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The Tyrell Take #IBC2018

Physical facilities in the RAI have been improved, and with rumours of converting the temporary structures into more permanent ones, I got the sense of an improved market. Our social event on the Saturday evening was well attended, there were lots of interesting conversations and from what I recall no-one was seen crying into their drink – by the way thanks to all that attended.

At IBC last year there was a lot of buzz around VR, 360 and Cloud, this year the Tyrell team witnessed a lot of true cloud remote editing. This looked and felt like a real editing system, most displayed a 4K Cloud workflow connected to far-away data-centres, only operating for the duration of the show of course. So next year is the year of transformation and we think the market is ready.

The conference tracks had lots of consolidation, challenging, transformation and disruptive themes, we in Tyrell are being the optimist, seeing great opportunity. We are approaching our customers’ needs differently, Opex is a must as it gives the ability to scale in either direction, Tyrell’s relationships with our Manufacturers, Finance Companies and Customers can put the future refresh programme in place at a monthly cost.

But one thing is for sure, we at Tyrell are witnessing the explosion of content and the producers of said content want simple looking tools to present and make their content look excellent.

So if it’s a 24X7 News Channel where you want to pay for it by the month, to editing the highlights of an event on the other side of the world, rest assured we have the questions to explore your content world.

We hit the show this year with the largest team ever from Tyrell and with the most focused brief we have ever had. Some staff went and spent all their time with clients, others had goals to research a specific tech/standard. The result has been some of the most focused discoveries which will prepare us for 2019.

My own takeaway from the show is that the manufacturers are making small incremental steps towards a next generation of broadcast. To the open minded these changes will make a significant difference to how we produce content and architect systems in the future. I say future as the utopia of 100% Remote/Opex/Cloud isn’t quite the full dream. Many of the manufacturers are telling a great marketing story but once into the conversation still haven’t considered how they will move from technical presentation to commercial strategy.

Some customer are clear on their reasons for moving to cloud or remote IP workflows. Others believe it’s something they should be doing but haven’t developed reasons for doing so. Both offer a solutions provider such as ourselves with a wonderful opportunity to play to our strengths and act as valued aides. Adoption for NDI amongst manufacturers is growing with the likes of 3DStorm and Intinor integrating the standard into their live broadcast systems making a real statement about its strengths. Whilst the likes of Avid came to the show with a strong SMPTE-2110 message with their FastServe Ingest, Playback and Maestro engines being announced with SMPTE-2110 support.

The technology that caught my eye at the show were those such as Cinedeck and EDLREC. With one foot in the past they are buying us back the most precious of commodity we have – Time. Cinedeck are revisiting the deliverable methods of the past with its hardware and plug-in based Filebased deck control. Create your deliverable file, whilst simultaneous QC in real time. If need be, re-insert only the portion of the final edit into the file rather than sitting through another export process. No more waiting. Simple, but it put a smile on my face, especially when they showed how fast it was to re-map incorrect audio channels.  EDLREC, like Cinedeck is a time saver. EDLREC takes the tally from a vision mixer and creates an EDL of the live multi-camera cuts and transitions. Old school but this massively reduces time in post assembling the live sequence.

The final thing to share with you that might be of interest is the developments with Avid and Microsoft. It’s been a while but we are now starting to see the early signs of how this partnership will play itself out. On a futures pod at the Avid stand they showed their Nexis File System running in the Cloud and ‘Shared Library’ Cloud Archive solution for Media Central. Media Composer in the Cloud, running of Nexis in the Cloud with your archive being kept in the Cloud accessible by anyone in your organisation anywhere in the world. What a dream!

Post-IBC To do list – Ask our Technical Director if he found The Cloud in the end!

This year my time at IBC 2018 was limited, as I had a go-live project on Tyrell’s first virtualized interplay production system.  We’ve compressed 24 physical servers into three physical VM Nodes and VM Storage.  I can’t say for sure that it’s a financial saving, but it adds a whole new feature set for building and managing your core IT infrastructure.

Most people get virtual machines as a concept but this facility has the ability to snapshot, build machine templates, build virtual networks, spin up test servers, and corral each of those in safe areas.  Almost-zero downtime production environments are demanding, this mechanism allows operators to triple-test, and then roll-out production systems like iNews and Interplay (old name) with a dozen mouse clicks.    

Finally, our congratulations to RTÉ’s Saorview Connect which won the prestigious IBC Innovation Award for Content EverywhereThat’s the second Technology Oscar for the Irish public service broadcaster after winning the 2013 innovation award for their FAST content management.   

My personal take – It’s very easy to be complacent about IBC, I mean let’s face it I can’t remember how many times I have been (although I still have never seen the beauty of Amsterdam in the daylight!) Each year we give ourselves goals and each year we set out and arrange back-to-back meetings with manufacturers which undoubtedly overrun causing havoc with the rest of the days schedule. Well this year was different for me. For the first time ever, my diary was scheduled around clients and how refreshing that was.

Normally we go to a stand to get an update on version releases or new product updates whereas this time I felt that we were having conversations around the kit. By this I mean how the kit could improve client’s workflows and efficiency and in turn save money and attract them more clients. It got us closer to our clients and gained us an in-depth knowledge, not just of their business now but how they wanted it to look in the future. This stands Tyrell in great stead, we are building relationships built on trust which is exactly where we want to be. After all, we are strong believers that people buy from people.

Tyrell also managed to create a real buzz around its inaugural party. We held this as the very appropriate O’Reillys Irish bar. Initially we had room for around 30-35 people and as the Saturday drew closer I started getting more and more texts and conversations asking when and where our party was. By the night of the party we could have been looking at a turn up of around 80-90. Luckily to say the night went off without a hitch and that number spread itself over the course of the night so there was room enough for everyone. All in all I think that the show was a great success for us, even if the show itself seemed a little less busy, the team from Tyrell certainly were not.

It was an interesting show but with no ‘Wow’ moment and by that I mean a gamechanger. There were loads of incremental changes that improve workflows in both Post and Vfx/Animation. I was struck by the appetite for cloud and the applications that are now considered realistic to run in the cloud. Maya instances connected by Teradici are an actuality now that won’t break the bank and combining them with clever storage solutions like Pixit ensure a seamless workflow combining local hardware and cloud instances. This is now a proven workflow and being implemented very successfully.

Cloud though is everywhere, and manufacturers are scrambling to produce commercially viable and useful variants of their products to take advantage of the access anywhere (with security) and ease of scale that it offers.

I still believe that we have not reached the tipping point where it becomes commercially viable to move your infrastructure to mainly the cloud. As a colleague remarked to me , “it’s still hardware, just somewhere else”. The difficulty I also find with the larger cloud organisations is finding the right person to talk to. They are so large now and offer so many solutions , it can become impossible to navigate their structures without finding you are conversing with a committee every time you need to get some information. I suppose that’s where we come in, as we have been  navigating this area for a while and have done a lot of that identification for clients, having routes to the relevant people in these organisations that understand our business and its particular needs.

That’s not to say you can ignore the cloud, it’s here and it’s not going away. It’s identifying what works for you and your organisation and improves efficiency and scalability (is that a word ?)

Lastly I discovered…

The most expensive sandwiches and burgers in Europe
That dry ice causes me to lose my voice.
That after many years in Amsterdam I still get lost.
If you get into the driver’s seat of a taxi outside the RAI, all the other Taxi drivers laugh at you.

See you all there next year!

Please feel free to contact us for more detailed updates from IBC, we are always ready to start or continue a conversation.