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COVID-related internet throttling

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Oliver Peters
COVID-related internet throttling
on Mar 20, 2020 at 9:29:20 pm

https://www.zdnet.com/article/youtube-follows-netflix-in-limiting-streaming...

Still think we can move everyone to the cloud for business? Especially our business?

- Oliver

Oliver Peters - oliverpeters.com


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: COVID-related internet throttling
on Mar 21, 2020 at 3:37:41 pm

[Oliver Peters] "Still think we can move everyone to the cloud for business? Especially our business?"

Yes.

There are much less of us, then there are Netflix users. ;D

And no, working from the cloud is going to be slow and difficult.

I am trying to work with SNS's Nomad solution all though TeamViewer from the home to the mothership. We need better relinking in FCPX, like today, as a special coronavirus pandemic update/what-was-going-to-be-a-NAB-release release.

This is literally one time that I am envious of Adobe Premiere.


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Oliver Peters
Re: COVID-related internet throttling
on Mar 21, 2020 at 3:42:43 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "There are much less of us, then there are Netflix users. ;D"

Yes and no. Wait until everyone wants to be on the cloud and with full resolution. The aggregate bandwidth might not be that much different.

[Jeremy Garchow] "I am trying to work with SNS's Nomad solution all though TeamViewer from the home to the mothership"

Good luck with that. The fallacy of this approach is that you still have to have a manned facility somewhere that does not run on auto-pilot.

- Oliver

Oliver Peters - oliverpeters.com


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: COVID-related internet throttling
on Mar 21, 2020 at 4:07:16 pm

[Oliver Peters] "Good luck with that. The fallacy of this approach is that you still have to have a manned facility somewhere that does not run on auto-pilot.
"


Yes, the footage has to come from somewhere.

There's lots of ways to attach the storage to cloud services. I can have the footage download to the server, for instance, and then the EVO creates really low weight proxies.

I can then quickly organize a Library over TeamViewer, run Nomad on the appropriate media, and then send the Library and the Proxy files up to the cloud and download at home.

The issues I am running in to is that FCPX won't relink an MXF original file to a .mov or .mp4 proxy. There's a way to trick FCPX in to relinking, but it's super involved.

But if all your media is .mov from the jump, this works today, right now without much fuss.

I am still working on trying to get this to work with MXF, but FCPX is the limiting factor. If we were using Premiere, this would be working.


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Steve Connor
Re: COVID-related internet throttling
on Mar 21, 2020 at 4:25:04 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "I am still working on trying to get this to work with MXF, but FCPX is the limiting factor. If we were using Premiere, this would be working."

Let's hope Apple have a nice new version ready to go that fixes this - although to be honest I'm losing hope of any more major developments to FCPX at the moment!


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Bob Zelin
Re: COVID-related internet throttling
on Mar 21, 2020 at 4:55:00 pm

I have been playing with remote editing for a long time, and now of course, everyone is asking for it. No matter whose system you have, you are at the total mercy of your internet connection - mainly from the "mothership" server's upload speed. As everyone seems to know already - the only way to accomplish any of this is with proxy footage (or optomized media). Downloading more than 100 Gig in an 8 hour period seems pretty unrealistic. (and who knows once internet throttling starts to really happen - if you will even get this).

Jeremey mentioned Teamviewer. This is what I use, and what most pro support companies use, but it's expensive, because once you start using it on a regular basis, its no longer free. So I have been experimenting with Splashtop (which is cross platform) and Google Remote Desktop (which is cross platform). Splashtop is about $60 for the year, and $17 for a remote client, and you can get in whenever you want. Google Remote Desktop is free, but someone has to give you the code at the remote end, and you have to "confirm" that it's ok for them to take control of your desktop. Which means that SOMEONE has to be at the mothership (where the server is located).

But with all of this said - if you simply had remote access to your powerful computer at work (via remote), and you had FULL BANDWIDTH to your server (because you are controlling the computer in your office) - is that enough ? You can't add new full res media to the server. It would take forever.
So is any of this worth it ? If you had full remote access to your powerful computer at work, you could run Adobe Media Encoder, EditReady or Apple Compressor (or just upload right there to Frame I/O) - but is that enough ?

AND if NO ONE is in the streets, and NO ONE is in the office, couldn't ONE person go into the office to add that new media to the main server ? I mean - there is no one else in there for them to get sick from ?

Bob Zelin

Bob Zelin
Rescue 1, Inc.
bobzelin@icloud.com


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: COVID-related internet throttling
on Mar 21, 2020 at 6:01:40 pm

[Bob Zelin] "and you had FULL BANDWIDTH to your server (because you are controlling the computer in your office) - is that enough ?"

I find that trying to actually edit through the internet is too hard, so no, it's not enough. Maybe with a dedicated system like BeBop (but if TeamViewer is expensive, then BeBop is super expensive).

[Bob Zelin] " If you had full remote access to your powerful computer at work, you could run Adobe Media Encoder, EditReady or Apple Compressor (or just upload right there to Frame I/O) - but is that enough ? "

I think this is the most practical. You have to make REALLY light proxies though. And the trouble with any software encoders at the moment (like compress and media encoder) is that you can't compress the audio along with the video and keep the same number of channels. For instance, we edit with a lot of MXF files with 8 channels of audio. If I try to cook those in Compressor or Media encoder, in order to get 8 channels out, you need to set the audio to "passthrough" which keeps it uncompressed which keeps the files sizes big.

The SNS EVO server will compress the audio along with the video, so the file sizes are very small. I can get very light, 8 channel, h264 file. The 50+TB on our server now is about 350GB of proxy files. Even if I had to upload the entire server, (which I don't yet), I could do it.

[Bob Zelin] "AND if NO ONE is in the streets, and NO ONE is in the office, couldn't ONE person go into the office to add that new media to the main server ? I mean - there is no one else in there for them to get sick from ? "

That would be my plan too. One trip to and from the office, plug in a hard drive, set it to transfer, and do the rest remotely and extremely low risk of contamination.


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Bob Zelin
Re: COVID-related internet throttling
on Mar 21, 2020 at 6:42:15 pm

I could be wrong (and I usually am) - but in the same way that the old writers strike spawned reality television - this current incident could spawn the future development of real life full time remote editing. Of course, companies like Amazon and Google would have to get serious about buying out the Comcast's and Spectrums of the world, so they could run dedicated fiber (as Google has already done in a handful of cities).

And in the same way that "reality television" became accepted instead of scripted television - will proxy delivery as final shows ever become "good enough ?

Bob

Bob Zelin
Rescue 1, Inc.
bobzelin@icloud.com


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Tim Wilson
Re: COVID-related internet throttling
on Mar 23, 2020 at 5:57:37 pm

[Bob Zelin] "I could be wrong (and I usually am) - but in the same way that the old writers strike spawned reality television - this current incident could spawn the future development of real life full time remote editing."

I think you're right about this! More than full-time remote editing, though, I think of flex time remote editing. I don't know that many of us, including folks like me who've worked remotely for a long time, are thinking that most people will want or need to be able to edit from home or from a remote set location or what have you, 100% of the time. The problem is that in many circumstances, it's possible 0% of the time right now. That won't do.

I don't even know what thread this belongs on anymore since we're talking about on several of them, but in addition to the infrastructure points you raise, Bob (we need a LOT more fiber buried out there, or access to the gazillions of miles of fiber that's right now being sold only to private networks), I think that are some conceptual ones.

For example, the Visual Effects Society's Technical Committee has released a public document and inviting comments on Best Practices, and there's a lot of great stuff about products and platforms for remote collaboration for both VFX and editing for review, rendering, you name it. Many folks here will find helpful stuff in it, so take a look.

But there are studios and facilities who would no more allow VPN access to their works in progress than the man in the moon. I think it's mostly coming from studios, in that many VFX and post houses are contractually forbidden from connecting media machines to the internet, making copies, etc. But I also think that no post house wants to be identified as "leaky" if the worst happens and even a single frame escapes into the wild.

Some people at the tops of some pyramids need to agree that the world will keep spinning if we see Spider-man's new unitard a few months ahead of schedule, while also deciding that if VPN is good enough for defense departments and private industry, it's probably okay for movies and TV too. Or along with laying better fiber, creating more secure protocols than publicly available VPN-style authentication. This isn't rocket science, just regular old science. LOL People are smart. They can figure it out.

But first comes identifying it as a problem to be solved. There are bosses who just don't see it like that yet. Hopefully it won't take a bunch of people dying to change their minds. I could also imagine them saying, "Sorry, people getting sick isn't the problem we're trying to solve. We're trying to protect billions of dollars of IP and shareholder value, and if that means a few hundred post production minions have to come into the office, whaddya know, we've already solved the problem. What we're doing is working."


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Oliver Peters
Re: COVID-related internet throttling
on Mar 21, 2020 at 7:13:22 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "I think this is the most practical. You have to make REALLY light proxies though."

Bear in mind that I have only tested this. But look through my review of Postlab, which is ideal for FCPX.

https://digitalfilms.wordpress.com/2020/03/07/a-first-look-at-postlab-cloud...

But more important to this discussion than how Postlab works was moving the files. I created very lightweight proxies that could be moved easily and cheaply through Frame. Granted you could use other services, too. But if you are only concerned about craft editing at home, this would be one way to go. Naturally you could just as easily copy files to a drive, but it is one way.

However, for edit proxies, these need to be a wrapper format that properly supports your audio channel configuration and TC, otherwise relinking is an issue. So MOV or MXF using a range of codecs, such as DNxLB (not with FCPX), XDCAM35, ProRes Proxy, or even H264 (wrapped as MOV).

- Oliver

Oliver Peters - oliverpeters.com


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: COVID-related internet throttling
on Mar 21, 2020 at 7:54:12 pm

Anything other than highly compressed h264 mov or mp4 would be impractical for a true cloud workflow for us as projects are routinely many TBs of material.

Right now, my only issue is not being able to batch relink Mxf master files to h264 proxies in fcpx. I can do it one by one, but not in a batch very easily. I can get a batch to work with some super high level trickery that is almost impractical due to the amount of files and errors it might create. But in a pinch, we can do it (either one by one or a tricky batch) and everyone stays home.


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Oliver Peters
Re: COVID-related internet throttling
on Mar 21, 2020 at 8:02:15 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "Right now, my only issue is not being able to batch relink Mxf master files to h264 proxies in fcpx"

Relinking with FCPX is terrible. Generally it either works or not at all. Premiere is muuuuuuch better at that. My guess is that your folder names and paths do not perfectly match. For FCPX, it also needs matching TC and audio configurations, but you probably know that. It's also not a good app for anything MXF.

- Oliver

Oliver Peters - oliverpeters.com


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: COVID-related internet throttling
on Mar 21, 2020 at 8:13:04 pm

If I relink one file at a time, everything works. I can relink MXF to mov/mp4. So fcpx has the capability, but there seems to be a bug in the batch relink as it doesn’t allow it.

What’s weird is that fcpx does not seem to a have problem relinking different extensions. I can make fcpx generates proxies from Mxf material, and that relinks using the fcpx proxy workflow.

I can relink r3d to mov and back all day.


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Michael Gissing
Re: COVID-related internet throttling
on Mar 22, 2020 at 4:57:44 am

Spare thought for us poor Australians who have crap internet. Last I looked we had slipped behind Mongolia and Kenya for internet speed and affordability. All thanks to Rupert Murdoch buying our government and having them take twice as long, spending more to reduce our broadband capability. Just so he could milk more years out of his Foxtel cable service!

I have to rely on postal and couriers delivering drives. There is no viable cloud sharing for my work files. It's even a stretch to upload a broadcast master file in XDCam HD format at the end of the job.


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Morten Carlsen
Re: COVID-related internet throttling
on Mar 22, 2020 at 5:01:39 pm

The pandemic IMO will blow over and the web will be up to full speed again in month or two !

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Tim Wilson
Re: COVID-related internet throttling
on Mar 22, 2020 at 7:54:30 pm

[Morten Carlsen] "The pandemic IMO will blow over and the web will be up to full speed again in month or two !"

I think that the pandemic blowing over in a month or two is optimistic, but nothing wrong with optimism as long as it isn't compromising people's commitment to helping that scenario come to pass! It's going to require diligence that especially here in the US, I'm not seeing very much of. (I'm thinking less here of politicians than spring breakers.) My family is Italian. I'll be happy to connect you with any of them to speak to the advisability of getting too optimistic about being out of the woods too soon.

But I also think that going back to "normal" might be a stretch. I think that there are a lot of people who hadn't dipped as far into streaming TV options as they had before, and studios are taking advantage of this to make their offerings as attractive as possible. Sure, maybe people will be watching fewer hours during the day once they go back to work, but I don't see people getting out of the habit of heavy streaming.

And as much as people are excited about getting back to seeing movies on the big screen, I think that there's also going to be more and more demand for tentpole releases in homes, definitely for the rest of 2020, and why not beyond? Most moviegoing experiences are terrible. Even a $350 "4K" TV from Target with the motion smoothing still on is pleasanter. Day and date availability for maybe everyone but Disney and James Bond-scale blockbusters IS the new normal.

I'm also wondering whether people are going to be willing to return to working in the office every single day. Not working from home every single day -- I think we're already seeing the limits of that -- but there's no getting around that people are going to see the benefits to productivity, creativity, and general sanity of not commuting every day, and they're going to insist on being able to do it more often.



So I don't have any doubt that loads will lessen somewhat, but I wouldn't want to place bets on when, or how much "better" things will get....but to bring up issues coming on the "Cupertino, we've got a problem!"
thread, the current group of circumstances are also exposing fundamental inefficiencies and limitations that we're no longer willing to live with.

And to bring this part of the topic back to this thread ☺I think one thing happening here is that people are feeling differently about throttling. It used to be something that companies could hide in the fine print (I just saw in a commercial last night "AT&T will reduce speeds during periods of increased network activity"), and I think most people will tolerate SOME throttling, but there's a reason why people are gravitating toward Zoom instead of Skype. As a platform, Skype has lots of cool features, but Zoom handles throttling better.

In the longer run, governments have understood roads and bridges as part of national DEFENSE infrastructures as much as public SERVICE. You do it because the nation's survival depends on it. I think that all countries are going to be thinking about the internet the same way, if they're not already.

I know that mobile companies are already preparing for this, with phones that support 5G before networks do. This will help drive demand for new antennas that communities may have been dragging their heels on. The ability of mobile devices to do what we need them to do in the near future depends on it.

That is, my theory is that this isn't just a blip in the system. My feeling is that it represents dozens of forks in the road -- for how we think about schools, health care, work, food, entertainment, travel, and yes, the internet, but many many more as well -- and that for each them, this is a before-and-after moment. If we're actually learning from this experience, then virtually nothing will be the same afterward.


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Oliver Peters
Re: COVID-related internet throttling
on Mar 22, 2020 at 8:17:40 pm

[Tim Wilson] "But I also think that going back to "normal" might be a stretch."

One of the things I keep looking at is this interest in working remotely. Not just in our industry, but many others, like education. It's temporary now, but many companies may find this is a way they want to work going forward. If anything, this will spur developers to improve the software and hardware systems we currently use.

If you have more industrial use of video over the internet - like teachers with live Skype/Zoom/other sessions over the internet - it will only push more traffic through the system. And what about 4K and 8K video? Yikes. Just so much more to move.

And don't think 5G is a savior. It will push more competing uses that we don't need onto the internet, like smart homes, not to mention driverless vehicles. Want to bet who gets priority in that equation?

- Oliver

Oliver Peters - oliverpeters.com


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Tim Wilson
Re: COVID-related internet throttling
on Mar 23, 2020 at 5:18:54 am

[Oliver Peters] "And don't think 5G is a savior."

Not me man. I've been using the same phone for almost four years, so I'm definitely due for a change. I'll surely get a 5G phone, just because that's all they're selling for new phones, and I'll bet that I'll be on the NEXT phone after that and 5G STILL won't be in my neighborhood. I agree with you, the hype about 5G isn't really going to matter much for individuals.

Besides, I'd imagine that most of us are using the most data on our devices while we're on home Wifi. It's going to keep coming back to the last mile of copper into the house for a loooong time.


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Santanu Bhattacharjee
Re: COVID-related internet throttling
on Mar 31, 2020 at 2:12:18 pm
Last Edited By Santanu Bhattacharjee on Mar 31, 2020 at 2:13:35 pm

Proxy is a good way to go for remote editing. However, I find a big problem with Proxy footage in Premiere Pro. For every new project, for the same footage, it creates a new instance of proxy files, thereby leaves a huge amount of garbage in the server.


Santanu
http://www.santanu.biz

Santanu Productions, Mumbai
The Swiss Army Knife for All Your Creative Needs


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: COVID-related internet throttling
on Mar 31, 2020 at 2:23:52 pm

Can't you "attach proxies" in Premiere to help mitigate this so that Premiere doesn't generate proxies, but rather looks for the proxies that were already generated?


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Santanu Bhattacharjee
Re: COVID-related internet throttling
on Mar 31, 2020 at 8:26:50 pm

You have a point. However, wouldn't that be too cumbersome to attach a proxy manually to each of the hundreds of clips! I am not sure if that could be automated. Need to check. Anyway thanks for the idea.

Santanu
https://www.santanu.biz

Santanu Productions, Mumbai
The Swiss Army Knife for All Your Creative Needs


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: COVID-related internet throttling
on Mar 31, 2020 at 10:28:34 pm

It's a lot relinking media, but you point premiere at the proxies and it relink to them. You can then setup a button to view either original or proxy media.

It's worth checking out:

https://helpx.adobe.com/premiere-pro/using/ingest-proxy-workflow.html#Progr...


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