Tom Evans, Media Distributors’ senior vp, marketing, with the Archive Station
Although not attending last week’s HD World Expo at the Javits, Band Pro and Media Distributors held their own new product show, albeit on a smaller scale in their co-located offices at 645 West 27th Street. During the open house, Media Distributors announced that it became one of the newest systems integrators for the RED Rocket, the real-time 4k playback and processing card from RED Digital Cinema.
MD is continuing its move from its traditional beginnings just over a decade ago, when it began as a professional videotape, motion picture film, and data media reseller and distributor. Over the years the company has moved further into storage, video editing systems, rentals, software, disc duplication, publishing systems, and media accessories. That makes sense, since its original market is fast disappearing as solid-state storage gains throughout production.
The RED Rocket is key to making MD’s recently introduced R-Series Archive Station work. What’s that? About the size of a small refrigerator, the Archive Station is a new class of devices you should expect to see on many future productions. The concept is simple: real-time backup. That’s necessary since you no longer have tapes or even optical discs (ala Sony XDCAM series) to hold on to, as the solid-state RAM or hard drive recorders are part of the latest camera systems.
The RED card, announced earlier this year but just now finding its way into products, is necessary since Red’s massive 4K DPX output stream requires great bus bandwidth. You also need a fast RAID array (capable of a least 500-600 MBps) to capture that flood of data, so the Archive Station includes a Line 1 Media Fusion RAID array (four 1TB drives). Data is then sent to either dual built-in LTO-4 tape back-up drives, or split between an LTO and a built-in Blu-Ray burner. Also included in the upgraded package: Constellation VCM asset management software; UPS power conditioner; a complete cabling bundle; and a custom designed flight case. A MacBook Pro, also part of the package, controls the setup. The system is very configurable, so just take this an example of a good, basic backup station.
Daily rental is $300, while one week is $900. It’s available for purchase. This looks like a solid attempt at how best to handle a crucial task. Backup isn’t sexy—think how many of us put it off even with our home computers—but smart producers know this belongs as an integral part of their next shooting budget. You can find out more at www.mediadistributors.com, or call their local office at (212) 375-1800.