It lies in a safety zone where tornadoes, floods and earthquakes are very rare. The city also has a sophisticated power grid with high security of supply, and it’s a very good access point to national fiber networks. It all adds up to Las Vegas being a good place to locate a data center. This is exactly what Switch has done with the SuperNAP data center tucked away in the industrial area of the city. Already used by large corporations, government agencies and Hollywood Studios, the data center is a highly secure facility extending over two million square feet.
Broadcast engineering used to be delineated from IT by the baseband video and AES audio infrastructure. Live television still uses that low-latency baseband connection from camera and microphone to the viewer. But, for video, much of the workflow is now compressed, although with audio it generally remains uncompressed until master control.
The move to service-based architecture changes the landscape. Video and audio move as files over a media bus, and control messages are exchanged via web services. Aside from live television, the production of episodic programming, commercials and movies is very much a file-based operation as the content moves from acquisition, through post-production to distribution. The move to multiplatform, multi-device delivery adds further to the need for enterprise-scale platforms — the media factories.
The media business is still largely project based. Each program or series is a project with its own workgroup of creatives. A production company may be a handful of people in a small office. During the production, the crew may grow to hundreds, but at the end of the project it is disbanded and shrinks back to the small core. This cyclical nature of the business means that production companies don’t own anything; it is all rented for the production. Post and VFX are farmed out to facility houses. You could say the media sector used outsourcing before it was invented.
The collaborative nature of program production and demands of multi-device VOD delivery both need large amounts of data storage and processing power, coupled with high bandwidth connectivity. There are two options: build it yourself or outsource.
Responding to growing demand for such media platforms, Nativ is demonstrating its MioEverywhere platform at the HPA Retreat, Indian Wells, Feb. 14-17. Nativ has its platform installed at the Switch SuperNAP in Las Vegas.
With massive bandwidth linking the data center to the creative community in Los Angeles, and several studios already using the center, Nativ is offering its DAM system.
“A service should be somewhere that the customers are already working,” Nativ CEO Jon Folland said.
MioEverywhere provides a suite of applications running within a SOA. Functions include: ingest and file validation; asset management; workflow automation and publishing.
“We can show security and connectivity,” Folland said. “With Mio we can give clients greater visibility of their content, and greater cost control over their processing and media storage. The Mio software stack includes: ingest, asset management, workflow, repurposing and delivery as a software solution hosted from the SuperNAP. You don’t have to own anything, it is all in a private cloud model.”
Nativ can plug external applications to its DAM SOA, providing customers with their choice of, for example, transcoding. Nativ can use Dolby, Rhozet, Telestream FlipFactory and ffMPEG, as well as partnering with Amberfin for automated QC.
Nativ has an established collaboration with Dolby and users of MioEverywhere have access to Dolby’s audio formats including Dolby Digital Plus and Pulse. Other Dolby tools include video transcoding in the H.264 formats, and access to Dolby’s UltraViolet implementation.
As studios look to repurpose content for the multi-device VOD service, affordable and scalable processing platforms become an essential part of fulfillment. For users of the Nativ service, a big advantage is the ability to scale up and down resources as needed, but within the security of a private cloud.