Videotape recording is almost gone as many clients switch over to Sony’s XDCAM or other server-type devices, and record on to transportable hard drives or drive arrays.
Typically, OB suppliers are purchasing XDCAM decks, AJA Ki Pros or other similar free-standing, file-based recorders, or using Grass Valley K2 and EVS LSM servers with transportable drive arrays like X-Fly or Sony’s new optical disc array. In some cases, files are transported over public Internet or private intranets between the OB unit, providing gallery facilities to the four-waller and post-production facility.
In a typical studio production workflow, line cuts and iso feeds of every camera are recorded to Sony PDW-1600s XDCAMS or transportable drives. Full advantage is taken of the multichannel embedded audio support on these devices. Editing usually happens off-site on Final Cut or Avid.
MediaCityUK Studios, in Salford, promotes itself as a campus-wide facility for end-to-end digital tapeless production. Also owned by Peel Holdings and managed by SIS Live, its seven studios range up to 12,500sq-ft and cater for BBC Sport’s “Football Focus” and “Sports Personality of the Year,” as well as “Mastermind” and children’s shows such as “The Rhyme Rocket.”
All of the studios are integrated with post-production suites, production offices and galleries on-site by fiber network. All studio cameras, for example, can be recorded on Avid AirSpeed Multi-Stream and made instantly available to post, via fiber, on shared Avid ISIS 7000 storage and asset management system InterPlay.
One of the benefits of ingesting directly from a studio into post is the save on time and cost by being able to edit a program almost live. If a shot is missed, direct connection with the studio means pick-ups can be captured as necessary.
MCUK commercial manager Ian Munford calls this “virtualized production,” where clients can book a studio and access multiple post companies on-site, as well as various specialist editors. Or, they can simply buy a license for the duration of the program to use secure Avid editing and Isis asset management available from desktops across the campus.
Pinewood’s investment is fully HD, but with the flexibility to ingest and convert any format to or from the studio floor using Harris Broadcast equipment. Its installation of an eight-channel DVS Venice server system, connected to two DVS SpycerBox storage servers in the Digital Content Services department, enables clients to record directly to post production, providing a seamless delivery from studios recording to editing.
A similar OB arrangement (as was used to broadcast the BAFTA Awards from London’s Royal Opera House in February 2012) might deploy REC2Post, a set of EVS solutions based on its XS high-speed studio servers. Capabilities include the remote production of multicam feeds and file recording with automatic-backup streaming on portable storage; live multicam productions with on-the-fly timeline editing; and multicam recording control/logging for post operations.