June 07, 2024

State-of-the-art Facility in Central London Relies on EditShare for Storage and Media Management

Building For The Future

Azimuth, a full service editing, post-production, finishing and delivery facility, has a new home, purpose built from the ground up, on Eagle Street in Holborn in the heart of Central London. With the changing demands of modern broadcast – particularly the need to deliver in 4K HDR and with Dolby Atmos Home Entertainment audio – Azimuth have designed and built a modern, flexible, and adaptable post house to fulfill these requirements incorporating the latest in post technology and workflow methodologies. Systems integration was carried out by technology experts, Altered Images.

Re-Imagining Azimuth

Operations Director, Yives Reed describes the challenge that led to the new, re-imagined Azimuth being built: “post pandemic, OR Media (parent production company) had lots of projects coming through with multiple specialist factual and documentary series. As they were getting closer to post production, it was obvious that the Azimuth as was, was not set up to accommodate either the volume or the 4K HDR deliverables required so the time was right for a reset.

High-End Television Post Workflows

At the heart of Azimuth’s technology vision was the need to fully support a range of high-end television post workflows. To achieve this, they knew they needed a robust server and media management system that could securely handle multiple streams of high-bandwidth data, including 4K and even 8K RAW files, and effortlessly distribute these with real time playback wherever and whenever required within the facility.

Head of Technical Operations, Steve Oak describes the new picture finishing set up at Azimuth. “The bulk of the work going through the facility is 4K HDR and Dolby Atmos for IMF delivery. If that high bandwidth work sets your benchmark, it helps to make some pioneering decisions with our hardware. Between two Resolve Grades and three Online, three Colour Assist stations and two QC rooms we are reading and writing huge amounts of data at the same time. Alongside native workflows in Resolve, we’ve got Baselight and Flame Open EXR and uncompressed workflows with its own demanding requirements. In Resolve we’re working with multi-layered sequences, including uncompressed RAW, all supported by the 40 Gb/s network input from each of the Editshare SSD arrays.”

Oak continues, “we are bricks and mortar within a Central London location and despite our cloud presence, the bulk of our services are hosted here. When you go back to the shell of a building, you have the chance to shape it in the way that you think it should be going forward. We wanted flexibility with what we put into place now and how it might be different in six or twelve months’ time which is not how most post houses work.”

The Need For Flexibility

“With Editshare, we have a petabyte of spinning disk and 200 terabytes of SSD between which we can move workspaces seamlessly while carrying on working. Importantly, Editshare is NLE agnostic allowing our customers to work the way they want to work with media plug-ins and workspaces for Media Composer, Resolve and Premiere Pro respectively.

“At Azimuth, we bring the native material into a Resolve conform to effectively create a re-link environment. We get a lot of XAVC at 300 and 450 Mb/s, RED, Canon XF, Sony X-OCN and ProRes RAW. In Final Post it means that we can have quite large workspaces and we can be pulling a huge amount of bandwidth per client.

Better Workflows

“An Editshare media asset management system sits on top for media encoding and cloud integration where you can work within an intuitive web GUI, all of which is tied into a server giving us better performance for our dollar than any other we reviewed. Investing in Editshare was a no-brainer.”

Reed concurs, “ Editshare gives us performance storage with a lot of useful tools to support a fully modern workflow and an agnostic approach to applications. It’s flexible and has a strong track record.”

Oak is consistently looking towards what’s next and was additionally impressed by Editshare’s M&E-centric approach, increasing use of automation and roadmap, “Editshare’s acquisition and integration of MediaSilo reflects the vendor’s approach. You can set up watch folders through your FLOW environment so you can export a cut and it will transcode and upload it to MediaSilo, and anyone within that group will get a notification that it’s been uploaded. It can scan our MediaSilo cloud storage through a Storage DNA MAM, that sits on top of our whole environment, and bring those assets back down again and deep archive on LTO on completion of a project. Editshare offers us better workflows with less human time and more automation.”

For more information on EditShare solutions, please click here to get in touch.