NAB 2016 – The 8K recap

Greater resolution? Yawn.

If last year’s NAB was about visuals crisp enough to see beaded sweat on your favorite sports stars, 2016 was about being surrounded by those visuals in virtual reality. And like UHD and binge watching, virtual reality will have a profound effect throughout the media workflow, from capture to ingest, post to delivery.



At NAB 2016, Blackmagic, GoPro, and other camera vendors released rigs holding multiple cameras at multiple angles to capture intense footage like this:



The GoPro rig has six HERO4 cameras all capturing at 4K resolution. That would be the equivalent of 1.4 terabytes per hour of content. The 360 Heros rig mounts three to seven Blackmagic cameras that can output up to 6K content. That would be 4.4 terabytes per hour. As you can see from the chart below (updated for summer movie season), the growth, particularly in storage consumption, will be extraordinary.

How about the other side of the content equation? Consumption patterns have changed dramatically, moving towards a majority of consumers viewing video on-demand over IP. Cisco’s Visual Networking Index is a good proxy of this trend, with video forecasted to consume 75% of overall Internet bandwidth in 2019 – well over 100 exabytes monthly. To give an indication of how much data that is, one exabyte is equivalent to 250 million DVDs.

Cisco VNI Video 2014-2019

This has led to a host of new streaming technologies and vendors, including Scality partners like Elemental, Unified Streaming, Broadpeak, and Anevia. Like Scality, these are mostly software companies that leverage standard hardware to provide the fastest growing video services today: catch-up TV, start-over TV, nPVR, and VOD.

You can hear our partner Elemental talk more about video consumptions trends and our joint solution below:

The combination of higher quality and more forms of capture, along with more consumption on-demand, means a lot more storage in the middle. We’ve been seeing these trends up close for the last two years, and our conversations at NAB only reinforced them. These trends offer a number of significant opportunities:

  • Overhaul your post environments with “binge production ready” storage at the cost of tape: Post Houses need to reconsider the cobbled-together JBOD and NAS they have for their staging areas. Forget about initial acquisition costs – think about the time and effort you spend with file system provisioning and re-provisioning, rebuilding from regularly failed disks (or worse, restoring raw footage), moving stuff around from nearline disk to tape (and waiting for copy time) because you don’t have enough room. Services providers, other Enterprises, and yes, the cloud players are abandoning this approach en masse in favor of software-defined storage (SDS) like the Scality RING that runs on top of monster servers like the Dell SD7000-S which can deliver 688TB of raw capacity in only 4U! The SDS approach offers much more density, better resiliency, better cost structure, and equal or better performance. With as much as a 50-100X increase in storage capacity required, you can’t afford not to take a hard look at your infrastructure. And yes, you can often even leverage your existing hardware investments!
  • Host your own origin storage, reduce your costs, and increase your agility: Broadcasters, Telcos, and Media Services companies: CDN’s are clearly a critical part of your ecosystem, but you need more control and flexibility with your content and services than ever before. CDN’s don’t always offer the latest technologies like on-demand packaging. If you host your own origin services, you can implement on-demand packaging and consolidate your content assets from ~70 to 3, actually reducing the amount of total storage required for non-linear TV. Let’s say you’re paying $0.15/GB/mo for 1 petabyte of CDN storage. If you reduce your storage by 50% and move it in-house, you’ll be saving nearly $1 million a year. And with the RING storage as part of your solution, you can still leverage all the major CDNs for their edge distribution, with more choice and flexibility based on region, service, and price. With more and more of your revenue coming from on-demand subscriptions and OTT advertising, this is an immediate ROI opportunity.

Learn more about how Scality performs in media workflows here:

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