HPA, 8k, and Storage Throughput Records

Written by Erik Weaver

Written by Erik Weaver

Published on March 3, 2020

The Hollywood Post Alliance (HPA) organization kicked off their annual retreat last week to a sold-out audience in the Southern California desert. Once again, some of the most respected thought leaders in the Media and Entertainment industry shared their suggestions and ideas about the latest innovations in content delivery.

The talk that especially caught my attention was “Tested Perceptual Difference Between 4K & 8K” with Michael Zink, Vice President of Technology at Warner Brothers and the President of the HDR10 Alliance. The talk was about testing the difference between 4K and 8K. The test used an LG 88″ OLED display as a playback format for 10 bit BT.2100 PQ 7680×4320 / 24p DPX files. Those files require a sustained read rate of at least 3,000 MB/s.

Think about that. We’re talking about 3,000 MB/sec at 10 bit! That is quite an eye-opening number. What is even more stunning is that this workflow is right around the corner because the 2020 Summer Olympics are coming up in July and will be broadcasted in 8K!

With that level of video streaming in mind, another thing that caught my attention was Stellus Technologies‘ booth at the HPA. Here is a company ready for these new workflows, and anyone involved in post-production and VFX needs to learn about them. If you didn’t get a chance to visit the Stellus booth at HPA, you might want to read the recently published press release, “Stellus Sets New Single-Client Data Storage Throughput Record at 33.2GB/s Sustained Writes.”

The article reports on the testing and validation of the Stellus Data Platform, which is built around the industry’s first Key-Value over Fabrics implementation. The proven 33.2GB/s sustained writes offer capabilities that are beyond the new 8K workflows. This type of speed and architecture provides a massive step forward, not only for Media & Entertainment but also for Life Sciences and cognitive AI, where massive amounts of data are generated, analyzed, and stored.

There were two other things to take note of at HPA:

  • The first was Joachim “JZ” Zell’s ambitious live production! To watch the piece come together from acquisition through post-production was quite a spectacle. I would like to do a shoot-off next year if you are up for it JZ!
  • The second was a talk from Patrick Renner of Pomfort. Patrick talked about his ASC-MHL work. Check out his work on file integrity assurance over on GitHub.

Finally, I have to mention Annie Chang‘s talk, “HPA Tech Retreat: Universal Unveils New Production Workflow.” You can read the full summary on ETCentric and learn about this new platform for enabling rapid access to assets like 3D VFX models used in sequels, AR/VR experiences, and theme parks. Production 3.0 is a workflow designed for the new digitally native film production process. I am a big believer in this work. Go, Annie, Go!

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