Aldermaston, UK, 3 September 2020 - GB Labs, innovators of powerful and intelligent storage solutions for the media and entertainment industries, today announced that Side Street Post and VFX, Vancouver, supported by GDS Communications, has chosen GB Labs’ SPACE SSD NAS shared storage system to drive Side Street’s DaVinci Resolve Studio systems.
More than 300TB of GB Labs "SPACE SSD" shared storage solution, with its massive disc performance of 12GB/s now enables all of Side Street’s DaVinci Resolve Studio workstations to simultaneously playback 4K DPX streams at full resolution, with no network slow-down or dropped frames.
Side Street Post and VFX’s President, Gary Shaw, said, “Our legacy SAN storage system was no longer meeting our needs, and limited our ability to fully utilise Resolve in higher resolutions. We needed a solution that would enable all our colour correction suites to operate simultaneously at 4K resolution or higher and more efficiently.”
Gary’s view, shared by many, was that the current fibre channel storage systems could not affordably achieve the concurrent speeds needed, and the technical development of such systems is generally thought as having been eclipsed by ethernet solutions. For Side Street, NAS was the way to go.
Gary said, “Vancouver is a major market for episodic television and feature film production, a lot of it captured with high-end cameras that shoot at 4K, 6K or 8K, so a lot of raw camera footage arrives which in the grading process requires a very high data rate. Both technically and ethically, we don’t really want to downscale and work in HD. We want our clients to experience the true image quality especially on Dolby Vision projects.
"To deal with such high data rates and file sizes, you need a system that can handle them, and SPACE SSD from GB Labs provided both the bandwidth and file management capability that fits our needs."
SPACE SSD is the world's fastest and most scalable NAS platform, with performance up to 18GB/s and capacity up to 10PB. The Side Street system transfers data at 12GB/s and is linked to a 100GbE switch.
According to GB Labs CEO-CTO Dominic Harland, “Side Street Post is very forward-thinking and knew that a fibre channel system could not achieve what it needed. Speed was of the essence and they needed all colour workstations running at full capacity, simultaneously, in 4K, 6K, 8K and, eventually, beyond. SPACE SSD NAS copes with that easily, with plenty of headroom.”
A major differentiator with all GB Labs storage systems is that they do not require the user to replace or dispose of their existing storage. Like many other GB Labs users, Side Street was able to make use of its existing SAN by incorporating GB Labs ECHO Bridge as a way of accessing SAN data, or moving files to it for near-line storage.
“It’s a case of using the old storage for secondary purposes, essentially cold storage, and empowering SPACE SSD for the heavy lifting,” added Shaw. “After a few minutes of on-site tweaks to configure the system to our preferences, we were up and running – at astonishing speed - without the slightest disruption to our operations.”
Cookham Dean, UK, 02 September 2020: Hitomi Broadcast, manufacturer of MatchBox, the industry’s premier audio video alignment toolbox, will demonstrate a broadcasting lineup using its MatchBox solutions with live feeds into the Hitomi virtual stand at BroadcastAsia 2020 which is running from 29th September to 1st October 2020.
Hitomi will be showcasing the benefits of the newest member of the MatchBox family of solutions, Glass, for live remote production. This sophisticated iOS app is designed for fast and precise remote lip-sync measurement. Used on location at the point of content capture, Glass takes its measurement from in front of the camera and through the microphones in the same way as the live action.
Back in the MCR or OB Truck, the signals generated by this app are quickly analysed by the MatchBox Analyser and any alignment issues can be rapidly corrected with great precision. Additional checks further down the chain can be run using test patterns generated by the MatchBox Generator. Not only can audio to video be aligned but also audio to audio and video to video. Where MatchBox measures zero difference, perfect timing has been achieved and the audience will hear what it sees.
Hitomi takes guesswork out of the equation, replacing subjective estimates with highly accurate, electronic test audio and video generators along with a state-of-the-art analyser. MatchBox enables the production team to measure when it’s wrong and know when it’s right.
With many international events being cancelled or replaced by online versions, BroadcastAsia 2020 stands out due to the all-new virtual reality experience used by the organisers to recreate the physical experience of visiting a tradeshow.
Hitomi Broadcast Director Russell Johnson said, “Whilst nothing beats face to face meetings for establishing new business connections and communicating with potential customers, the BCA virtual event offers an opportunity to do so at a time when physical meet-ups are not possible and we’re happy to take advantage of this to bring our broadcast solutions to the Asian film industry.”
Cookham Dean, UK, 24 August 2020: Hitomi Broadcast, manufacturer of MatchBox, the industry’s premier audio video alignment toolbox, has announced that the Germany-based ProSiebenSat.1 Media SE, Europe’s leading satellite and cable broadcaster, operating television channels, digital VoD platforms and e-commerce brands, has purchased a MatchBox system comprising xFrame, MatchBox Generator and MatchBox Analyser 3G.
The MatchBox installation was supplied to ProSiebenSat.1 by Hitomi reseller, Vidi GmbH, based in Germany, via the manufacturer-independent international systems integrator, BFE Studio und Medien Systeme GmbH, as part of a solution-focused project to help streamline their live production workflows.
ProSiebenSat.1 combines leading entertainment brands with a successful production business and a rapidly growing retail portfolio under one roof, making it one of the most diversified media companies in Europe. The company offers the best entertainment - whenever, wherever and on any device. With its 15 free- and pay-TV channels, it reaches over 45 million TV households in Germany, Austria and Switzerland.
MatchBox is a state-of-the-art toolkit that streamlines live broadcast synchronisation and is relied on by broadcasters worldwide to ensure the timing of live sports, news and events. A two part solution, the MatchBox Analyser tool looks and listens for the specific Hitomi video and audio signatures produced by the hardware MatchBox Generator. The measurement performed by the analyser is very fast - just a few seconds - and highly effective, vastly speeding up the process and ultimately helping to eliminate the headaches and frustrations of last-minute lip-sync issues.
Hitomi Broadcast Director Russell Johnson said, “What MatchBox ultimately means is that instead of having someone tapping a mic or clapping a board in front of a camera to take subjective readings from, you have a known, verified, highly precise test pattern that in turn enables you to measure and confirm the veracity of your links before you start sending video or audio signals down them.”
Complete with an intuitive identing feature, rapid measurement of lip sync, audio coherence, audio levels, phase inversions and video timing, MatchBox is also a 4K test pattern generator.
London, UK, 27 August 2020: Mo-Sys, world leader in precision camera tracking solutions for virtual studios and augmented reality, provided key technology to EVOKE Studios, which allowed it to develop exciting extended reality environments for the performances at this year’s AIM Awards, from the Association for Independent Music, on the 12th August 2020. Mo-Sys’ StarTracker provided the precision camera tracking data, enabling EVOKE to seamlessly blend (real-time compositing) live action with photo-realistic virtual elements.
“The challenges with extended reality lie in the smoothness of tracked content, frame delays, and having a close to faultless set extension,” said Vincent Steenhoek, founder of EVOKE Studios. “Our experience with StarTracker is that it gives us ultra-reliable, highly accurate positional data and ultra low latency. Building on technologies like StarTracker enables awards shows like the AIM Awards to be presented in broadcast quality virtual environments.”
Critical for virtual studio and augmented reality production is to track the position of each camera in three-dimensional space and with all 6 degrees of movement (pan, tilt, roll, x, y, z) plus lens focal length and focus. StarTracker from Mo-Sys is proven as the most precise and reliable camera tracking package, using dots on the studio ceiling (“stars”) which are placed at random and tracked to plot camera positions with extraordinary accuracy.
EVOKE and its creative partners shot a number of guest performances for the awards show, recording as live with no post production. The shoot took place at the new Deep Space studios at Creative Technology in Crawley, a studio which is already set up for StarTracker, including a camera jib for free movement.
Performances captured in extended reality included AJ Tracey and MoStack surrounded by larger-than-life burgers and fries, and Pioneer Award winner Little Simz who was made to appear underwater.
“This is a great example of what StarTracker delivers,” said Michael Geissler, CEO of Mo-Sys. “It is designed for live work, providing completely reliable positioning data into the graphics engines. It allowed the EVOKE team to build really complex extended reality and virtual environments in combination with LED walls and floor, then let the performers go with the music confident that they would capture all the action flawlessly.”
For more information on StarTracker, please visit the Mo-Sys website: www.mo-sys.com
Reading, UK, 19 August 2020: Starfish Technologies, a pioneer in transport stream processing and advertising insertion, has been granted European and US patents that cover a range of techniques employed within its TS splicer product. The TS Splicer is a software-based solution for clean switching of encoded transport streams and is used for media switching and content replacement for advertising insertion and slating.
Starfish Marketing Director Peter Blatchford said, “We are incredibly proud to have been granted patents that cover a number of techniques that were invented by our engineering team. The benefits of these techniques enable the TS splicer to offer clean switching of encoded streams across different modes of operation. Our customers have long recognised the benefits in the performance of our product and we are delighted that this intellectual property is now formally protected.”
Munich, Germany, 05 August 2020: Cinegy GmbH, the premier provider of software technology for digital video processing, asset management, video compression and automation, and playout, has released the latest version of Cinegy Multiviewer 15.2, solidifying Cinegy’s position as the leading IP and multipurpose multiviewer vendor.
Cinegy Multiviewer 15.2 is the most flexible multiviewer ever, great for on-premise and remote monitoring applications.
Streams from satellites, camera feeds, playout devices and other local or remote sources all need to be monitored. Cinegy Multiviewer displays and analyzes these signals, raising alerts for any detected signal problems. Running as a service operating on commodity IT equipment, video streams can be received over IP, eg UDP/RTP, NDI, SRT via Ethernet or using standard SDI cards.
Notable features introduced include latest version NDI support, using Cinegy Encode as an SDI output option, SRT encapsulated IP input and output stream inputs, and support for encrypted SRT streaming on input.
Cinegy fully supports the SRT Alliance which is visible in its entire product range. Head of Product Management Lewis Kirkaldie said, “For years the world of broadcasting has been anticipating an open and reliable technology to move signals around. Numerous attempts have been made by different enthusiasts across the industry but none of them got closer to fulfilling the requirement than the brilliant SRT.”
Multiviewer Version 15.2 offers further enhancements of its SRT support with additional SRT output encryption support along with DNS resolving for SRT URL addresses.
Kirkaldie adds, “The new Multiviewer has a great many performance optimizations and compatibility enhancements to run even more reliably on the latest Microsoft operating systems, as well as embracing the latest and greatest technologies and protocols widely used in the industry.”
Cinegy Multiviewer 15.2 also fully supports 8K workflows via IP or SDI. Cinegy's 8K capabilities were first deployed in 2015 upon the release of its Daniel2 codec which at the time was capable of decoding 16K video at 280 fps with an Nvidia Quadro M6000. Cinegy has further optimized and integrated Daniel2, making it ubiquitous through the software product range. Cinegy Multiviewer 15 joined Cinegy Capture PRO and Cinegy Air PRO in supporting 8K, via IP (SRT/RTP/UDP), SDI, NDI (e.g. BMD DeckLink 8K Pro) confidence software broadcast solutions when the major update v15 was released earlier this year.
For more information, see the latest release notes here.
London, UK, 27 July 2020: Trams Ltd, a leading value-added reseller and IT solutions provider, is proud to celebrate its 30th Anniversary this month. Established in 1990, Trams is a well-respected and proven supplier to a variety of blue-chip organisations across the media & entertainment, finance, education, oil, gas and energy sectors.
“Trams has been the perfect partner for us in terms of supplying the services we ask of them. From hardware/software to cloud services, we have been extremely happy with the Trams performance and feel very well looked after. We look forward to working together for many years to come! Keep up the good work!” – SkyBet.
Becoming an Apple Authorised Reseller in 1993, Trams continued to establish accreditations from a wide range of manufacturers including Dell, Cisco, Quantum, HPe, Lenovo, Jamf and many more.
Warren Peel, Managing Director, Trams Ltd said, “Our reputation and performance has been built on our clients’ confidence in Trams’ dedicated and experienced colleagues, together with strong and lasting relationships with our manufacturer partners. Without our valued staff and clients, this 30-year milestone would not have been possible. We would like to extend our thanks to all who have supported us throughout the last three decades.”
“Trams has always demonstrated the highest competencies in front of our most demanding media and entertainment customers, served by an amazing team of skilled and committed professionals,” explained Anniek Snauwaert, Sales Director, EMEA M&E of Quantum. She concluded, “Happy Anniversary Trams, the entire Quantum team is excited to help as a vendor of choice during the next 30 years of growth.”
Having received numerous awards for IT services across B2B and the education sector, Trams continues to deliver its award-winning service. “Despite the challenges of Covid-19, Trams is committed to working closely with its customers to ensure delivery of reliable, IT solutions making the financial, logistical and technological challenges of a “work anywhere” workforce, possible,” concluded Peel.
For more information on Trams Ltd, visit www.trams.co.uk/about/30th-anniversary
Aldermaston, UK, 29 July 2020: Having completed a number of projects in recent months despite the constraints of the global pandemic, SI Media and GB Labs reflect on the underrated value provided by global and regional partnerships.
Based just north of Venice, Italy, SI Media is an international broadcast software solution provider – including its proprietary “.YES!”, an HTML5 web-based and cloud-oriented suite for media asset, broadcast management, newsroom computer, and playout automation system for master control rooms and studios.
Dominic Harland, CEO/CTO GB Labs said, “Because so many of SI Media’s customers already use our storage, our systems have now become an integral part of what they recommend as part of their workflow and production solutions to new and existing customers - and one of the installations we have just completed together in Asia was for a new online and nearline archive for master control and production workflows using our FastNAS storage system.”
GB Labs provides the world’s most intelligent NAS shared storage technology, wrapped in simple to use yet ultra-powerful appliances designed specifically for media professionals. GB Labs pioneered NAS technology more than a decade ago, and continues to advance its capabilities - in-house – daily.
GB Labs’ storage products are stable, reliable, and scalable in ways that fit elegantly with any modern requirement. It can be used for both MCR and production workflows, which for a software orientated house such as SI Media is a key element in providing a complete technology solution.
SI Media EMEA Sales Manager, Paolo Favaro further explained, “With the current restrictions on site visits and other practical uncertainties, it’s a major bonus to have a technology partner and hardware supplier you can count on in any scenario. Moreover, the speed with which we receive support for a proposal, and the expertise with which it is delivered, is remarkable.
“Adding GB Labs storage to our recommended portfolio has brought several benefits to our project proposals: It expands our influence on the projects; it increases our overall value; and it enables us to set up and test a complete workflow in our laboratories, minimising wastes of time and risk. It also provides the stability of using the same provider and the certainty of the reliability of the proposed system. A partner with the quality of technology provided by GB Labs enables us to expand what we offer to our clients and minimise the time typically required to build and deliver a system to a specific request.”
Harland concluded, “The importance of mutual trust and respect - especially during difficult circumstances – cannot be overstated. Providing partners with high-quality products and the highest standards of support during normal operating conditions is a core value for any successful business, but it really pays dividends when the going gets tough. We are delighted to have contributed to the ongoing success of SI Media and look forward to many more projects to come.”
London, UK, 16 July 2020: Mo-Sys, a world leader in precision camera tracking solutions for virtual studios and augmented reality, has brought virtual studio production within reach of everyone with StarTracker Studio, the world’s first pre-assembled production package. The system is scalable to any size production, and can support 4K Ultra HD.
Critical for virtual studio and augmented reality production is to track the position of each camera in three-dimensional space across all six axes of movement. StarTracker from Mo-Sys is proven as the most precise and reliable camera tracking package, using dots on the studio ceiling (“stars”) which are placed at random and tracked to plot camera positions with extraordinary accuracy.
To make virtual studio production accessible by all, StarTracker Studio bundles the tracking with cameras and mounts and a high-performance virtual graphics system based on the latest version of the Unreal Engine and the Ultimatte keyer. Mo-Sys’s unique plug-in interfaces directly between the camera tracking and the Unreal Engine, for extreme precision with virtually no latency.
All the hardware – including Lenovo PCs with Titan RTX GPUs – is mounted in a rolling rack cabinet and pre-wired, and all the software is loaded and configured. All the user has to do is design their unique virtual environment, power up the StarTracker Studio rack and start shooting.
“StarTracker Studio enables any organisation to create premium virtual studio content easily and simply, at an attractive price point,” said Michael Geissler, CEO of Mo-Sys. “We have made it simple by bringing the best equipment together, from respected vendors like Blackmagic Design/Ultimatte, Lenovo, Canon and Cartoni.
“That hardware works with the incredible virtual graphics power from the Unreal Engine, tied with perfect precision to real objects thanks to Mo-Sys tracking,” he continued. “It gives the user access to top end effects like hyper-realistic reflections, soft shadows to emulate real-world lighting, continual depth of field processing to emulate lens performance, and occlusion handling, so talent can walk around virtual objects. In other words, top-end, uncompromised virtual production, in a simple one-stop package.”
The standard package is supplied with three Blackmagic Ursa Mini 4.6K cameras with Canon 18 – 80 zoom lenses, and paired with Mo-Sys StarTracker tracking units. The kit also includes a camera jib, a rolling tripod and a camera rail set. An 8 channel Atem production switcher provides the live output for broadcast or streaming, and three video recorders are included for separate programme, key and graphics recording. Smart switching means that only one Ultimatte keyer is required for the system, rather than the more conventional one keyer per camera.
The package also includes the Mo-Sys Beam In kit to bring remote guests into the virtual studio. Every element can be used in HD or 4K Ultra HD. Three radio microphones and an eight-channel audio mixer are also part of the solution.The system is scalable up to the largest size of virtual production. Rack kits are available to support either eight or 16 cameras. The complete system is pre-configured by Mo-Sys before shipping, and Mo-Sys will also provide all support, including training in technical and creative aspects where required.
“We have all had to find new and inventive ways to keep up production over the last few months,” said Geissler. “StarTracker Studio is ideal for the new normal, especially including our Beam In kit for remote contributions. This is a powerful production platform aimed at anyone who wants to create virtual studio and augmented reality content, without the time and investment setting it up themselves. Hang a green screen and, with StarTracker Studio, you are good to go.”
Aldermaston, UK, 14 July 2020: The leader in intelligent storage solutions, GB Labs has announced that its proprietary CORE.4 and CORE.4 Lite operating systems have been upgraded with additional security benefits designed to augment existing performance, analytic, and real-time data monitoring and display features.
GB Labs’ Chief Product Officer, Howard Twine said, “We have been anything but idle in recent months and have used our time to further improve our already market-leading storage system OS with a range of security enhancements.
“Some of what we have done will mean little to the casual observer, but to everyday users, we have again practically reinvented what is possible to do with a well-designed storage system.”
Twine said, “Security has always been crucial for protecting valuable assets, and with increasing numbers of people moving files around from a variety of remote locations - including home - and between various platforms, we knew it was important to revisit our operating systems to exploit or improve every aspect of their protective environment.”
The CORE.4 UI has been improved with a range of auditing features, both historical and real-time. Data columns can be sorted to indicate how users have interacted with files as well as the type of protocol; login confirmation; shutdown and restart; file transfer status and location details; in addition to report creation and delivery tools. The real-time data is displayed in a timeline along with a pie chart that includes protocol data, all of which can be viewed for detailed analysis of precisely what’s taking place with the data at any time.
“It is, of course, common to monitor a system and resolve security problems after the fact, using accumulated data, but what isn’t common is our ability to automatically monitor a system’s data - live - and flag up anything extraordinary. This is highly valuable in showing how people interact with a system and in identifying where any bottlenecks may be, unnecessary downtime is being wasted, or further efficiencies may be found. All of these tools are useful in helping an organisation achieve its aspirations.”
Twine added, “The in-built System Security Analyser in CORE.4 and CORE.4 Lite is a tool that actively looks for potential security issues and, if detected, makes appropriate recommendations.
The upgraded CORE.4 OS with advanced security is currently being rolled out to existing GB Labs storage system users and will be available in all new systems from August 2020.