Welcome to the first edition of the Pro Video Dealer newsletter, the information source for the community of AV integrators and dealers about new trends in this rapidly expanding space. More advanced, lower cost technologies are ushering in a radical shift in what would traditionally be thought of as practical, affordable solutions for AV integrators and pro video dealers. As a result, new opportunities for integrators and dealers are exploding in kind, and number. Advancements that have revolutionized the television industry over the past decade are now becoming part of the AV world and these changes represent enormous new revenue opportunities for dealers.
Content consumers are inundated with high-quality picture and sound and their expectations have become more stringent. Educational institutions, houses of worship, public access content creators and corporate communications creators are expected to offer the kind of of slick, top-quality presentations that were until very recently the domain of network television production and very-high-end concerts and installations. AV integrators' clients want to make use of more audio and video streams for their productions – frequently with higher data rates associated with sensors that capture 4K and higher - and this, in turn, affects their needs in the post production arena.
The Pro Video Dealer newsletter will examine this growing market from various perspectives. In this inaugural issue, we will touch on IT-based workflows and the shared storage solutions at their heart. Once the domain of higher-end TV stations, post production and VFX companies, shared storage offers multiple users access to common media to work on in parallel. When people contemplate the type of large SAN or NAS system used in high-end facilities, they're thinking in terms of tens of thousands of dollars. Commonly used setups could easily set a company back $20 thousand to get started and likely considerably more.
It's not that the advantages in speed, efficiency, security and redundancy of an IT-based workflow weren't obvious to the content creators, but the tools were simply out of reach to many smaller businesses and institutions. When multiple users collaborated on a project, they might work serially or take valuable time duplicating media to various workstations or sneakernet drives around an office.
Manufacturers including Avid, G-Technology and GB Labs now offer access to shared storage systems at a significantly lower price point than similar setups about a year ago.
Avid, whose video and audio tools are used throughout the world on major feature film and TV productions, set the bar for high-end users two decades ago with its Unity server that connected workstations among film editors, assistants and others sharing media on projects. Avid NEXIS | PRO offers the same type storage, user-friendly UI, security, redundancy, speed and power the company has built its reputation on– but at a lower entry price.
An excellent example of how Avid NEXIS | PRO is being used provides a model for how schools and colleges can make use of the Avid NEXIS product, with multiple students on individual video and audio editing workstations collaborating on video and audio projects. The system enables the students to focus on creativity while the Avid NEXIS | PRO manages the media, updating versions of the project, backup creation in the background.
G-Technology's G Rack 12 has also made quite a stir since its introduction at last year's NAB show. The G-RACK 12 NAS, says G-Technology, "along with the G-RACK 12 EXP companion product – has been optimized for speed, reliability, scalability" – in certain configurations – "and ease of use, allowing you to streamline your demanding media and entertainment workflows." G-Technology, whose G-Tech RAID products are well-known to business and home users, has aimed G-RACK specifically at "smaller businesses," but it has also provided the centerpiece for shared media storage on at the major New York production company, Broadway Video, for series, including Documentary Now and Portlandia (both on the Independent Film Channel).
A newer player on the scene, GB Labs, also offers its powerful FastNAS F-16 Nitro, based on a NAS (network attached storage) configuration. While NAS systems were once considered robust enough for traditional IT-based operation but not enough for multiple streams of audio and video, the Nitro's specs indicate that this NAS is more than ready to take on challenging video projects.
Products like these are disrupting the old models of how small businesses, institutions and organizations produce and post produce video. It couldn't be a more exciting time to be a video dealer/integrator.
In the next issue of the Pro Video Dealer newsletter, we'll focus on houses of worship.
Avid NEXIS | PRO offers real-time editorial collaboration and the high-speed bandwidth you need to accelerate any media workflow, without requiring you to be an IT expert to set up and manage the system. Plus, get peace of mind—no matter how challenging the production or schedule—with the advanced file management system, enabling you to work the way you want, with both Avid and third-party systems, and attain the trusted data protection, flexibility, and scalability.
G-Technology's G Rack 12, explains the company, "along with the G-RACK 12 EXP companion product – has been optimized for speed, reliability, scalability" – in certain configurations – "and ease of use, allowing you to streamline your demanding media and entertainment workflows."
GB Labs' FastNAS F-16 Nitro's specs indicate that this NAS (network attached storage) is more than ready to take on challenging video projects.
Bi-Coastal "Documentary Now!" Post Teams Rely on G-Technology
Morgan Spurlock's Production Company Breaks Down Their Avid Workflow
Royal Shakespeare Selects GB Labs for In-House Media Department