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Walking the NAB cloud carpet and so everyone is using the latest version.” Of course that also applies to footage, comments, edits and everything. Thus everyone should be working in step. by Bob Pank T hose who arrived a couple of days before the NAB show opened had the unusual experience of cool weather, heavy grey skies and rain. The clouds had arrived in Las Vegas. By the time the show opened they had gone but there was still a big one in the North Hall where I experienced my very first ‘Cloud Computing Pavilion’. It was not the structure I’d expected, but just a banner above a large open area defined by a carpet on which were just seven exhibitors with really small booths, plus one for the Distributed Computing Industry Association. This was a little disappointing as probably three times that number of exhibitors could have easily fitted onto the allotted pavilion area. I wondered; is the cloud dispersing? Well, no. These were companies that lived only for, or in, the cloud. There are still plenty of other established broadcast technology companies who use the cloud as well as providing the more familiar down to earth products. So how much do these pure cloud folk know about our wonderful television business? I set out across the cloud carpet and approached Aframe where Stuart Newton (Digital Marketing Executive) stepped up and welcomed 36 | TV-BAY MAGAZINE me in real English. He is British – as is the company that is now expanding fast and into the USA! It appears that Aframe does know about rushes, couriers, DVDs and the use of little proxys, emails, and how production can get a bit hung up about who knows what about which versions. Yes, they can organise things so everyone has the latest information that they need, but they also offer a sensible way that allows footage as shot – not proxys – to be transported and stored into the cloud, providing it’s in XDCAM, DVCProHD, MXF or AVC- Intra. Theoretically you could do this yourself but unless you have a really fast connection, it could take a very long time. So Aframe has started to set up locations where you can take your footage for a fast upload into the cloud. Currently there are two such places in the UK and two in USA (Los Angeles and New York). The plan is to greatly expand these locations so reducing, and ultimately, perhaps, eliminating the need for couriers. Also contributions from anywhere with an internet service can add footage, comments, etc. Stuart sees great potential for the cloud. “Cloud Computing is a disruptive technology – a game changer. For example, we are offering SaaS (software as a service) and when there is an update, everyone gets that update But how safe is it? Aframe Cloud operation is via a web browser with secure HTTPS encrypted communications. Hopefully this will allay any worries of malicious security issues. The footage can also be automatically backed up in Aframe’s cloud. To me that looks at least as safe as any shelf in Soho. And just in case you are not quite convinced about just how useful the service can be, take a look at aframe.com and watch the excellent video. Well, that was impressive. Not much further across NAB’s cloud carpet I found Reelway GmbH (www.reelway. com) where founder Stephan Schneider took me through his ReelCloud MAM solution. I’m no expert on MAM but he was making similar points for cloud-based operations to Aframe’s. The MAM system looked efficient and effective with everyone always working from the same data, with the same media and supported with up-to-date information. I asked about the speed of access to media. This turned out to be the right question as Reelway had thought about that too. ReelCloud can store the assets in the cloud but there is a second product, ReelRock. This software manages media materials on site, including file import, transfers and transcoding. It is best suited for collaborating with ReelCloud but can also be operated as a stand-alone system. This means that ReelCloud can be the main MAM system, but able to access and manage media assets that are not in the cloud – on-site even. Motion picture production has been referred to as a cottage industry and, I guess, much of TV production is the same – where many disparate parties come together for the production and