STORAGE

  • 02/01/2018
    7:00 AM
    Stacey Foster, president and managing director, Broadway Video Digital and Production
  • Stacey Foster, president and managing director, Broadway Video Digital and Production
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How Flash Storage Supports Broadway Video's 4K Growth

All-flash system enables fast, cost-effective production for entertainment and media company.

It would be an understatement to say the digital media and entertainment business changes quickly. At Broadway Video, we’re doing business every hour of every day, and one of the biggest challenges we have is maintaining headroom, bandwidth and storage space. The shows we produce and the file sizes that are required to stay relevant have exponentially increased, making it challenging for production companies like ours to maintain bandwidth and storage.

While 4K seems to be an industry standard now, we understand that broadcast technology is constantly evolving. In three years’ time or less, 8K 120p could be the new content resolution. This means that companies must maintain agility and relevance by offering a wide range of frame rates and sizes to deliver and distribute content in 4K and higher.

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(Image: Krivosheev Vitaly/Shutterstock)

To enhance 4K offerings and beyond, we added an all-flash storage system into our infrastructure that allows for quick-turn, efficient and cost-effective production, post-production and delivery of TV shows and commercials. For Broadway Video, Hitachi’s Virtual Storage Platform (VSP) G Series was the obvious choice.

What does all-flash mean for Broadway Video:

Managing quick-turn, mission-critical data: In the media business, edits to a show are often being made 30 seconds before delivery to distribution channels. Overflow work, like recoloring jobs and editing an opening sequence, are quick turn. Some shows are written on Wednesday, shot on Friday and edited from Friday to Saturday before going on air that night. In these moments, being able to turn data around quickly is essential and made possible with a flash-based storage system.

Flash-based storage systems give companies high-speed turn, incredible efficiency and data throughput that 4K, high frame rate, HDR content requires. A virtual storage lineup delivers performance, resiliency and workload scalability for even the most challenging digital environments. 

Providing quality, industry-leading service: On the cusp of 4K technology, media companies must find ways to save money and manage efficiencies, hitting hard with multiple workstations and working at a high frame rate and density in the 4K workspace and above. There are unique challenges to delivering large files required when doing 4K 60 or 4K 59.94, and this is often where systems fall apart.

Companies that expand to support 4K content and technology must ensure they have robust and optimized storage solutions that are not only fast, but reliable and efficient. A flash storage system will improve performance of business-critical applications by eliminating storage bottlenecks and delivering immediate response rates while ensuring that no data is lost in the process.

In an ever-changing industry, partnering with a technology vendor is essential for digital transformation. We must predict upcoming trends and pivot to meet needs with solutions that are both cost effective and efficient, placing a tremendous focus on digital distribution and data storage systems. For Broadway Video, our strategic partnership with Hitachi Vantara allowed us to transition to a complete digital workflow and create a foundation for future growth to our post-production and digital distribution services.

Stacey Foster, President and Managing Director, Broadway Video Digital and Production, has worked with Broadway Video since 1981. Stacey has served as Coordinating Producer for Saturday Night Live since 1999. Having joined SNL in 1985, he has overseen all technical aspects of production for the show, as well as for numerous SNL and NBC specials, as well as lending his expertise to The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Late Night (working with hosts David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, and Jimmy Fallon), and Mark Burnett’s Survivor. Stacey graduated from Montclair State University.

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