Evolutions in the media cloud with Bob Pank


Bob Pank# TV-Bay Magazine
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by Bob Pank
Issue 80 - August 2013
Years ago my boss, the sales director, warned me that talk of technical revolutions was not good. After all, a revolution ends up where it started. On the other hand evolutions were much better. Of course he was right. Over the years the technology of television has continuously evolved via numerous incremental improvements usually affecting only parts of the industry, but now big game-changing events rarely happen.

What can we look forward to at IBC? Gone are the heady days of tape format wars. Now the modern equivalent could be, perhaps, the introduction of another file format, but that only adds to the vast volume already in use. The resurgence of 3D has made a significant lasting impact; maybe there will be progress with autostereoscopic screens. But the big thing will, no doubt, be new developments in 4K hopefully including more affordable displays.

Meanwhile the cloud continues its evolution. It has been around for many years but has only recently been more widely applied to television. At IBC2012 more exhibitors were showing cloud-based applications and many others were happy to talk about their cloud strategy. At NAB this year Quantel set people thinking in new ways with their vision of the internet of frames. You can find a 10-minute description on YouTube. Expect much more cloud at IBC2013, especially for production and post production services.

To date cloud-based application for television have been evolutionary, with more services opening up to offer services that fit with the way television people work today... while also, of course, delivering real earthly advantages. If you visit a TV station you typically will still find an MCR with racks of noisy heat-generating technical equipment. Does it still need to be there? And if you visit a Soho post-production house there are, again, racks of kit. Well, thats how it has been but today could the cloud actually spark an evolution and displace much of that expensive power-hungry equipment from its traditional on-site location?
There two are possible motives for doing so: lowering costs and achieving more efficient workflows. The cloud has now been around long enough to show some trends. Perhaps the most popular application has turned out to be the ability to allow collaborative workflows, around the world if needs be. Many TV productions typically pull a team together for a period. Cloud services can offer collaborative applications for the team to develop, plan, edit and review, involving chosen experts from anywhere.

This all sounds fine until you look at the reality. Many people do not have super-fast broadband and the cloud does not yet include a time machine to keep people in different time zones online at the same time. In other words, there are pros and cons but, in general, there is a steady increase in the use of cloud facilities for production.

Sohonet is well known for providing secure high-speed short and long-range networking for the television and film industries. Recently the company introduced Sohonet Media Storage, claiming a first for private cloud storage as a service platform that is tuned and optimised for the media sector and accessed via its established Sohonet Media Network. This is offered as an extensible, secure and flexible storage solution, which provides additional storage for existing infrastructures. It aims to provide both short-term and long-term flexibly storage to meet its customers requirements. As Sohonet has an established client base that already uses its high-speed digital connections, potentially its customers already have the suitably fast connections needed to work fast with the cloud.
At Aframe CEO David Peto, refers to the Media Cloud, which nicely separates its tasks from the many other cloud applications now in use. He comments on the state of his business. Year on year we have seen a more accelerated rate of adoption of cloud computing, whether its in TV production and broadcast or the larger corporate media organisations. The benefits of the cloud are already well accepted by business, now theres a viable solution for video it makes sense for them to explore the time and money savings it can provide.

Some evidence of that is Aframes news that Initial, a unit of Endemol UK, is using Aframes cloud video production and asset management platform to speed the review and approval process for Your Face Sounds Familiar, a comedic celebrity singing competition. Instead of shipping DVDs of the full 75-minute, full-resolution broadcast or contestants pre-airing performances, Aframe allowed the Initial team to upload content directly into Aframes secure cloud-based platform. From there, content was sent as an email link to a team of executives in well under an hour, for the team to review from any device, anywhere in the world.

Cloud applications continue to evolve and with dependence on transferring large volumes of valuable media data to and from the cloud, data speed and security is of increasing importance. This has lead to many professionals adopting a more appropriate transfer, with much higher speeds than the commonly used FTP can provide. An example is Londons Envy Post that has recently selected Signiants Media Shuttle hybrid SaaS (meaning the UI for the transfer resides in the cloud) file transfer for rapid delivery of high res long and short form programming. Another interesting trend is for actual media assets to reside at the post or production houses, or studios internal server, thus re-establishing the old way of keeping the media at home, on the shelf. Personally, I dont think this is true cloudy behavior as it removes a lot of the mystery surrounding the whereabouts of your, or your clients, precious pictures!


Tags: iss080 | cloud | evolution | nab | internet of frames | storage | data | ibc | 3D | autostereoscopic | Bob Pank#
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Giles Bendig At Finepoint, we always get excited about attending the NAB show. With tens of thousands of video professionals from around the world gathering together, NAB is a great opportunity for us to get exposure to all the latest news and technology in the world of video and post production, as well as giving us the chance to catch up with all our industry friends and customers. We always come away exhausted but full of ideas.
Tags: iss125 | nab | finepoint | amira | blackmagic | arri | canon | vinten | sony hdrc-4000 | atomos sumo | jvc gy-hm850 | gy-hm890 | aja kona | Giles Bendig
Submitted by Giles Bendig Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
Navigating Unfamiliar Territory
Vijay Sagar Vinnakota The traditional broadcast model - where TV networks play content on a linear schedule, and viewers tune in on their TV sets - is under siege. Linear TV is not going away anytime soon, but the model is becoming less and less relevant. Thanks to the rise of OTT services, viewers have become accustomed to watching content when and where they want, on just about any device with an internet connection. For that reason, broadcasters must add an OTT component to their offerings.
Tags: iss124 | cloud | amagi | ott | hls | rtmp | mpeg-dash | yupp tv | netflix | amazon prime | sling tv | Vijay Sagar Vinnakota
Submitted by Vijay Sagar Vinnakota Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
Dick brings out his cutting room scales
Dick Hobbs - new At this time of year, in the run-up to NAB, my in-box is even more filled than usual with press releases craving my attention. It is one of the universal truths so unloved by PR people that the sheer weight of numbers threatens to overwhelm.
Tags: iss124 | cutting room | nab | kpmp | dick hobbs | Dick Hobbs - new
Submitted by Dick Hobbs - new Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
Modernizing the Cutting Edge
Myles Carter - new Over the last decade, streaming as a medium has seen tremendous growth. Services like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Video are no longer just post-hoc distributors of broadcast television content, they have become content creators and are producing some of the most well received "television" content of the past few years.
Tags: iss124 | matrox | ip | h.264 | h.265 | streaming | Myles Carter - new
Submitted by Myles Carter - new Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
Designing the correct workflow
Harry Smith Last year I took a year-long placement as a video editing support technician. The role exposed me to the common issues that students run into when editing their projects, and I developed an understanding as to why they might struggle understanding the complexities of video workflow.
Tags: iss124 | portsmouth | tvfutures | ccitv | post production | Harry Smith
Submitted by Harry Smith Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
Motor Sports - Some Like it Hot
Gordon Capaccio High performance race cars, their drivers, and teams supported by manufacturers participating in a sport for which the combined, visceral thrills and sensations of burning tires, megadecibel roars, pungent racing fuel and throngs of enthusiasts can be difficult to convey, even on the largest big screen television.
Tags: iss124 | motorsport | 3g wireless | imsa | rolex 24 | domo | dtc | prorxd | diversity rf | Gordon Capaccio
Submitted by Gordon Capaccio Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
Controlling the Chaos of Remote Uplinks
Roger Franklin For Satellite Broadcasters, consumer needs have never been so varied. Audiences are increasingly accustomed to personalisation in every type of content they consume. They now demand, or rather expect to receive breaking news from a scene, content specific to their regions and access to live sporting events held thousands of miles away.
Tags: iss124 | uplink | satellite broadcast | crystal | Roger Franklin
Submitted by Roger Franklin Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
The Masters of Dirt - Extreme Production
Rian Bester On 22nd April 2017 Inside the Masters of Dirt, the world's wildest unscripted motocross reality series, will launch exclusively on INSIGHT TV in 4K UHD. Produced by Masters Of Dirt (M.O.D) and XTreme Video, the series follows the adrenaline-addicted crew that produces the popular freestyle motocross arena show of the same name.
Tags: iss124 | insight | masters of dirt | motocross | freestyle | fs700 | sony fs700 | 4k | uhd | Rian Bester
Submitted by Rian Bester Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
Thinking clearly about the cloud
Chris Steel 2 As someone who is constantly trying to build better products, I'm always asking questions and listening to the ones I get asked. For several years now I've asked every broadcaster and media production company I've met what they plan to do about 'the cloud'
Tags: iss124 | cloud | marquis | archive | network | Chris Steel 2
Submitted by Chris Steel 2 Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
Is now the time to compromise on investment
Mike Ransome - new It would seem on the face of it that many broadcasters and production companies are trimming spending to the bone, or at least postponing it in anticipation of more lucrative days to come.
Tags: iss124 | investment | presteigne broadcast hire | 4k | eng | Mike Ransome - new
Submitted by Mike Ransome - new Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
Why is drone training even an option
Tim Bearder It's fair to say that one of the most disruptive, liberating and inventive technological advances for independent filmmakers in recent years has been the incredible leaps made in the world of Drones.
Tags: iss124 | caa | drone | drone training | drone academy | Tim Bearder
Submitted by Tim Bearder Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
You need wave power if you are going surfing
Tim Bonython Tim Bonython's association with surfing films began in 1978, when armed with a Super-8 camera he set off to Hawaii's infamous North Shore, to capture the big waves and their riders. From that moment he fell in love with the sport, and became obsessed with making it the subject of breathtaking and inspiring films.
Tags: iss124 | surfing | red scarlet weapon | red brick | pag | battery | paglink system | 153wh | Tim Bonython
Submitted by Tim Bonython Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
Welcome to the world of filming The Island with Bear Grylls
Paul Scurrell How do you make a polished television show worthy of broadcast on Channel 4 when the camera operators are starving, dehydrated and sleep deprived? Most of them also have no previous experience of professional filming and are more concerned with finding their next meal than making sure they've got their cameras switched on ready to record. Welcome to the world of filming The Island with Bear Grylls.
Tags: iss124 | bear grylls | channel 4 | gopro | timecode | sync | Paul Scurrell
Submitted by Paul Scurrell Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
Mr MXF does Vegas
Bruce Devlin - new For quarter of a century I have been boarding planes to Las Vegas every April and the thing I look forward to most is the Sunday morning cycle from the Strip up to the top of Red Rock Canyon to look back down upon Vegas. From up there, you get a sense of perspective of how alien the city stuck in the desert really is.
Tags: iss124 | nab | mrmxf | cloud | ptp | imf | ip | Bruce Devlin - new
Submitted by Bruce Devlin - new Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
New workflows floating on the horizon
Lee Sheppard - new The way in which we consume content has fundamentally changed. We want to watch what we want, when we want, where we want and how we want, and we want to find programmes quickly, preferably in HD or increasingly UHD. Content is king and in order to satisfy consumer requirements it is essential media companies can locate their material quickly and easily.
Tags: iss123 | mam | pam | sgl | Avid | Grass Valley | Marquis | SAM | VSN | CatDV | Lee Sheppard - new
Submitted by Lee Sheppard - new Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
Sennheiser Digital 6000 review
KitPlus Originally founded in 1945 from a university research lab Sennheiser is of course a globally respected brand and have recently launched the Digital 6000 series as an addition to its pro wireless range. KitPlus were invited to a take a look together with a live music event featuring the system in Hannover last month.
Tags: iss123 | sennheiser | d6000 | microphone | d9000 | digital 6000 | em6000 | dante | KitPlus
Submitted by KitPlus Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine