To cloud, or not to cloud


Bob Pank# TV-Bay Magazine
Read ezine online
Almost ever since it began, there have been two parameters that have played a big part in shaping broadcast television – bandwidth and storage. Admittedly, storage was not an issue at the start because there was no way to do it, but Ampex changed that in 1956. Bandwidth dictates many aspects of infrastructure and broadcast picture quality, the amount of space that is needed to store TV footage, and much more. Monochrome TV was relatively straightforward but colour, which originated as full bandwidth R, G and B channels was compressed by PAL or NTSC coding to fit into the bandwidth of the old monochrome channels. Today MPEG-2, MPEG-4 (twice as good) are familiar video compression systems that typically reduce the 270 Mbits/s SD video to about 2 - 4 Mbits/s for transmission. Only just over the horizon is the latest HEVC (high efficiency video coding) that is expected to be twice as good again and will include the vast SHV – ‘8K’ format with images 16x the area of 1080 HD... and higher frame rate (HFR).
All this extremely clever digital compression technology is only needed because the uncompressed video requires too much bandwidth for transmission or / and too much storage. You may ask, ‘What has this to do with the Cloud?’ The answer is ‘a whole lot’. For example if you want to have a collaborative environment for editing in the Cloud, you would first have to upload your video to the Cloud. Once there, those contributing to the edit would need to access the video to make their editing decisions. Finally, when the editing is completed, then the programme would need to be downloaded for subsequent distribution.
Of course there are other ways to handle this. For example, the distribution could, theoretically be directly from the Cloud. This workflow does not mention the video format, quality requirements or any other parameters that may govern how and where the footage is handled. Nor does it say what data rates the video requires. Today there is a huge range of moving image data rates, from high definition TV to 4K digital movie material. For the TV programme the original shoot may well be compressed to 50 Mbits/s (about 23GB/hour) while the movie material would be uncompressed at something over 9000 Mbits/s (about 4200GB/hour).
Faced with those figures it is easy to understand why some people would be saying that editing in the Cloud is practical and they are using it, while others would disagree. Both would be right and the TV people would be the ones already editing in the Cloud. It all comes back to bandwidth and storage for the ‘yes’ or ‘no’. As you can expect to pay for Cloud services, including up and down loading as well as storage, roughly according to the amount of data involved, so the movie could cost nearly 200 times as much as the TV show – assuming they were the same running time and shoot ratio, etc. There could be further complications with the movie as the material may be restricted as to where it can go; movie material is a prime target for piracy so you can understand the extra caution.
However this does not mean that the Cloud has nothing to offer the film industry. Putting the huge volumes of footage data aside, there are other aspects of Cloud services from which all productions can benefit. Using the Cloud to create collaborative workflows for the planning and design of a production makes a lot of sense. This is especially the case with the movie industry. On the production side it has been described as a cottage industry where posts are filled by contractors just for that production. If you think it’s easy to keep them all contributing, informed and up to date, stay in your cinema seat at the end of a movie and watch all those names roll by. Then you get to see the scale of the communications problem. Even on a much smaller scale, communications and planning for TV production and providing effective collaboration are still just as important. As mentioned in the May ‘Cloud Matters’ reporting on NAB, Production Minds (production-minds.com) offers a solution that provides realtime views of the constantly changing information that’s made available to everyone who needs to know it, and not to those who don’t. So everyone can communicate and be kept in step and up to date.
The Cloud is a moving target. There are more and more services on offer and, if it follows the long-term trend of the rest of the IT industry, performance will increase while costs may drop. In time you should be able to get more for your money so using the Cloud in production and post will become more widely attractive. And maybe then Cloud will become a verb!

Tags: iss072 | cloud | ampex | Bob Pank#
Contributing Author Bob Pank#

Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
Article Copyright tv-bay limited. All trademarks recognised.
Reproduction of the content strictly prohibited without written consent.

Related Interviews
  • Remote access-U-CPU enabling hybrid cloud computing from G&D at IBC 2019

    Remote access-U-CPU enabling hybrid cloud computing from G&D at IBC 2019

  • Xytech Mediapulse V9 Cloud platform with new user interface at IBC2019

    Xytech Mediapulse V9 Cloud platform with new user interface at IBC2019

  • The Teracue Application Cloud show at IBC 2018 (German version)

    The Teracue Application Cloud show at IBC 2018 (German version)

  • The Teracue Application Cloud show at IBC 2018

    The Teracue Application Cloud show at IBC 2018

  • Blue Lucy with BLAM3 and their very own cloud at IBC 2018

    Blue Lucy with BLAM3 and their very own cloud at IBC 2018

  • Playbox Cloud Air at IBC 2107

    Playbox Cloud Air at IBC 2107

  • Cloud Media Management with Medway from Marquis Broadcast at IBC 2017

    Cloud Media Management with Medway from Marquis Broadcast at IBC 2017

  • Hybrid Cloud Media Aggregation from Cantemo at NAB 2017

    Hybrid Cloud Media Aggregation from Cantemo at NAB 2017

  • Elemental Technologies cloud innovations at NAB 2016

    Elemental Technologies cloud innovations at NAB 2016

  • FORSCENE Cloud Editing at NAB 2015

    FORSCENE Cloud Editing at NAB 2015

  • ERA - Cloud Services - at BVE 2015

    ERA - Cloud Services - at BVE 2015

  • Aframe Cloud Video at IBC 2013

    Aframe Cloud Video at IBC 2013

  • Haivision: Video Cloud at NAB 2013

    Haivision: Video Cloud at NAB 2013

  • Object Based Storage Solutions from Object Matrix at NAB 2017

    Object Based Storage Solutions from Object Matrix at NAB 2017

  • New CEO and news update from TMD at NAB 2017

    New CEO and news update from TMD at NAB 2017

  • Prime Focus Technologies at IBC 2016

    Prime Focus Technologies at IBC 2016

  • Prime Focus Technologies at NAB 2016

    Prime Focus Technologies at NAB 2016

  • Playbox at IBC 2015

    Playbox at IBC 2015

  • ERA - Adobe Anywhere - at BVE 2015

    ERA - Adobe Anywhere - at BVE 2015

  • Grass Valley at BVE 2015

    Grass Valley at BVE 2015

  • NETIA at BVE 2015

    NETIA at BVE 2015

  • Forscene at IBC 2014

    Forscene at IBC 2014

  • Thomson Video Networks at IBC 2014

    Thomson Video Networks at IBC 2014

  • Comigo at IBC 2014

    Comigo at IBC 2014

  • ChyronHego Metacast at IBC 2014

    ChyronHego Metacast at IBC 2014

  • Elemental Technologies Software-Defined Video at NAB 2014

    Elemental Technologies Software-Defined Video at NAB 2014

  • Elemental Technologies HEVC solutions at NAB 2014

    Elemental Technologies HEVC solutions at NAB 2014

  • Elemental Technologies Multiscreen Solutions at NAB 2014

    Elemental Technologies Multiscreen Solutions at NAB 2014

  • ERA at BVE 2014

    ERA at BVE 2014

  • ERA Avere at BVE 2014

    ERA Avere at BVE 2014

  • Forbidden Technologies FORscene at BVE 2014

    Forbidden Technologies FORscene at BVE 2014

  • Forbidden Technologies FORscene App at BVE 2014

    Forbidden Technologies FORscene App at BVE 2014

  • Haivision on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    Haivision on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • Front Porch Digital on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    Front Porch Digital on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • Forbidden Technologies on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    Forbidden Technologies on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • Cambridge Imaging Systems on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    Cambridge Imaging Systems on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • Digital Vision on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    Digital Vision on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • Haivision live encoding HEVC at IBC 2013

    Haivision live encoding HEVC at IBC 2013

  • Tedial at NAB 2013

    Tedial at NAB 2013

  • Haivision at NAB 2012

    Haivision at NAB 2012

  • Chyron at NAB 2012

    Chyron at NAB 2012

  • TSL at BVE 2012

    TSL at BVE 2012


Related Shows
  • KitPlusTV summarise the Broadcast and Pro Video News 6th April 2021

    KitPlusTV summarise the Broadcast and Pro Video News 6th April 2021


Articles
Avid and Rohde & Schwarz
Ciaran Doran

Rohde & Schwarz is the perfect ingest partner to build flexible workflows with Avid.

Tags: Rohde and Schwarz | avid | spycernode | editing | asset management | venice | Ciaran Doran
Contributing Author Ciaran Doran Click to read
Sennheiser MKE 400 hands on review and test
KitPlus

Sennheiser have just released two products aimed at simplifying audio on the move, the MKE400 shotgun microphone and the XS Lav Mic, in this review we’re looking at the MKE400.

Tags: sennheiser mke400 | sennheiser mke 400 | sennheiser mke 400 quality | best microphones for youtube | mic for youtube videos | sennheiser mke 400 hands on | microphone review | iphone videography | microphones | sound for video | camera microphone | microphone for iphone | microphone for youtube | video microphone | shotgun mics | smartphone microphone | vlogging mic | best microphone for video | shotgun microphone review | mke 400 | sennheiser mke 400 hands on review | sennheiser mke 400 test | KitPlus
Contributing Author KitPlus Click to read
A Broadcasters Guide to Microservices
Roger Persson

The word “microservices” has been creeping into the conversation about software-centric systems recently. Is it really a different approach, what does it mean, and what are the advantages?

Tags: nxt edition | microservices | modular software | Roger Persson
Contributing Author Roger Persson Click to read
Streaming Technologies Explained
Bruce Devlin - new

The word streaming can relate to different technologies from different manufacturers in different scenarios and in this short article we are going to take a little tour of what it all means. 

Tags: mr mxf | streaming | hls | dash | cmaf | mpeg | Bruce Devlin - new
Contributing Author Bruce Devlin - new Click to read
REVIEW - Hollyland MARS 400S PRO Digital Wireless Transmission System
Phil Vinter

Built by Hollyland and costing around £600 the Mars 400S is an easy-to-use wireless video transmitter/receiver system – it will be right up the alley of anyone who, like me, considers an instruction manual to be nothing more than box padding.

Read Phils Full review here, and link to the video review.

Tags: HOLLYLAND | MARS 400 | wireless | tx | rx | Phil Vinter
Contributing Author Phil Vinter Click to read