Image Processing Reference
a dual-processor G5 Macintosh running at 2.5 GHz or a 3-GHz Intel or AMD machine run-
ning Windows XP or Linux. Such a configuration has the option of moving files by Gigabit
Ethernet or by hand-carrying of the FireWire drive across to the compression machine.
There is also an opportunity here to completely automate the process by wrapping
the conversion tools in AppleScript controlling scripts. It is possible to build a system
to accomplish this kind of production workflow that only requires a human being to drop
the original file into a watch folder and to run some Q/A inspection over the final result.
Large Enterprise-Sized System—Money No Object
This is a completely different ballgame. A big newsroom creates a huge amount of content
every day. Hours of video will be delivered through a variety of ingest points. Sometimes
it is file based; other times it a live video feed that must be captured to disk on the fly.
Run multiple compressors as one with different parameter settings on each
and choose the best resulting quality from all the finished products.
This system will need to store thousands of hours of video in a format that is easily
repurposed and edited as needed. Among the system's needs are browse-quality proxy
copies at 1 Mbps and 56 bps for the web, as well as the DVCAM editable master. The
browse-quality images allow an intranet to be used to check out video footage. You would
not want to saturate the network by using the full-quality video for that.
A system like this has to be implemented as a SAN. The 1-Mbps and 56-Kbps proxy
copies may be stored in separate repositories. Figure 29-16 illustrates part of the network
setup that is relevant.
This system has significant amounts of automation built in. When a new DVCAM
clip is deposited in the SAN, the Solaris server spots it and grabs a copy, which it then
passes through the Flip Factory software. The resulting output is dropped in the two tar-
It is not necessary for the directory servers to be on the fiber-channel network. The files
in them are trivially small compared to the ones that are held in the master system. Money
may be no object when building these big systems, but there is no excuse for wasting it.
Summary: I Can Now Build a System to Encode Video
The factors that affect performance of a compression system include the following:
How much memory is fitted?
Can it read and write to disk without thrashing?