Ups ISIS to Hold 4.6 Petabytes in One Workgroup

Promising to "break down the walls" for content creators, Avid today introduced Interplay Sphere, which it said will allow editors to work in real time from any Internet-connected location. The system uses cloud-based architecture and an intelligent uploading scheme to allow Media Composer and NewsCutter to work on footage remotely — and to upload new footage back to the base while the editor is working.

The system is being aimed squarely at newsroom applications for now, with the model being a broadcast journalist working in the field and cutting footage together from, say, a coffeehouse Wi-Fi hotspot. However, it's not hard to imagine that the technology could have implications for anyone who works remotely, say editing a TV program, feature, or documentary on location — and some distance from the project's post headquarters.

As always, the enemy of the cloud when it comes to editing is scarcity of bandwidth. (This very news report, for example, is being filed from a Las Vegas hotel's "high-speed Internet connection" that can barely manage to upload a picture of an HD camcorder, much less transmit any kind of broadcast-quality video.) Avid officials responded to questions about this by noting that it doesn't take a huge amount of bandwidth to maintain a real-time editing experience, and that the compression technology adapts to line conditions in real time, knocking quality back if necessary to compensate for a poor connection. (The final product assembled at the studio will be full quality.)

Along with Interplay Sphere came news of new capabilities on the storage front, with the ISIS 7000 enjoying big capacity gains. Storage has been increased by leaps and bounds, and the upshot is that now 4.6 petabytes can be stored across three ISIS systems in a single workgroup.

And the new ISIS 2000 is a nearline storage option designed to provide an attractive alternative to a tape archive. Combined, the systems can create a single storage pool with multiple tiers of storage under Interplay 2.6.

Avid also showed its new Multi Platform Distribution system, which streamlines workflow and delivery for organizations that distribute content across multiple distribution platforms, such as TV, online, and mobile.