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Boosting Efficiency In Post

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The assumption today is that the infrastructure for broadcast and post production will use software applications running on standard hardware, comments Daniel Hinton, Argosy.

Where appropriate, device to device communication will transfer files over IP. New developments, like the emerging SMPTE ST2110 family of standards, make it practical to move content in real time between devices.

That is fine if you want to stream a single piece of content. But what happens if you are in a creative environment, such as an edit suite?

Here you need random access to a large number of clips, so you can select content, layer it, add transitions and so on. Streaming solutions are no longer appropriate.

The traditional solution is to load all the content onto the workstation, so that when the editor sits down it is all ready and available. The problem with this is that it takes time – often a lot of time – to transfer the content, and that is downtime when the suite cannot be used.

Increasingly, top end post production has moved beyond HD. 4K resolution, and high dynamic range content makes for extremely attractive and engaging results. But the file sizes have become enormous – 4K has four times the data requirement of HD – and so moving the content around becomes very time-consuming indeed.

A typical post house will want to get the maximum utilisation out of its suites. In an ideal world a single room would work on a number of projects each day. Equally, a single job might spend some of its time in the most prestigious suite in the building – when clients attend for viewings – but could be put in a smaller room (attracting lower overheads) at other times. Routine tasks, like rendering deliverables, could be controlled from yet another area.

The solution is to separate the rooms from their hardware. Rather than having a computer and storage array dedicated to a particular edit suite (or other post production room), dedicate the hardware to the project, and simply connect it to the appropriate room when it is needed.

To achieve this you need to have a means of connecting the user interface – the keyboard, the video display and the mouse or KVM – in the edit suite with the hardware in the machine room. This interface has to be capable of carrying uncompromised image quality, and providing a zero latency response to keyboard and mouse actions.

While there are a number of KVM systems on the market, so far only one provides visually lossless 4K Ultra HD and zero latency response over existing copper ethernet cabling. Argosy distributes the ATEN KVM range, which includes the new KE8950 and KE8952 extenders which provide the full 4K functionality.

The 4K units interwork seamlessly with other ATEN KVM extenders so you only need to upgrade the rooms which need it. Running over copper gigabit ethernet means you do not have to disrupt the facility to install fibre. It brings an enormous boost to productivity virtually instantaneously.

To find out more, pop by our Technology Day on the 27 November between 12noon – 6pm, at the Glassblower pub in Soho. Alongside some of our partners, we'll be showcasing this plus many other solutions.

Solidmate Ltd Memory Card Hire London

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