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Intervideo Completes File-Based Transition With Space

"It all changed with the sudden disappearance of HDCAM SR from the shelves of tape suppliers," says Gerry Wade, technical director at London’s Intervideo.
"The whole industry was set up to support tapes. At Intervideo we have almost every VTR, from DigiBeta and HDCAM to D3 and D5 with quality control, aspect ratio, standards conversion and processing equipment from the likes of Snell and Tektronix. But like the rest of the production community, we were not expecting the file to replace the tape quite so suddenly."
The move to tapeless workflows demanded investment in a new infrastructure and in new non-linear tools. Initially, Final Cut edit suites were used to ingest and re-purpose files, with files stored locally. Compared with linear systems, this workflow delivered little, if any, speed advantage but was an effective way of capturing video as files and re-formatting video to a client’s instructions.
As it soon became clear that the short-term disappearance of HDCAM SR would be a turning point in the production and delivery process, and not merely a passing crisis, Wade and his team began to research how to exploit fully the potential of a tapeless world.
"Our clients include producers such as National Geographic. As transnational organisations, they need their suppliers to work fast and flexibly and to support every global standard. While in the past this involved multiple racks of VTRs, powerful processing hardware and a reliable courier, the tapeless world required a wholly new approach. Now, at the heart of the operation is GB Labs Space. It’s a central network attached storage system that holds every active media asset. It’s OS agnostic which is very important for us: each Mac user, PC workstation and Linux server on our network accesses files on Space. It is also powerful, able to serve multiple HD streams to users throughout the facility. Being compatible with third party software and systems is also vital for future development as we integrate asset management software and quality control software into the network."
Intervideo’s Signant server receives files from National Geographic over a dedicated Gigabit fibre connection. Technicians then process files with Telestream’s Episode software, quality control is undertaken and files are delivered to their final destination using high speed file transfer software. Intervideo has invested in Space LTO, a multi-drive tape drive that resides on the network.
It incorporates built-in tools for data management, including automated file transfer, media tracking and video archiving.
"Integrating the LTO system was seamless. It gives us the potential to securely back up our clients files and to archive projects for quick retrieval should a customer require a copy."
As well as investigating automated QC tools, Wade is watching the development of 4K with interest: "But frankly, it’s still too soon to say…” However, whenever the leap from HD to a higher resolution takes place, the facility’s network and central storage is already UltraHD-ready: with Space Intervideo has clearly make a long-term investment."
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