for all of our work, and even 2K implementation, it was also a benefit that the Videohub comes with 3 Gb/sec SDI connections so it can handle up to 2048 X 1556 resolution in real time. It can also automatically detect when an SDI input changes, which meant no more patching and re-patching now or in the future.
But I soon learned that Videohub has another advantage that is not obvious from a product brochure. All of its inputs and outputs are clearly labeled in its software and can easily be re-named for a particular purpose. This can be invaluable when production assistants and artists without an extensive engineering background need to get signals from one technology island to another because there is no longer any confusion about which cable gets plugged into which connection.
Our studio has two edit bays based on Apple’s Final Cut Pro NLE’s for creative offline and an AutoDesk Flame suite for compositing & effects work along with a dedicated Apple finishing station where we assemble our deliverable masters. We had been feeding them all with capture cards from a manufacturer that would not let us easily upgrade them, but once I discovered that the Blackmagic DeckLink HD Pro dual link SD/HD SDI capture cards were built from the ground up to handle 10-bit SDI capture and playback at 4:4:4 resolution I liked their design so much that we purchased two of them to service each of our Final Cut Pro edit bays.
These days we are constantly renting high-end decks such as Panasonic’s D-5 or Sony’s HDCAM SR for mastering, so the quality of our throughput was paramount. Therefore it would be penny wise but pound foolish to skimp on format converters. We already had two Blackmagic SDI to analog mini converters mixed in with lesser offerings from other brands, but I decided to standardize us on converters from just one manufacturer.
So since I had been very satisfied with Blackmagic Design’s Videohub and DeckLink capture cards I purchased two more of their mini converters to let us present our HD images on prosumer grade high definition flat panel displays. These also let me provide our AutoDesk Flame suite with AES/EBU embedded audio that can be heard over external speakers.
So now Brand New School has a post-production workflow that doesn’t need an A-Z roadmap to navigate, and one that can handle any format of digital video and audio to service our dedication to mastering in uncompressed HD. I am constantly checking the Blackmagic Design Web site to keep current with their beta testing of new technologies, and we hope to become a beta site ourselves. Since I know that Blackmagic Design’s built-in 3 Gig capability will let me upgrade our systems easily over the Internet by efficiently downloading the latest firmware, I can also rely on keeping our systems current with whatever future format demands our clients may require while staying within a budget that Brand New School can afford.

Tags: workflow | iss031 | brand new school | videohub | blackmagic design | decklink | uncompressed hd | N/A
Contributing Author N/A

Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
Article Copyright tv-bay limited. All trademarks recognised.
Reproduction of the content strictly prohibited without written consent.

Related Interviews
  • ChyronHego show their PRIME Workflow at IBC 2018

    ChyronHego show their PRIME Workflow at IBC 2018

  • All IP Workflow from Quantum with Xcellis Workflow Storage solutions at NAB 2018

    All IP Workflow from Quantum with Xcellis Workflow Storage solutions at NAB 2018

  • Object Matrix Hybrid Workflow and Artifical Intelligence at NAB 2018

    Object Matrix Hybrid Workflow and Artifical Intelligence at NAB 2018

  • Workflow Solutions from Pronology at NAB 2017

    Workflow Solutions from Pronology at NAB 2017

  • Snell Advanced Media (SAM) 4k workflow at IBC 2015

    Snell Advanced Media (SAM) 4k workflow at IBC 2015

  • LIVEU Workflow solutions at NAB 2015

    LIVEU Workflow solutions at NAB 2015

  • TMD talk workflow on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    TMD talk workflow on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • Quantels Stream-based Workflows at IBC 2013

    Quantels Stream-based Workflows at IBC 2013

  • Streaming Media with Interra Systems at NAB 2017

    Streaming Media with Interra Systems at NAB 2017

  • New CEO and news update from TMD at NAB 2017

    New CEO and news update from TMD at NAB 2017

  • SGL Broadcast at IBC 2015

    SGL Broadcast at IBC 2015

  • Tiger Technology at BVE 2015

    Tiger Technology at BVE 2015

  • ERA - Adobe Anywhere - at BVE 2015

    ERA - Adobe Anywhere - at BVE 2015

  • NETIA at BVE 2015

    NETIA at BVE 2015

  • Dalet at IBC 2014

    Dalet at IBC 2014

  • Pronology at IBC 2014

    Pronology at IBC 2014

  • Quantel LiveTouch at IBC 2014

    Quantel LiveTouch at IBC 2014

  • Quantel deal with AFP at IBC 2014

    Quantel deal with AFP at IBC 2014

  • Snell Kahuna Production Switcher at IBC 2014

    Snell Kahuna Production Switcher at IBC 2014

  • Telestream Wirecast and Switch at IBC 2014

    Telestream Wirecast and Switch at IBC 2014

  • Telestream Vantage support for DPP at IBC 2014

    Telestream Vantage support for DPP at IBC 2014

  • Broadstream Solutions at NAB 2014

    Broadstream Solutions at NAB 2014

  • Telestream Enterprise at NAB 2014

    Telestream Enterprise at NAB 2014

  • Telestream Switch at NAB 2014

    Telestream Switch at NAB 2014

  • Dalet at NAB 2014

    Dalet at NAB 2014

  • ERA at BVE 2014

    ERA at BVE 2014

  • ERA Avere at BVE 2014

    ERA Avere at BVE 2014

  • Pixel Power on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    Pixel Power on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • Atomos talking 4K on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    Atomos talking 4K on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • Metus on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    Metus on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • Volicon on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    Volicon on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • Broadstream Solutions on the Oasys stand at IBC 2013

    Broadstream Solutions on the Oasys stand at IBC 2013

  • Oasys Chameleon at IBC 2013

    Oasys Chameleon at IBC 2013

  • Loft London Solutions with Cubix on the Oasys stand at IBC 2013

    Loft London Solutions with Cubix on the Oasys stand at IBC 2013

  • Tony Taylor from TMD talks about LTFS at IBC 2013

    Tony Taylor from TMD talks about LTFS at IBC 2013

  • Tony Taylor from TMD talks about Mediaflex CI

    Tony Taylor from TMD talks about Mediaflex CI

  • Tony Taylor from TMD talks about Post Production

    Tony Taylor from TMD talks about Post Production

  • Facilis at IBC 2013

    Facilis at IBC 2013

  • Telestream with Wirecast version five at IBC 2013

    Telestream with Wirecast version five at IBC 2013

  • Telestream with Post Producer at IBC 2013

    Telestream with Post Producer at IBC 2013

  • Yospace: Advert Insertion at NAB 2013

    Yospace: Advert Insertion at NAB 2013

  • Vimond Control Center at NAB 2013

    Vimond Control Center at NAB 2013

  • Telestream Vantage v5 at NAB 2013

    Telestream Vantage v5 at NAB 2013

  • TMD at NAB 2013: MediaFlex Reporting Module

    TMD at NAB 2013: MediaFlex Reporting Module

  • TMD at NAB 2013: MediaFlex Systems

    TMD at NAB 2013: MediaFlex Systems

  • TMD at NAB 2013: Content Intelligence

    TMD at NAB 2013: Content Intelligence

  • Telestream at BVE 2013

    Telestream at BVE 2013

  • Guntermann and Drunck GmbH at BVE 2013

    Guntermann and Drunck GmbH at BVE 2013

  • Tedial at NAB 2012

    Tedial at NAB 2012

  • Marquis Broadcast at NAB 2012

    Marquis Broadcast at NAB 2012

  • Root6 at NAB 2012

    Root6 at NAB 2012

  • Editshare at NAB 2012

    Editshare at NAB 2012

  • TMD at NAB 2012

    TMD at NAB 2012

  • PlayBox Technology at BVE 2012

    PlayBox Technology at BVE 2012

  • Suitcase TV at IBC2011

    Suitcase TV at IBC2011

  • Net Insight at IBC2011

    Net Insight at IBC2011

  • Tedial at IBC2011

    Tedial at IBC2011

  • IPV at IBC2011

    IPV at IBC2011

  • TSL at IBC2011

    TSL at IBC2011

  • Blackmagic at IBC2011

    Blackmagic at IBC2011

  • Blackmagic Design Pocket Cinema Camera BMPCC 4K at IBC 2018

    Blackmagic Design Pocket Cinema Camera BMPCC 4K at IBC 2018

  • Blackmagic Design Ultimatte at IBC 2017

    Blackmagic Design Ultimatte at IBC 2017

  • Blackmagic Design Resolve 14, ATEM, URSA Mini PRo and more from IBC 2017

    Blackmagic Design Resolve 14, ATEM, URSA Mini PRo and more from IBC 2017

  • ATEM TV Studio Pro HD from Blackmagic Design at NAB 2017

    ATEM TV Studio Pro HD from Blackmagic Design at NAB 2017

  • Davinci Resolve 14 with Fairlight from Blackmagic Design at NAB 2017

    Davinci Resolve 14 with Fairlight from Blackmagic Design at NAB 2017

  • Blackmagic Design at IBC 2016

    Blackmagic Design at IBC 2016

  • Cintel Film Scanner: Blackmagic Design at NAB 2014

    Cintel Film Scanner: Blackmagic Design at NAB 2014

  • Blackmagic Design on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    Blackmagic Design on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • Blackmagic Design with the new ATEM Production Suite at IBC 2013

    Blackmagic Design with the new ATEM Production Suite at IBC 2013

  • Blackmagic Design: Products at NAB 2013

    Blackmagic Design: Products at NAB 2013

  • Blackmagic Design at NAB 2012

    Blackmagic Design at NAB 2012

  • Blackmagic ATEM Constellation 8k at NAB 2019

    Blackmagic ATEM Constellation 8k at NAB 2019

  • Blackmagic DaVinci Resolve 16 at NAB 2019

    Blackmagic DaVinci Resolve 16 at NAB 2019

  • Blackmagic introduces Blackmagic RAW (BRAW) at IBC 2018

    Blackmagic introduces Blackmagic RAW (BRAW) at IBC 2018

  • Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K at NAB 2018

    Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K at NAB 2018

  • Blackmagic ATEM Television Studio Pro 4K at NAB 2018

    Blackmagic ATEM Television Studio Pro 4K at NAB 2018

  • Blackmagic Davinci Resolve 15 at NAB 2018

    Blackmagic Davinci Resolve 15 at NAB 2018

  • Blackmagic MultiView at IBC 2014

    Blackmagic MultiView at IBC 2014

  • Blackmagic and Fusion at IBC 2014

    Blackmagic and Fusion at IBC 2014

  • Blackmagic URSA at NAB 2014

    Blackmagic URSA at NAB 2014

  • Blackmagic Studio Camera at NAB 2014

    Blackmagic Studio Camera at NAB 2014

  • Autodesk at NAB 2013

    Autodesk at NAB 2013

  • Holdan and DaVinci at BVE North 2011

    Holdan and DaVinci at BVE North 2011


Related Shows
  • Bubble and Squeak: Live and Loud from Monday at IBC 2013

    Bubble and Squeak: Live and Loud from Monday at IBC 2013


Articles
The World of 12G 4K/UHD Processing
Varun Patel Technology moves fast and when it comes to audio and video broadcasting, there is always room for improvements in audio and video quality and ease of production. One of the main goals of broadcasters and content providers today is to create an immersive experience for the viewers, giving them the feeling of being part of the viewed content. The 4K/UHD buzz has been in the consumer world for some time but what does that actually mean for the content producer?
Tags: iss138 | lynx technik | ott | greenmachine | yellobrik | conversion | Varun Patel
Contributing Author Varun Patel Click to read or download PDF
How LiveU Has Changed The Way We Work At ITV Daytime
Tim Guilder As my job title suggests, I’m responsible for planning and executing technology projects across ITV’s Daytime, including outside broadcasts, which are central to what we do. We broadcast live for more than six hours every weekday with four shows: Good Morning Britain, This Morning, Lorraine and Loose Women. With a history as one of the main UK terrestrial broadcasters – of course, we have also evolved alongside the industry in terms of viewing options – we have high standards. We constantly generate new ideas to keep audiences engaged and we also need to be responsive to the latest breaking news.
Tags: iss138 | liveu | itv | daytime | cobham | explorer 8100 | satellite | lu600 hevc | ka-band | lu300 | garland | Tim Guilder
Contributing Author Tim Guilder Click to read or download PDF
Industry Ready Broadcasting Students
KitPlus Cardiff Metropolitan University traces its roots back to 1865, when they opened their first school in an old library. Now Cardiff Met is a global, practice-focused and professionally oriented institution, committed to ensure every student fulfills their potential to make outstanding contributions in their future industries.
Tags: iss138 | newtek | live production | cardiff metropolitain | sports broadcasting | tricaster | cardiff devils | KitPlus
Contributing Author KitPlus Click to read or download PDF
Centre Stage for Cameras with All About Eve
Anthony Newton Taking its inspiration from the classic 1950 film, Ivo van Hove’s stage production of All About Eve, starring Gillian Anderson as theatre darling, Margo Channing, and Lily James as the eponymous Eve, retains the themes of ageing, celebrity and obsession. The piece, produced by Sonia Friedman Productions and Fox Stage Productions garnered stellar reviews during its recent run at London’s Noel Coward Theatre.
Tags: iss138 | blackmagic design | micro studio camera | ronin | smartscope duo | Anthony Newton
Contributing Author Anthony Newton Click to read or download PDF
Making a Difference in Wireless Transmission
Lukasz Malankowski

We are very proud to say that we are the only company that provides a highly specific service, and that is the hire of wireless video transmission solutions operating in the licence exempt spectrum.

There are other companies that provide licensed equipment and offer a diverse range of wireless solutions based on different modulations, but our products, coupled with the offerings of others rather than competing with them produce a wireless workflow that is greater than their separate capabilities.

Tags: iss138 | boxx | production | wireless | 4k | Lukasz Malankowski
Contributing Author Lukasz Malankowski Click to read or download PDF