2016 NAB Product Review: Storage & Recording

Getting content in and turning it around quickly for playout has always been the goal of recording, playout and archiving gear, and at this year’s NAB Show, that technology furthered its reach and scope. Attendees saw new cloud-based broadcast platforms, bi-directional recording and playout servers, scalable shared storage solutions, and new joint technology solutions from industry stalwarts Sony and Panasonic.

launched Avid NEXIS, describing it as the “world’s first software-defined storage platform.” Working in conjunction with Avid MediaCentral, NEXIS offers storage virtualization by mixing and matching engines to form “virtualizable” pools of storage. Teams can access shared pools of configurable storage and can scale capacity and bandwidth as needed, particularly with large productions. The system is based on the NEXIS | FS scalable file system.

EMC-Isilon demonstrated how its EMC Isilon X410 scale-out NAS storage infrastructure, when combined with Pixspan bit-exact software, enables cost-effective 4K full resolution workflows that can be supported on typical 2K infrastructures.

EVS has expanded the EVS XT3 and XS3 servers’ entrance into IP production with the introduction of the EVS XiP media gateway. The company also showcased the new ChannelMAX mode within the XT3 server, which provides the ability to expand channel capacity. The XT3 features expandable storage for up to 350 hours in HD at 100 Mbps.

Harmonic MediaGrid ContentServer 4000Harmonic launched the MediaGrid ContentServer 4000 and MediaGrid ContentStore 4240 nodes outfitted with 24 hot-swappable 2 TB, 4 TB or 6 TB SAS drives.

debuted the Shogun Inferno, which includes monitoring and recording technologies along with playback and editing functionality. Recording options include 4K 60p and HD 240p ProRes and DNxHR recording, from either a video or raw signal, which can be used for sports broadcasting and slowmotion recordings.

Blackmagic Video Assist 4K

Evertz DC-458D Double Density 4K DreamCatcher replay systemBlackmagic Design showcased the Video Assist 4K, an all-in-one professional monitor and video recorder that can be used to add professional recording and monitoring to any SDI or HDMI camera. In addition to a high-res 7-inch monitor, the Video Assist 4K has two high-speed recorders and two XLR microphone inputs.

Evertz showcased the DC-458D Double Density 4K DreamCatcher replay system, a scalable IP-based replay system.

Sonnet Technologies showcased the Fusion Thunderbolt 3 PCIe flash drive, a rugged, pocket-sized solid-state drive storage device capable of transferring data at speeds of more than 2,000 MBps.

Sound Devices previewed a new recording capability for the PIX-E Series of 4Kcompatible recording monitors, which now feature the addition of the H.264 codec and the capability of simultaneously recording Apple ProRes files and smaller H.264 MP4 files.

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unveiled its EzPetaSAN multipetabyte shared storage. It offers a “building block” approach where users can start with as few as 24 disks (hard disk drives or SSDs) and increase as needs grow.

Archion Technologies launched the EditStor Omni Hybrid, a collaborative storage solution designed to support facilities with both high video streaming and graphic rendering demands.

BBright unveiled a new Ultra HD baseband playout server with HDR support called the UHD-Play video file player. The device is designed to be used as a dedicated playout server for Ultra HD channel head-ends.

Broadcast Solutions premiered two new slo-motion 4K 50/60p servers: BlackJack 4K and Red Arrow. The Red Arrow offers four of channels recording, four channels of search and two channels of playback with six 4K physical video ports.

EditShareXStream EFS SSDCalDigital introduce the CalDigit T8, a Thunderbolt 3 RAID storage solution, and the CalDigit AV Pro 2, a single-drive solution.

EditShare showcased its XStream EFS SSD, a scalable shared storage solution that extends the EFS platform by combining solidstate drives with a new scalable architecture. Available in 8 TB, 16 TB and 24 TB chassis configurations, XStream EFS SSD can scale from single servers to multinode clusters.

Facilis unveiled new features to the TerraBlock shared storage system for content creation and post production. The system includes 32Gbps Fibre Channel connectivity and 12 Gbps SAS solid state drive hardware. The company also showcased the new Fast-Tracker, an integrated application for cataloging, searching and viewing media within a TerraBlock shared storage system.

For-A LTS-70 LTO Server with LTS-MAMFor-A introduced the LTS-70 server which stores up to 6 TB of video, audio and data when using uncompressed files and allows LTO tape files to be read and written, with backwards compatibility on the network via FTP. Also new is the LTR-200HS7 standalone video recorder, which features video input, encoding, backup/archiving to LTO tape, and video output in a single archive recorder unit. The multiformat device comes with an LTO-7 drive boasting a Terabyte LTFS-based recording capability, allowing it to be used in archiving or exchange of recorded material or programs.

JMR debuted the BlueStor SHARE networked storage server, a 3RU 16-bay server available in 32, 48, 64, 96 TB configurations that can scale to 672 TB with a single head unit. The company also showed the new JMR Lightning product family, which features four full-bandwidth PCIe slots using two independent Thunderbolt 2 20Gb/s bridge circuits.

Masstech debuted Masstech Portal for Avid, a solution for streamlining the interchange between Masstech media archives and Avid Media Composer.

Panasonic introduced the freeze-ray optical disc-based system, an archive and storage platform that can ingest data whether in file- or object-based format.

Quantum showcased expanded capabilities of its StorNext workflow storage platform as well as offered demos of its Quantum hybrid flash and disk storage solutions. The company also showed a series of embedded applications developed for the Quantum Xcellis shared workflow storage system. The company also announced a new partnership with Avid whereby the Avid Interplay MAM system and Quantum StorNext Storage Manager will integrate with one another.

Rohde & Schwarz debuted the newest version of its SpycerBox Cell, a 36 TB system that can be scaled and cascaded to store large data volumes of high-resolution material.

Ross Video showcased the newest version of its XPression Clips production server as well as XPression Tick-it, a multichannel workflow server for tickers and informational channels.

slomo.tv debuted its 2RU RED ARROW 4K replay and slow-motion server, offering four channels of recording, four channels of search and 2 channels of playback with six 4K physical video ports, all in 4K 50p.

Small Tree unveiled a new mobile shared-storage system called the TitaniumZ5+, a video editing shared storage appliance; and ZenStor, a new line of shared storage system that can handle 4K workflows.

Sony introduced the second generation of its optical disc drive, which includes new higher-capacity optical media that was developed jointly by Sony and Panasonic. This newest media is rated with a 100- year shelf life and doubles the capacity of a single cartridge to 3.3 TB. The company also showcased storage within a camera via the HDC-4800, a new 4K ultra high frame rate camera that is complemented by the BPU-4800 combination baseband processor unit/replay server.

Torque Video Systems launched two new storage systems in its DVStor product line—the DVStor XS in either a 1 TB or 4 TB version. Both come pre-installed with the latest DVStor Version 8 application software.

showcased its CLOUDPORT 3.0 next-gen channel playout platform, demonstrating how this virtualized playout platform is now IP-accessible thanks to a partnership with the IP delivery company Zixi.

Aspera debuted v3.6 of its FASP server platform, which includes a new transfer system that allows tenants to privately manage storage for Aspera transfers, and includes new direct-to-cloud transfer features, including Autoscale Transfer Cluster Manager software that automatically scales server nodes based on demand.

Broadpeak introduced CDN Diversity, an enhancement to the company’s umbrellaCDN system, which leverages real-time information and analytics to allow users to make automated decisions depending on the context of various networks, subscribers, and their devices.

BroadStream Solutions launched BEACON, a software-based playout solution, available in two versions: BEACON-SOLO and BEACON 1+1. Each are capable of SDI or IP multichannel playout of up to four channels.

Dejero showed off the LIVE+ platform, which is designed to simplify the adoption of IP and cloud technology for video transport between remote or mobile locations. Dejero also showed its LIVE+ Multipoint solution, an option for cloud-based sharing and exchange of live content.

Deluxe showcased solutions that included Deluxe MediaCloud, a multiscreen and OTT media management platform. The company also announced that it would extend 4K/ UHD services to facilitate HDR content management and delivery via Deluxe On- Demand.

Ericsson showed its take on the cloud with its Cloud DVR video storage and processing technology that is designed to cache, optimize, store, process and edge-optimize video delivery for both fixed and mobile IP networks.

EVS showcased the Xeebra referee live replay system, which includes a touchscreen that enables multiple screen views of continually synchronized content from up to 16 HD cameras for instant action recalls.

Harmonic has taken its VOS media processing platform to the cloud. VOS Cloud enables content and service providers to manage the video production and delivery workflow for broadcast and OTT applications via standard IT hardware, over public or private cloud infrastructure. VOS 360 is a professional cloud media processing service that provides operators with a software-as-a-service solution hosted in the public cloud and maintained and monitored by Harmonic.

Hybrik launched its new cloud-based service for managing large-scale media workflows. The new service provides cloud-based transcoding, quality control, accelerated file transfer, large-scale storage, and streaming to deliver high-quality video optimized for every screen.

Imagine Communications demonstrated how its Versio integrated playout solution can be set up as a hybrid IP/SDI deployment or as a virtualized cloud solution. The company also offered a look at the company’s CloudXtream, a series of cloud-based solutions that allow service providers to introduce personalized services that redefine the video consumption experience.

Nverzion showcased enhancements to its CloudNine video server, a solution that allows stations to simultaneously record and play out content and update metadata. New for this year is support for streaming over IP.

Pebble Beach Systems showed off the Orca channel-in-a-box system that offers virtualized software integrated playout system running in the cloud.

Prime Focus Technologies launched the newest version of its CLEAR Media ERP suite and announced a new agreement with Global Eagle Entertainment, which will use the CLEAR Media ERP as a hub for a variety of content into a central cloud for delivery. The company also announced the launch of Amazon Optimizer to its Operations Cloud module within CLEAR Media ERP, and showcased the DAX Production Cloud, which allows clients to use one software solution for dailies and post servicing workflows.

Rohde & Schwarz SpycerBox CellRohde & Schwarz showed the 4K version of the R&S VENICE ingest and playout platform, which allows for ingest, playout and processing of 4K/UHD-1 material.

Signiant demonstrated an integrated portfolio of solutions for on-premises, cloud and hybrid deployments, including the Media Shuttle solution, which can be deployed with either on-premises or cloud object storage to configure individual portals for either storage type. The company also announced the availability of a pre-built workflow that provides integration with the Microsoft Azure Media Services cloud platform. This automated workflow uses Signiant technology to transport content files from on-premises storage into Microsoft Azure.

Square Box Systems introduced CatDV Archive to S3 Cloud, which enables archiving of CatDV-managed media assets and associated metadata in Amazon Simple Storage Service.

Streambox showed Streambox Cloud, which allows for multilocation HD and 4K video distribution, playout and streaming of videos to connected mobile devices.

Volicon unveiled its C5 service, which gives subscribers access to Share functionality in the cloud. The Share system allows for clipping and extraction of timely content for broadcast, video-on-demand, and digital and social media outlets.

Susan Ashworth

Susan Ashworth is the former editor of TV Technology. In addition to her work covering the broadcast television industry, she has served as editor of two housing finance magazines and written about topics as varied as education, radio, chess, music and sports. Outside of her life as a writer, she recently served as president of a local nonprofit organization supporting girls in baseball.