In part 1 of this blog we started talking about why using the cloud is ideally suited for post-production activities. Here are a few more reasons:
- Broadcast needs more than generic cloud-computing providers
This is particularly for live events such as worldwide sport competitions, which often require on-the-fly post-production as the content is playing out. Dedicated platforms optimised for broadcast applications not only offer lower cost and responsive performance, but also control of where data is stored for legal and regulatory reasons.
- Capacity and Efficiency
The capacity of the Internet and cloud services is essentially unlimited, with supply expanding to meet demand. Storage and Internet speed nearly double every year, and new solutions from the world of mobile improve power consumption.
A cloud architecture purpose-built for post-production — such as Forscene from Forbidden Technologies — offers greater efficiency by using client computers to undertake as much of the workload as possible. Though it might sound odd for a cloud solution, such a scenario provides immediate scalability, reduces latency to negligible levels, and significantly cuts costs. In fact, marginal costs for the dedicated cloud model are a fraction of what they would be with a generic cloud service.
- Better Picture Quality
The cloud can, in principle, handle any picture quality up to 4K and beyond. History has shown that in IT, connection speed increases rapidly and storage costs diminish rapidly over time. As these factors continue to improve, the cloud will look more and more attractive as a viable alternative to traditional post-production workflows.
The cloud is well suited to the post-production tradition of working with proxies, a method that for the foreseeable future will be more efficient than working with high-resolution sources. These proxies will continue to improve in quality and resolution, with, for example, higher resolutions for fine-cut editing than for logging.
Forscene has supported SD proxies for six years (though productions tend to use lower resolution to save cost). Conforming from original HD sources ensures minimal generation loss on the final output.
- Limitless Features
A decade ago, technical limitations such as computer speed, bandwidth, and storage prevented viable cloud-based post-production functionality. Since then, computers have become 20 times faster, Internet connections 1,000 times faster, and disk storage 1,000 times larger, thereby eliminating technical constraints on features and functionality.
Technology has made it easy to do post-production in the cloud. Now the focus is on improving and perfecting reliability, responsiveness, interface design, price, and integration.
Look out for part 3 and the conclusion soon!
Blackbird is best-of-breed
Jon Hanford - Group CTO, Deltatre