DVS Digital Video and Ascent Media Group have developed a method for enhancing the HD-digital-intermediate (DI) workflow. The newly installed uncompressed HDStation2U units from DVS provide multiple concurrent real-time HD in- and output for Ascent's 17TB SGI TP-9500 SAN system. Working with the "virtual telecine" is up to four times faster than before.
With DVS and SGI cooperation, the Ascent Media Group in Burbank, California, has created a "virtual telecine" around their SAN system. This encompasses the entire post process including nonlinear mastering - from transfer to the final product - through real-time and concurrent execution of multiple processes. The telecine scans the film reel and supplies digitized uncompressed HD in real-time. Then, writing directly to the SAN disk array, the "virtual telecine" captures the HD data in real-time so that quality control, color correction and digital restoration can all access the material via the real-time HD-SDI I/O loop provided by DVS HDStation2U units. This nonlinear mastering and the multiple concurrent access provide for massive operational time savings.
Another essential advantage of the "virtual telecine" is the capability to output in different aspect ratios and in multiple image formats. Aspect ratio conversions often require pan and scan, first building the list and then executing in real-time. At least three different aspect ratios are required for most major feature film transfers: 1.33 (4:3 for NTSC and PAL), 1.78 (16:9 for HD television and DVD releases), and 1.85 for the standard wide 35mm film-back. With the additional assortment of the actual distribution deliverables, the "virtual telecine" should include the capability of concurrent for-mat conversion from 1080 24p or 2K to a variety of HD and SD formats, for example, by using the DVS HDStation2U I/O loop.
After applying development efforts in interfacing dual 2Gbps host bus adapters to their HDStation product line, DVS was ready to bring out its first level of uncompressed HD SAN performance, working very closely with Ascent and SGI. Although the HDStation2U works without internal storage, Ascent chose to fit the SAN I/O units each providing 800GB of buffer storage enabling a greater system work flow flexibility.
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