The new system acts simultaneously as an extremely fast file server as well as a multi-format video playback/capture device within a single, centralized storage system. Sledgehammer HD!O Dual Link enables Digital Post artists to manage data and video concurrently, dispensing with the need for a VTR and creating a tapeless telecine suite.
"Going tapeless has several advantages, like the ability to transfer material out via GigE while the system is in telecine use; nonlinear access to the destination device for color grading; and no compression at HD resolutions," says Matt Cunningham, Digital Post's technology manager.
"To enrich picture quality with additional color information, we are now able to perform uncompressed HD and 4:4:4 digital intermediate (DI) grading in realtime thanks to the Dual Link," Cunningham says. The Sledgehammer also supports a High Speed Data Link (HSDL) that enables Digital Post to use it as a destination/source for recording and playback of 2K data.
"We recently worked on a film project where we were able to complete the whole workflow using the Sledgehammer to record and play back realtime uncompressed 10-bit RGB DPX files, which saved a lot of time. It took us less than two weeks to complete the grading, because of the combination of the Sledgehammer and da Vinci 2K grading speed. All changes happen in realtime without rendering and in context - this process would normally take up to six weeks with a software solution."