COVID-related internet throttling
Still think we can move everyone to the cloud for business? Especially our business?
Oliver Peters - oliverpeters.com
[Oliver Peters] "Still think we can move everyone to the cloud for business? Especially our business?"
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.
[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 Peters - oliverpeters.com
[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.
[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!
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 ?
Rescue 1, Inc.
[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.
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 ?
Rescue 1, Inc.
[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."
[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.
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 Peters - oliverpeters.com
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.
[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 Peters - oliverpeters.com
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.
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.
The pandemic IMO will blow over and the web will be up to full speed again in month or two !
Pro Color Monitor - Get Your Color Balance Right
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[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.
[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 Peters - oliverpeters.com
[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.
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 Productions, Mumbai
The Swiss Army Knife for All Your Creative Needs
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?
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 Productions, Mumbai
The Swiss Army Knife for All Your Creative Needs
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:
As this story keeps twisting, Techcrunch raised the typically optimistic (and typically naive, I fear) notion that the current conditions may force (force? really?) ISPs to lift data caps forever. If they can lift data caps temporarily and nobody really suffers for it, they'll be the ones pointing at their own emperor's lack of clothes -- the idea of "bad actors" sucking up the broadband and forcing the rest of us to slow down turns out to be less than a straw man and more of a flat-out lie.
Exuberance notwithstanding, a provocative read as he makes the case that there's just no need for the caps that most of us had taken for granted: Coronavirus could force ISPs to abandon data caps forever
The larger issue for most of us isn't the amount of data we pull down as the limits we face on download speed. The article makes an interesting case about how far down the shell game continues. Comcast has a gigabit plan for some folks, but it also comes with a 1TB data cap -- which you'd blow through in three hours of top speed, give or take. After that, penalties come in, and speeds go down.
That's my math, but I wonder if any of you are on this plan? Or any kind of truly high-speed connection? Definitely not me.
And fwiw, here's a rundown of the major ISPs who are, and aren't, lifting caps. I discovered that mine didn't have a cap, but they're offering free broadband to households with students who don't already have access, and they're throwing in a couple of weeks of Showtime and EPIX for everyone. Sure, thanks. Totally makes up for the slow, spotty service.
Anyway, now that we're another couple of weeks along from where this conversation began, how's your internet doing?
I'm incredibly thankful that I had the opportunity to upgrade to gigabit fiber a few months before this all went down.
It's probably too late to try and upgrade but I highly recommend looking closely into your options when you can. My neighbor is suffering with a cable provider at the moment and it was news to him that we even had access to fiber.
Hi Darby -
so with your wonderful fast 1G internet connection, are you downloading the full resolution
video media from your server, or production companies footage, and editing this media ?
Rescue 1, Inc.
I'm not an editor. I primarily use After Effects and Cinema 4D for motion graphics and compositing. Some Nuke as well.
Generally what I'm doing is mounting the media shares on my home PC and working with local project files that reference the remote footage. After Effects and Nuke will cache used footage locally in the background.
I'm also using Splashtop to remote into my PC in the office but that has its own challenges due to mismatched monitor resolutions and sub-optimal multi-monitor support.
Which of the approaches I use depends on what a given project requires.
My connection isn't generally providing 1Gbps, especially as my home PC is connected via WiFi. I usually see transfer rates in the range of 15-50 MB/s which isn't anywhere near the theoretical limit of around 120 MB/s. It is much better than my previous service though which operated in the 0-8 MB/s range and was less reliable. I have seen transfer rates as high as 90 MB/s on a wired connection but unfortunately my router is not in an accessible location for work.
[Bob Zelin] "so with your wonderful fast 1G internet connection, are you downloading the full resolution
video media from your server, or production companies footage, and editing this media ?"
And if he was trying to edit full resolution files remotely, I can only imagine the poetically hyperbolic abuse you'd be hurling at him. "Don't you know about ProRes? Don't you know about proxy workflows?" Only with a lot more punctuation and all caps. 🤣
I know for geezers like you and me, Bob, it wasn't that long ago that uncompressed was the Holy Grail. Shoot uncompressed, edit uncompressed, maximum quality, simple workflow, nothing could be easier or better. Until it wasn't. LOL Forget about camera compressed HD. Along comes Avid with DNxHD right after thre turn off the century, cue Apple guys laughing at the absurdity of cinema quality compressed workflow, delivery, and archiving until along comes ProRes four years after that, and nowadays, uncompressed doesn't look quaint or quirky or romantic like shooting film. It looks like you don't know what you're doing.
Even RAW is hardly RAW the way we originally understood it. And sure, you CAN edit 8K RAW, but apart from a demo at some already fossilized future trade show, why would you? There's certainly no reason to insist in these (hopefully) unusual circumstances that this is the only right way to edit, or even the most desirable one if you could.
I think we've acknowledged that there may come a time when one socially isolated individual needs to make his or her way to the office to push a couple of buttons to relink the full res media and send it on its way... but it appears that as long as the media is actually mounted somewhere, even that may be less necessary than we thought just a few weeks ago.
So for you folks who are actually managing these kinds of remote workflows, we've talked about products and platforms, but how does full res media enter into the picture? Does it?
[Tim Wilson] "So for you folks who are actually managing these kinds of remote workflows, we've talked about products and platforms, but how does full res media enter into the picture? Does it?"
You seem to be suggesting that remote workflows are here to stay as the norm. I highly doubt that. Post is highly collaborative - as in face-to-face. Yes, there are ways around that, but they are highly inefficient and often more costly. I don't see that improving in the least. Will some of these current methods be with us in a revised form? Sure. Will they be the norm? I highly doubt it, unless there is an overriding need for that. It will be an option. In anything, facility owners will have better "plan Bs" for the next such event.
Oliver Peters - oliverpeters.com
[Oliver Peters] "You seem to be suggesting that remote workflows are here to stay as the norm."
"Here to stay" and "the norm" are two separate things with no conflict whatsoever. Everybody, and I mean everybody, had built workflows that were "ready for anything that we'd need to deal with." Guess what? That generally didn't include this, and now it's going to have to.
It's a matter of perspective. When I lived in the Florida Keys, we didn't consider a file truly backed up unless it was stored higher than the 100 year flood level (11 feet, which was harder to accomplish than most people think), and accessible if there was no power and the sherriff had set all the traffic going one way, out of town, which means it had to be north if me That may sound ridiculous, but I needed to access files exactly this way every couple of years, and one year, had to do it twice. I stayed in business when other colleagues had to leave the business altogether.
That's where we are now. Yes, creativity is collaborative. Yes, we'll go back to how we did things a couple of months ago at the earliest possible opportunity. If history teaches its anything, we know that some of our friends and loved ones will die because they go back too quickly.
But in no circumstances will we go all three way back, with never a thought again to even one member of the team working offsite. The future will include more of both, in spades.
My worry isn't necessarily that we won't crack this nut. It's that bosses WILL figure it out, and find a way to make our lives more miserable as a result. It's already hard enough to unplug from email. Soon you'll take a sick day and the boss will remind you that you spent half of 2020 working in your pajamas, so don't even thinking of pushing out that deadline just because you have the "regular" flu.
Look, it's no different then a flood in New York City, which so many people said was never gonna happen, or an earthquake that crushes a bridge between San Francisco and Oakland, ditto, or a tsunami that takes out HD tape production, or a ridiculous low speed chase and subsequent trial that pretty much puts an end to daytime soap operas in the English-speaking world. Nobody in our business was planning for those events in advance, but everybody in our business came up with a plan afterward.
Floodwaters recede, we accelerate the move to tapeless, transition to reality TV, we keep rolling because that's what we do.
What we're doing here is continue a conversation on a thread that you started. LOL too late to decide you don't want to talk about it.
And seriously, if there's or facility anywhere in this country who's not already actively working on a plan for what happens if current conditions continue, or what to do when it happens again, or when some other crazy unexpected thing disrupts production… you just don't get to call it unexpected anymore.
Disruptions are pretty much becoming more common than not, aren't they? LOL Anybody not getting their cows in a row by now, I know that Bob is ready to put an end to social distancing, and I'm sure he will be only too happy to show up at your place with a baseball bat and show you everything you need to know about disruption, and tell you everything hes been learning about remote workflows so that no kid half his age will replace him because they've been thinking about this stuff and he hasn't. He has, RIGHT BOB?
Tim Writes -
"Disruptions are pretty much becoming more common than not, aren't they? LOL Anybody not getting their cows in a row by now, I know that Bob is ready to put an end to social distancing, and I'm sure he will be only too happy to show up at your place with a baseball bat and show you everything you need to know about disruption, and tell you everything hes been learning about remote workflows so that no kid half his age will replace him because they've been thinking about this stuff and he hasn't. He has, RIGHT BOB?"
well, what I should really do is fly (or drive) up to Connecticut to the chairman of Charter Communications (owner of Spectrum Cable) - take the baseball bat out of the trunk and say "listen you @#$%%^ #$%^#$ - you are going to stop this nonsense with the 80 million dollar Christmas bonuses, and start running some FIBER CABLE into businesses, so the world can move forward".
Of course, I will be shot by his security, and nothing will change.
SO - what will this take ? (this is for entertainment value only - this is not a political discussion) -
when Alexandria Cortez decides to run for President, Google will approach her, and say "Ms. Cortez, here is a nice $50 million dollar campaign contribution for your presidential run, and we would love to provide wonderful high speed fiber internet to every business in the United States - will you help us do this, because we are being blocked by Comcast, Cox, Spectrum and the others". And she will say YES, and while we will all be standing in line for a loaf of bread, we will all have FREE HIGH SPEED CABLE ! And remote editing will become a reality.
Rescue 1, Inc.
If nothing else will be examined after this worldwide event by the most hard nosed bean counter for a post production house, the justification for renting a large facility with space for multiple edit suites is number 1. If a firm can use a cool new hybrid storage system, handle proxies well and move everyone onto laptop based edit machines instead of heavy lifting desktops with high energy requirements and save vast amounts of cash by having half the creative workforce work from home or anywhere else, they will.
Co-owner at Pollen Studio
Tom writes -
"If nothing else will be examined after this worldwide event by the most hard nosed bean counter for a post production house, the justification for renting a large facility with space for multiple edit suites is number 1. If a firm can use a cool new hybrid storage system, handle proxies well and move everyone onto laptop based edit machines instead of heavy lifting desktops with high energy requirements and save vast amounts of cash by having half the creative workforce work from home or anywhere else, they will."
oh, I always cause so much trouble. And before I read Tom's reply I read Greg's reply .
I know this is a political answer - but it's the answer.
Coming from MY background (starting in the late 1970's) - I mean WHO THE HELL had a million dollars to build an on line facility ? Oh - I know - rich people. So the film editors would edit on their Steenbecks/KEM's/Movieolas, (kind of like what you are suggesting, where everyone edits on their laptops) and then the "heavy lifting" is done by renting a LARGE FACILITY with space for multiple editor suites that can conform the show. (if I am wrong about what I just said - you better stop me now). So in the OLD days, the film editors would get the one light, edit the show, and go to the LARGE FACILITY to conform and color grade the show. And now, in April 2020, you are suggesting that the "editors" cut on their laptop, and now the "bean counters" will just have to give in to THE RICH PEOPLE that can afford the on line facility, to conform the show back to the full res 8K media, and deliver to the TV network or film production company that has financed the movie.
There is only one thing that has mattered from the beginning of time - how can I get MOST of the money ! What is the cheapest way I can work, and still get MOST of the money. Who cares if it's film, or 3/4" video, or h.264, or 8K (or 16K) - how can I get MOST of the money ? And this is the only goal. That's what .mp3 was all about. It was not "good enough" - but guess what - it became "good enough". Will "proxy" be good enough, when you want to see the latest Billie Eilish music video, and it's released on YouTube in h.264 (ok, maybe h.265) and it never is conformed back to anything else (and maybe it was shot on an iPhone - hey, Selena did a music video for Apple that was shot on an iPhone) -
is that good enough. Does a 16 year old who is watching this care if it was shot in 8K on a RED at 5:1 compression, using AVID Media Composer with a 2019 Mac Pro with dual AMD Vega Pro II cards ? Its GOOD ENOUGH, and she got 3.8 Million views on this.
So the REAL QUESTION of the "bean counters" is "how do we NOT hire Tom Sefton". Because he is SO expensive. Can't we get rid of him and his exorbitant fees ?
The battle is always the same battle. Who gets to keep most of the money. You, the owner of the large facility, the owner of the agency that hired you, or the owner of the internet service provider that allows your show to be seen.
Rescue 1, Inc.
[Bob Zelin] "Does a 16 year old who is watching this care if it was shot in 8K on a RED at 5:1 compression, using AVID Media Composer with a 2019 Mac Pro with dual AMD Vega Pro II cards ? Its GOOD ENOUGH, and she got 3.8 Million views on this.
There does seem to be a healthy co-existence between the professional video world and the low/no budget world.
I see my 15 year old daughter as a barometer. She's an avid TikTok fan and contributes her own videos to the platform. The viewing numbers for TikTok videos are stunning to say the least. And if anyone isn't familiar with the platform, here's their trending videos: https://www.tiktok.com/trending
At the same time, my daughter is also a devoted fan of high quality television shows like HBO's Euphoria and a wide variety of Netflix and Hulu series.
I see a clear separation between the professional video/film world and the amateur internet video world. But for someone like my daughter, who's grown up a digital native, I don't think there's any separation at all. It's all just entertainment.
Hopefully, as long as there remains this balanced demand for content the industry can remain viable for us professionals. Hard to predict where it's headed though.
[Oliver Peters] "Still think we can move everyone to the cloud for business?"
I know I'm late to this but I've been swamped with crisis communications for a large local credit union client.
What scares me today regarding the avilablity of bandwidth is that many of the smarter governors (and I'm specifically referencing Cal Gov Newsome here - have already publicly said they are working on trying to integrate distance learning initiatives into the public school system, as we speak.
Imagine the bandwidth that will need to be deployed to live stream real-time lessons to all the students of a major system like the California Public Schools.
I just looked it up. There are just under 7,000 elementary and middle schools involved. I did some napkin numbers and came up with roughly 1.4 million daily streams (ave. 25 kids a class) IF each grade "team teaches" all the students rather than trying to do separate class by class.
And to the best of my knowledge, nobody has curriculum that's ready to deploy to supplant the current "individual teacher lesson plans" for their classroom - which takes consideration of different learning speeds and modes.
I'm sure there are panic meetings happening right now at the Board of Education level down to the district and individual schools levels in case the public schools need to remain closed for months.
But you can bet this will be a MASSIVE undertaking and could easily disrupt the load profile of even the big gun services like AWS, Aspera, Azure, etc.
1.4 million school kids logging on every morning to take classes is NOT a trivial idea.
And I'll just note that when I had my education product selling into schools, a few years ago the primary access platform was Zoom.
You might want to have a back-up collaboration pipeline available for your work, just in case.
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Bill is 100% correct, and I just wrote Oliver about something similar (about bandwidth and the cable companies). We all talk about "the next big thing" - be it 3D, HDR, 8K, 16k. But there is only one "next big thing" - the pipeline, that needs to be run by the cable companies. I cannot ever conceive that the current owners (Spectrum, Comcast, Cox, RCN, AT&T, etc.) will ever do this. You need someone with a vested long term interest (like Amazon, Google, Apple) that is willing to buy these companies out, or pay off whoever needs to get paid off, so they can run fiber lines - not into people's homes, but into businesses that are willing to pay for it (which is probably everyone). And these companies will be able to quadruple their rates, and businesses won't care, because true remote workflow will become a reality. It is so clear now, that this is what everyone wants (and what everyone really wanted long before the Covid-19 crisis) - but now it's truly evident.
As for "uncompressed quality" - most of see what's going on. It's the separation of "wealth and poverty" in our industry. For some, YouTube and h.264 and the iPhone is more than good enough. And for the others - 4K is (all of a sudden) not good enough, and WE HAVE TO SHOOT IN 8K. And when 16k comes out, it will be 16K, because 8K is not good enough (remember, we have to use an ADO, because no other DVE is good enough, we have to use an AVID Symphony because a Media Composer is not good enough) - most of us lived through this nonsense. It's never going to change.
As for 5G ? Well - Tim can tell us about that more than anyone else now. But of course, that won't be the ultimate solution for what we are talking about.
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[Bob Zelin] "As for 5G ? Well - Tim can tell us about that more than anyone else now. But of course, that won't be the ultimate solution for what we are talking about."
Remember, the "sales pitch" for 5G is all about IoT - "smart homes," self-driving cars, etc. What sort of bandwidth draw is that going to be? I suspect 5G will be a speed bump, only to be gobbled up by more things we don't need.
Oliver Peters - oliverpeters.com
[Bob Zelin] "But there is only one "next big thing" - the pipeline, that needs to be run by the cable companies. I cannot ever conceive that the current owners (Spectrum, Comcast, Cox, RCN, AT&T, etc.) will ever do this. You need someone with a vested long term interest (like Amazon, Google, Apple) that is willing to buy these companies out, or pay off whoever needs to get paid off, so they can run fiber lines - not into people's homes, but into businesses that are willing to pay for it (which is probably everyone). "
Things happened like this here but upside-down ☺
We have a great little local ISP that partnered with our city to work on building out fiber across town. They started downtown and are looking to expand neighborhood by neighborhood.
In a twist from what you've described I believe AT&T felt threatened by this and saw an opportunity to grab the market by firing the money cannon. I'm not sure when the decision was made to do it but AT&T rolled fiber down our street over a matter of weeks. I felt a bit guilty going with AT&T but the local ISP likely won't be ready to provide fiber to my house anytime in the next 3 years.
So in the end it was Comcast that lost out. I pay less now for service that is 5x faster down and 80x faster up than what I had from Comcast. When fiber is available from my local ISP I hope to make the switch but in the meantime I'm a bit flabbergasted by the value AT&T is offering in this case. That's not something I'm used to from Ma Bell.
[Bill Davis] "I'm sure there are panic meetings happening right now at the Board of Education level down to the district and individual schools levels in case the public schools need to remain closed for months."
Both my kids are music teachers - one in public school, one does private instruction. They've been doing online classes for about the past week or two. So far, so good. The school systems all recognize that as a stop-gap, not a long-term solution. However, in some cases, this will add a potential option that might not have been considered in the past.
Oliver Peters - oliverpeters.com
It seems that all of the various solutions hinge around the "last mile" issue. That's either local internet speed, the time it takes to transfer a large amount of media to drives, or the need to have someone still in an office/lab/facility/etc dealing with high-res media.
Moving around small proxies for editing isn't that difficult, but it does not solve the problem. It merely becomes a way to work that is limited to a few workflow scenarios. Most of the scenarios that can work with high-res media through the cloud involve a small amount of footage - media managed selects, a flattened file for grading, or individual shots for VFX. Those situations work and are manageable. Syncing project files between mirrored drives also works.
None of this is really that taxing on the internet structure, but it's not fast, either. Until we can all count on getting 100GB+ reliably and consistently to/from the cloud in under an hour, I don't see a lot of that changing.
Oliver Peters - oliverpeters.com
[Bill Davis] "Imagine the bandwidth that will need to be deployed to live stream real-time lessons to all the students of a major system like the California Public Schools."
Since we all work in a high tech field, it's very easy to forget about the digital divide which may be a larger issue than bandwidth.
I have two high school aged kids in the San Francisco public school system. This system has been a very positive experience for our family from kindergarten to the present. We have no problem switching to online learning as a family but other families in our city don't have the same access that we do. The public schools have a mission to serve kids from all socioeconomic backgrounds. And so in order for the programming to transition to online, the school system has to first get all of the kids online.
San Francisco is the epicenter of the tech world but unfortunately, that doesn't translate to all children here having equal access to the internet. The SFUSD (San Francisco Unified School District) is attempting to level the playing field by giving out chromebooks to any families without home computers. That takes time and so the online learning curriculum start date has been delayed to accommodate the distribution of these laptops.
But even with these efforts by the SFUSD, there's the added issue of wifi access. So I think it's important to keep all of this in mind when discussing converting something as large and complex as the California public schools to online learning.
[Oliver Peters] "[Bob Zelin] "As for 5G ? Well - Tim can tell us about that more than anyone else now. But of course, that won't be the ultimate solution for what we are talking about."
Remember, the "sales pitch" for 5G is all about IoT - "smart homes," self-driving cars, etc. What sort of bandwidth draw is that going to be?"
That was exactly my point in...this thread? Another thread? I don't remember. LOL But yeah, 5G isn't for anything we're talking about. Even for mobile, it's not going to be many places, and when it arrives, for many people it will be SLOWER than 4G. Not forever, but remember when 3G and 4G first showed up? Same deal. Started slower than the thing they were replacing, because by definition of early maps, more people were on the fringe of new coverage and it was flaky, where their old coverage may have been slow, but it was predictable.
What we need is all about the pipe to our homes, offices, home offices, etc.
[Tom Sefton] "If nothing else will be examined after this worldwide event by the most hard nosed bean counter for a post production house, the justification for renting a large facility with space for multiple edit suites is number 1."
That's also what I was talking about just above. It's not that the tsunami that took out Sony's HDCAM manufacturing ENDED tape. It accelerated the end, though, by a LOT. It's not that the writer's strike ENDED scripted programming in prime time. It's easy to make the case that the scripted programming since then is generally better, and there really HAVE been some scripted TV shared experiences of a breadth that was supposed to be over -- but Mark R. at Bunim/Murray, or anybody who still has a TV, can tell you that the balance irrevocably shifted toward unscripted, and it may never tilt back. Certainly hasn't in the intervening dozen years.
There will absolutely be A return to "normal", but there will be other NEW normals that won't look like anything like this. Yes, the nature of this and similar threads here is that we're lamenting this, or fretting, or speculating or what have you, because we're all way, way downstream from where a lot of these decisions will be made. But there will be bean counters and other bosses who'll be looking to the folks on this thread who are actually working on this stuff (eg, not me) for advice. The more advice we have to share with each other, the better-informed these decisions will be for all of us.