Kollins Communications accelerates commercial video production time 600 per cent using Blazing Fast DDN Storage


DataDirect Networks (DDN) has announced that Kollins Communications has deployed DDN's MEDIAScaler High Performance Workflow Storage platform to accelerate development of high-end videos as part of the company's all-in-one retail marketing solutions.

For consumer electronics leaders, such as Samsung Electronics USA, Kollins produces sophisticated retail TV videos that demonstrate the latest features of their televisions and other products sold at Sears, Best Buy, Fry's and club stores.

As time is of the essence in promoting new consumer electronics, Kollins often operates under extremely tight deadlines to produce videos in the most advanced formats, including 4K ultra-high definition (UHD) with high dynamic range (HDR). Editing camera footage using high-res 4K images enables Kollins to evaluate and adjust picture quality issues in real time, and allows Kollins to speed the process of working with very large, complex digital imaging files.

According to Richard Martin, president of Kollins Communications, the company consistently pushes the envelope in producing the highest levels of image quality. "Outside of Hollywood, there aren't many companies in the U.S. blazing new trails in displaying the ultimate in consumer video technology," he explains. "We're pathfinders, like the large motion picture companies, but on a much smaller scale. But we have to meet or exceed very exacting quality standards."

To meet recent demand from Samsung to produce 20+ UHD spots in four weeks, Kollins deployed DDN's high performance MEDIAScaler workflow storage solution. As a result, Kollins is able to dramatically expedite end-to-end creative content workflows—across ingest, editing, transcoding, distributing, collaborating and archiving.

With DDN's MEDIAScaler, Kollins now can meet its needs for speed by taking advantage of blazing fast bandwidth performance that scales to hundreds of GB/s with additional system building blocks. They can grow non-disruptively from the 400TBs now in place to petabytes of storage capacity, which is important as the 100TBs needed for the initial 20+ Samsung videos will expand over time as changes and refreshes are addressed.

Thanks to DDN's MEDIAScaler, Kollins now streamlines the flow of video content among a mix of OS X, Windows and Linux workstations running a mix of creative applications, including Autodesk Flame and 3ds Max as well as Adobe After Effects and Premiere Pro. Video clips are disseminated from storage to edit stations simultaneously, which enables Kollins to move a three-minute 4K video file in about 10 minutes—a process that previously took an hour.

This bandwidth performance boost also enabled Kollins to create a 3-screen video display, which required streaming three 4K real-time images simultaneously and stitching them together into a massive 12K video image. Moreover, DDN's highly reliable performance enabled running the new storage system without failure to meet this particular deadline while addressing other equally demanding customer commitments.

"In our business, it really does come down to speed and reliability," says Martin. "With DDN, we became like Speed Racer blazing to the finish line. Without DDN, we couldn't have pulled off this project."

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