By Randi Altman
Issue: February 1, 2004


To paraphrase a very wise man, George Carlin, "Everybody needs a place to put their stuff." It's as if he was speaking directly to our industry. These days, both budgets and deadlines are tight, so editors are turning to networking and storage solutions to help with the workflow. I asked a couple of pros to share their success stories…

"We just integrated an Avid Unity LANshare EX," reports broadcast manager Tor Seemann of GTV6, Glendale, CA. "We wanted to expand our storage capabilities and tighten the connection between six NLE bays. The LANshare has been great because of the diversified bandwidth options available. One editor can be on an Avid Mojo and another on the Adrenaline, but only the bandwidth required for the job is taken up. Our Adrenaline work is typically uncompressed 601 multlayered video, while the typical fare for Mojo is standard DV with A/B roll and overlays. A simple slider in the GUI allows us to allocate more or less storage to each user."

Jeff Hedberg, of NYC-based Convergence, says, as an editor he can never have too much storage or too fast a network. "We assign a 120GB FireWire drive to each job. We use this drive to backup the Avid's project data and files that come from the client. If something happens to the data in the Avid, I can get all the information I need.

"Networking is essential for our workflow," he continues. "We have a Gigabit Ethernet network connecting the Avids, the assistant stations and our graphics machines, as well as an Apple Xserve. Rather than tying up an Avid to compress a video to view on the Web, we export QuickTime movies to the server and do the compressing, uploading and necessary Web authoring on the assistants' stations."

Hedberg says the network really shines when they are creating graphics and editing simultaneously. A recent Victoria's Secret project "required us to work at uncompressed resolution all the way through - because we would have no time to re-digitize at a higher resolution later on. I would hand off scenes to our graphics person who would composite, clean up or design, and then pass the finished files back to me. Even though these QuickTime files were quite large, moving them on and off of the Xserve happened within seconds. The clients weren't even aware of the import/export process. Laying off to tape and importing would have added so much time onto our edit that we would not have been able to meet our deadline."

Please check out this month's feature on Storage & Networking.