Workflow and Storage Options at CS2012
June 2012 - At the Creative Storage Conference 2012 held in Culver City, the discussion focused on Workflows, large data stores and the growing technologies for near field and active data access. The conference opened with a framing conversation and presentation by conference organizer Tom Coughlin on data storage requirements for current and near term content capture.
The growing data size is from increasing resolution, increasing frame rates, increasing color depth, and additional channels in multi-channel sound. Frame rates have been based on 24 frames per second in the cinema industry from the early days of 35mm production. This frame rate is being pushed up to 48 fps (the upcoming Hobbit Movie by Peter Jackson), 60 fps (the new Avator movie by James Cameron) and there are other projects looking as high as 300 fps. A number of standard cinema cameras support 120 fps and specialty slow-motion camera run near 1000 fps.
Resolutions for TV are at 2K, with standard Cinema capture is 4K resolution. Japan has demonstrated 8K displays and there is discussion on 16K (16K x 8K or 33M pixels) displays in the near future. The color depth ranges from 10bits through 20bits and is moving towards 24 bits. . Without the audio, which is moving up from 8 channel 7.1 sound up to 23 channel 22.1 sound, the new estimation of data rates look like: 16Kx8K resolution * 24bits/pixel * 300fps is 115GB/s or 414TB/hr. When this is multiplied by the number of cameras involved (4-30 for full viewpoint capture) the video streams being captures are exceptionally large and on the order of 1.66PB/hr for a 4 camera playback of finalized content.
These large numbers and high transfer rates, are driving camera based storage media - primarily Flash based, SSD for the first tier of rapid access with higher speed interfaces (SATA, SAS, PCIe, USB, TB, 10GbE and 16Gb FC) and TLO5 tape using the LTFS file system as active storage rather than just long term archive, and cloud based storage. The transport issues to get the storage between end points and the editor’s workstation is still a challenge based on worldwide broadband infrastructure and PB class data.
The event had several discussions on these issues starting with a technical panel on the merits and workflow optimization using Flash, SSD, HDD, Tape, Optical and data recovery. It was followed by several keynotes from Fox Networks on data localization for being able to deliver multi-location and multi-language content and its associated metadata, a keynote from ARRI on their new digital cinema camera, and trend on the content capture market from IDC.
Several of the other panel discussions focused on Post Production, Storage for Content Delivery, and Archive. The day finished with a future directions panel on workflow and storage that was moderated by the Createasphere. As in past years, the well attended event, featured a great deal of audience participation from the working editors and content managers attending the event.