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Better picture quality The cloud is currently well-suited to the post-production tradition of working with proxies, a method that for the foreseeable future will be more efficient than working with high- resolution sources. These proxies will continue to improve in quality and resolution, with, for example, higher resolutions for fine-cut editing than for logging. I already make home videos in 4k in the cloud. Over time, connection speed has doubled every year, and storage costs have halved. As these factors continue to improve, the cloud will look more and more attractive as an alternative in a wide range of post- production workflows. FORscene has supported SD proxies for six years (though productions tend to use lower resolution to save cost). Conforming from original HD sources ensures minimal generation loss on the final output. Limitless features A decade ago, technical limitations such as computer speed, bandwidth, and storage constrained viable cloud- based post-production functionality. Since then, computers have become 20 times faster, Internet connections 1,000 times faster, and disk storage 1,000 times larger, thereby eliminating technical constraints on features and functionality. Technology has made it easy to do post-production in the cloud. Now the 60 | TV-BAY MAGAZINE: ISSUE 85 JANUARY 2014 focus is on improving and perfecting reliability, responsiveness, interface design, price, and integration. Security Data security is an issue with any IT-based system. The risks of losing data can be mitigated by keeping multiple copies of data in multiple sites — something that is much easier for a cloud provider to do well than for an individual broadcaster. Workflows and adoption Workflow changes take people out of their comfort zones and therefore happen much more slowly than changes to the underlying technology. When FORscene launched a decade ago, people were understandably cautious. However, now people use the cloud in their everyday lives, they are more open to adopting it professionally. An increasingly technology-literate young workforce — already fluent with cloud technologies in their personal lives — will accelerate cloud acceptance and adoption. Beyond post-production The future of cloud-based broadcast infrastructures goes well beyond editing. Maintaining different silos of equipment for different stages of post- production becomes less important as the cloud offer extends. Already, the cloud offers ingest, graphics creation, post-production, publishing, hosting, search, distribution, and advertising. Producers of genres such as near- live sports for Internet and mobile distribution can already do all their post-production in the cloud. Dedicated cloud post-production platforms such as FORscene can take in multiple live HD video feeds (at one point during testing for the Summer Games, there were 200!), incorporate graphics from various cloud creation systems, perform all the editing and finishing, conform at full resolution, and hand over to another cloud solution for volume distribution. Clients can (and do) mix and match. In fact, Microsoft Azure is designed for just such a scenario. Conclusion The relentless advances in technology are transforming post-production. Traditional desktop IT solutions are being replaced with more cost- efficient and productive cloud-based solutions. This technology change is transforming the distribution and consumption end of the business as well. Suppliers of traditional post tools would do well to embrace the unending power of the cloud.