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Andree Franks
Tapeless Workflow
on Oct 13, 2011 at 9:29:23 pm

Hello hello, I hope I am in the right thread. :)

We are planning to move over to a tapeless workflow. So what options and equipment (soft and hard) is out there to ingest solid state media to a video server?
Which will have a in house web solution that will transcode and move the footage build on ffmpeg.

The basic idea is to pop a solid state media (from any Canon, Sony, Panasonic & etc... and or any DSLR camera) into a reading device from there on the in house software will be used to transcode and upload the correct folder location.
What is the best solution for this workflow or is there even a better one?

Big thanks sorry for the lack of knowledge..



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Gary Hazen
Re: Tapeless Workflow
on Oct 14, 2011 at 11:49:51 am

[Andree Franks] "So what options and equipment (soft and hard) is out there to ingest solid state media to a video server?"

There's no one option that is right for everybody. The right solution is dependent on the specific demands of your facility. What type of server do you have or plan to purchase?

A file server (ex: network attached storage) ?
A play out server ( ex.: Omneon, K2 or 360 System) ?
A server dedicated for a post production work group (ex.: Terablock, EditShare or Avud Unity) ?

Are you transcoding to work with a specific format for post (ex.: ProRes or DnxHD) ?

Ideally, if you have the money in the budget, you should sit down with a systems integrator and hash out a plan for your facility.


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Andrew Rendell
Re: Tapeless Workflow
on Oct 14, 2011 at 11:21:06 pm

There's a bunch of issues you need to go through in order to make the best choice for your particular situation.

Shane Ross' tutorial here is a good place to start, it's FCP specific but the principles apply to other NLEs http://library.creativecow.net/ross_shane/tapeless-workflow_fcp-7/1

I've done file based in some different ways: footage from an EX3 copied onto an external raid and imported into Avid via AMA; Canon XF305 files on a TerraBlock inported into Avid by AMA; everything converted to DNxHD on an Isis system; FCP with XDCamHD and ProRes files on a G-Tech drive; FCP with shared media on an XSan system. It depends upon what you need (TBH the FCP with shared XSan was a bit flaky, but it's all worked). I think the OP implies that a large(ish) installation might be the order of the day, which puts me in mind of Avid/Isis system and I'd suggest talking to an official reseller for that kind of thing.

I can't emphasise too strongly how important it is to keep an archive copy of all the media on your camera cards separately from the working media; I've had one external drive go down losing he media but we could rebuild it as we had a saved copy of everything somewhere else.

You also need to think about what kind of media you need to originate, I have the specifications for 2 different broadcasters over here for whom 35Mbps 4:2:0 VBR isn't good enough, they're demanding 50Mbps 4:2:2 as the minimum acceptable for general use (Nanoflash recorders and the Canon XF305 seem to be getting popular on this side of the pond). They don't necessarily rule out lower bit rate stuff but you have to have a good reason to include it, like you can get shots with a GoPro that you couldn't get any other way so those shots would be ok. Just something to be aware of.


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Bob Zelin
Re: Tapeless Workflow
on Oct 19, 2011 at 12:27:16 am

Andree, this is a direct answer.

1) use an editing system to capture your media to a Facilis Terrablock shared storage system. If you have an AVID, capture to the facilis. If you have FCP or Premier, use an AJA card or Blackmagic card to capture any tape footage, or if you have XDCam EX or P2 media, use Log and Transfer this media in FCP to the Facilis Terrablock storage. Canon footage - again, Log and Transfer the media using the Canon plug in to the Facilis Terrablock.

2) edit your media using one of the edit systems I just mentioned. All your media is now on the Facilis Terrablock shared drive volume.

3) now all your media is on the Facilis Terrablock. Use Telestream Episode Pro to transcode your media into any format you like - anything from MPEG to h.264, and get it up to the web, your cloud, or any other delivery format you like.

You are now completely tapeless, because of Facilis.

Ready to buy one ?


Bob Zelin



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Thomas Frank
Re: Tapeless Workflow
on Oct 20, 2011 at 8:01:21 pm

Thanks for everybody's input!
This is what I just found out, the IT guys do not want to buy into something which will make them really on a third party as in EditShare and Co.
There idea is to build up TB of RAIDS and use there in-house Software which uses FFMPEG to convert or transcode the footage from any solid state source (Canon, Sony, Panasonic and etc...) now is this even possible?
I am thinking its not unless you can get the footage from the camera into something like ProRes.


Thanks



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Bob Zelin
Re: Tapeless Workflow
on Oct 21, 2011 at 2:05:52 am

Your IT deparment is run by a bunch of idiots that have no understanding of the requirements of moving HD video across a network, or they would never make a statement like this. A standard Gigabit network is TOO SLOW to have a shared storage enviorment exist on it, because of the bandwidth required.

If your IT deparment is actually interested in researching this (which I guess they are not), they would enquire about the bandwidth requirements of each indivudual workstation, while you are running your editing or playback software, and look at the compression codecs that you need to play back video. But they think that this is YouTube video, which is why they dont' want a "specialized" solution, and think they can pull this off with their existing network.

It won't work - period. You mention ProRes. ProRes is 20MB/sec per stream - per client. Does your IT deparment know how to conduct speed tests across the network from multiple client workstations ?
Can they tell you the maximum bandwidth that they can provide to you ?

There are countless wonderful SPECIALTY solutions on the market for video shared storage. I originally saw this post on the Facilis forum, but now realize that it is being posted to multiple forums.
Facilis is a great company. So is EditShare. And so are all the others that you see on these forums. But a generic GigE network on a Windows Server Gig E network WILL NOT WORK, and you will fail, and you know what (because I have wittnessed this) - your IT guys won't care, because you are one little spec in their responsibility of your company. This is why you CANNOT rely on your IT department, and need to get your own stand alone dedicated system, which is not managed, or administrated by your idiot IT deparment.

Bob Zelin



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Thomas Frank
Re: Tapeless Workflow
on Oct 23, 2011 at 9:19:05 pm

Not sure where the 1GB network came from but I know for a fact is that our network is 3GB.

Anyways Bob I love your answer, just make it simple to understand, to get the footage from a solid state solution you would need a NLE application to transcode it right?
ProRes was my request, as mentioned they don't want a third party so ProRes won't fall in there bag formats.
They are looking at WMV, simple QT and the Avid DNxHD.

Do you have any tips I can ring to the net meeting why you should not do this or go that rout and which route is the right way.

Big thanks.



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Andrew Rendell
Re: Tapeless Workflow
on Oct 23, 2011 at 11:32:19 am

I'm doing a job on wednesdays at the moment which has an interesting workflow:

There is a studio discussion (presenter and 3 guests) filmed with 3 cameras with a live switcher between 9.30 and 10.30 am. The camera feeds are simultaneously recorded on tape and ingested into the storage system.

At 11.00 am the studio engineers give me a hard drive - this has an .aaf and a bunch of .mxf files on it.

At 11.20 am I have imported the files into Avid and can start editing. What I have in front of me are four vision feeds, the three cameras and the switcher output, and a timeline which is the cuts from the switcher. (I spent a day before the studio recording started prepping the titles, so the only extra thing I have to bring in is an opening PTC which is recorded outside around 11.30 ish, when the guests have gone.)

By the end of the afternoon I supply tapes of 2 versions for broadcast (the first goes out at 9.30 pm on that day) and a file delivery (which currently only goes to the web site, although it should replace at least one of the tapes as a delivery format soon).

It will come as no surprise to some here that "The Ingex Boys" are regarded almost like gods around here (although that's behind their backs, we're in England you know and it simply doesn't do to be too gushing). See what they do here - http://ingex.sourceforge.net/


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Bob Zelin
Re: Tapeless Workflow
on Oct 23, 2011 at 8:02:54 pm

on the high end, EVS has been around for a long time, doing exactly this.
http://www.evs.tv/nala/video-media-servers

and on the low end, you can use the wonderful SOFTRON software with Blackmagic cards to accomplish this as well -
http://www.softron.tv/products.html

So the Ingex boys are not gods.

You can also use Telestream Pipeline to do multiple ingest into a shared storage system, and edit while you are capturing (Softron does this too).

There are always many ways to accomplish our "feats".

Bob Zelin



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Andrew Rendell
Re: Tapeless Workflow
on Oct 23, 2011 at 8:22:46 pm

Oh sure, I'm rather overstating the "gods" bit (although it's a rare pleasure to work somewhere where the engineers are appreciated), but the point is that you can do it yourself if you really want to and really know what your doing and have the time and resources to put into it. (Which is probably worthwhile if you're a big broadcaster like the BBC, but probably not for a smaller company).

Hopefully, if we continue doing this we'll end up doing the whole job in the same building and be able to cut out the step of copying the material onto another drive to get it to the edit suite. (But I'm not holding my breath).


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