Asset Management for Post & Broadcast, MAM, PAM or DAM?

video, media management, cloud, hybrid-cloud, on-premise, services, shared storage, vmware certified

I assume you’re reading this article because you have already decided storing hard drives and camera media in a desk drawer is not a good idea and you’re looking for a better way to manage your content. Time to skip past the many stages of grief related to lost media and awkward file sharing, and move forward with improving the accessibility and uses for your content resources.

Some really good news
With recent advancements in virtualization and cloud resources, the cost and ease organizing your media has taken a quantum leap forward. First let’s agree on some terms for the common types of asset management systems.

Post and broadcast production asset management systems:

  • DAM (Digital Asset Management)
  • PAM (Production Asset Management)
  • MAM (Media Asset Management)

  • In most post and broadcast environments, a Production Asset Management system (PAM) is perfect. For Larger applications or tighter integration with other business systems, a Media Asset Management system (MAM) is a more functional and customizable choice. Digital Asset Manager systems (DAM) can be used for post and broadcast, however MAMs are typically used with DAMs to provide better workflow functionality.

    Secure Sharing & Remote Access
    PAMs, MAMs or DAMs consider secure files sharing with coworkers and clients to be a core feature. Assets can be directly accessed via browsers or other applications, saving everyone time and effort. To minimize bandwidth for these purposes, proxy (low resolution) versions of the files are used with access to the full resolution version for download as needed. This is the single most important issues when determining system hardware and cloud resources.

    Clients requiring remote access or working on mobile devices can also require real-time proxies. In general, the more proxies you need, the more processing you’ll need. If your demands moves beyond a few editors or require real-time proxies, special hardware or dedicated cloud/virtual services may be required (ie: it can get expensive quickly). However the flexibility and benefits may be well worth the extra costs.

    MAMs, Future Proofing & APIs
    For larger applications, MAMs can provide real-time access to data for other business systems. This opens up functionality for ecommerce, traffic, compliance and many other crucial business functions. Communication with other business systems is usually managed through a common application programming interface or “API”. The need for APIs is largely related to customization and real-time data sharing. For systems requiring customization or sharing program data, API is a big feature. If you think APIs will become important for your future needs, this may determine if the extra cost for a MAM compared to a PAM is a good value. If you invest in a MAM, you should confirm the API documentation is well maintained and supported by the manufacturer.

    Ease of Use Is Everything
    Editors don’t like to leave the editing application while they are working. For this reason, PAMs or MAMs that allow editors to access and manage assets from within a workflow application’s user interface are highly valued. To accomplish this, the MAM or PAM asset features appear as a panel or menu option. This is a big time saver as bouncing between applications becomes unnecessary. DAMs don’t usually provide this feature for post and broadcast applications.

    Comparing Systems
    Each asset management system has its strengths, weaknesses and specialized features. There are 100’s of manufacturers, and each have their own market focus. Let’s compare MAMs, PAMs and DAMs from the post production and broadcast perspectives. Below is a brief comparison for each system type.

    PAM (Production Asset Management)
    – Advantages:

  • Work directly inside production editing “panels” (Adobe/Avid/Resolve)
  • Self service secure Access to assets by 3rd parties
  • Cost is inexpensive to moderate compared to DAMs and MAMs
  • Interface and functionality can be fine tuned for post production and broadcast applications
  • Special Features include collaboration and easy of secure sharing
  • – Limitations:
  • Difficult to manage some media types not specific to post production and broadcast
  • Managing archived or near-line media (cloud, disk or tape) may required 3rd party applications
  • May be specific to storage manufacturer (Avid, Editshare, SNS, etc.)
  • Limited in ability to integrate with mission critical business systems
  • Upper limits on size of user base and quantity of media
  • May be editing platform specific (Adobe, Avid, etc.)
  • – Suggested PAM products:
    Editshare Flow, Avid Interplay, SNS ShareBrowser, Facilis FastTracker, ProMax Platform

    MAM (Media Asset Management)
    – Advantages:

  • Provides all features of a PAM
  • Designed to scale to unlimited number of users
  • Interface and functionality can be fine tuned beyond post production and broadcast applications
  • Special Features include high degree of customization and ability to manage enterprise applications
  • Can manage more media types than PAMs
  • Managing on-line, archived or near-line media (cloud, disk or tape) natively supported
  • – Limitations:
  • Cost is relatively more expensive compared to PAMs
  • Managing exclusively static documents can be less efficient than a DAM
  • May be editing platform specific (Adobe, Avid, etc.)
  • – Suggested MAM products:
    Arvato MediaPortal, Square Box Systems CatDV

    DAM (Digital Asset Management)
    – Advantages:

  • General purpose asset management
  • Handles a wide variety of documents and files
  • Usually designed to work in real-time with other business platforms
    – Limitations:
  • Can be difficult to manage some media types specific to post production and broadcast
  • May be limited in ability to integrate with mission critical applications like editing and workflow products
  • requires managing assets outside of post production and broadcast applications
  • – Suggested DAM products:
    MicroSoft Sharepoint, Workfront (formerly AtTask), Adobe

    Which One is Right for My Application? MAM, PAM or DAM?
    – Fear not! There is likely a product off the shelf that’s right for you… but it will take some tweaking.
    If this article helped answer a few questions, it likely created even more. Drilling down on the details of the many manufacturers and options can be the more challenging part of the process. We can help you get it right today while keeping an eye on future trends to protect your investment.

    Give us a call, chat or get a quick quote today!

    Blackmagic Products Updates


    BlackMagic New Product Specials


    BLK-URSA-Body-200pxNAB 2015 Announcements – the 4k world continues to be dominated by Blackmagic with their full line of cameras and production hardware. Some highlights below from the recent National Association of Broadcasters convention in Las Vegas:

    I just wanted to send you a quick email to update you on what we have new for this IBC 2015!

    Here’s a quick video of the information in this email so if you would like to watch the video instead of reading a long email then please select the link below!

    This year BlackMagic haa an update on URSA Mini, a new B4 lens mount for URSA Mini, some new 12G-SDI Teranex Mini converter models for Quad Link conversion and 12G-SDI distribution and we have a new DeckLink Quad 2 card that’s able to capture or playback up to 8 separate channels on the one card.

    They also have some new software updates for Blackmagic MultiView that adds VU meters and better labelling and we have another new software update for Teranex Express that adds recursive noise reduction and a new home screen display.

    Lastly BlackMagic has an IP Video technology demonstration at the Blackmagic Design IBC stand where we are showing Ultra HD being connected between 2 Teranex Mini converters via a 10G optical IP Ethernet switch.

    Blackmagic URSA Mini Update

    URSA Mini will be delivering throughout September. Because they had a few delays with the metalwork, they have had the chance to add some nice updates since we launched the camera at NAB.

    We have included the reference video input and the timecode on the same connector so we now have a free connection for adding 12G-SDI input. This will let you use the URSA Mini with an external recorder better but also means you can use URSA Mini as a live production or studio camera!

    There is a program button that lets you select to see the 12G-SDI input on the fold out screen or the viewfinder. Both the EF and PL models of URSA Mini will have this 12G-SDI input and we think they will make fantastic studio cameras!

    Another new feature added is a B4 lens control connector to the URSA Mini PL models. This will let the camera power the lens and it also means the camera can control the IRIS and the record button on the lens will start and stop camera recording.

    Unfortunately BlackMagic has had to remove the GPS feature the URSA Mini 4.6K models had as they could not get reliable satellite reception with the current design.

    We think these new features to the URSA Mini will make the camera much better and it’s great we could add these requests into the final version of the camera design.

    Blackmagic URSA Mini B4 Mount

    An extremely common request from customers, is for the ability to keep using their older HD broadcast lenses. People have spent a lot of money on these lenses and they need the parfocal ability to be able to zoom and keep the focus through the range of the zoom.

    So a new lens mount is showing at IBC and it lets you take the mount off a PL URSA Mini and add a B4 lens mount. It’s quite easy to do as you just take the PL lens mount off where it’s normally removed for shimming the PL lens. Then once it’s removed, you just bolt on the B4 lens mount and you now have a B4 camera!

    Then you simply plug the lens into the new lens mount connection to power and control the lens. This new lens control connector on the URSA Mini PL supports both analog and digital lens control standards and will also power the lens. This means you can even use the older broadcast B4 lenses with analog lens control.

    The new URSA Mini B4 lens mount includes precision optics so it conforms to the B4 lens standard and will map the lens mount to a HD window on the sensor in the URSA Mini. Plus removing the PL lens mount to change to B4 is a much better solution than using a PL adapter as it lets you take off the weight of the PL mount, it’s also strong and smaller.

    When the URSA Mini is running HD with these HD lenses, you can get up to 80 frames per second. As these B4 lenses are HD rated, this is a fantastic solution because you get modern file formats such as RAW, ProRes and DNX, plus you get metadata and much more!

    These broadcast lenses have a smaller aperture so their zoom range is amazing, plus you can pick them up second hand online and at quite an affordable price. Also as this is a simple lens mount change you can change back and forward between PL and B4 as you need.

    We think with these new changes to URSA Mini and the B4 lens mount, that customer have the high end live production camera they need for studio work as well. This new URSA Mini B4 Turret will be available next month for $295 and it can be used on both the 4K and 4.6K URSA Mini PL models.

    New Teranex Mini Quad Link SDI Converters

    We have some new Teranex Mini converter models for handling Quad Link SDI and distribution at all SDI rates up to 12G-SDI.

    These new converters are designed for this task and we have the new Teranex Mini 12G-SDI to Quad Link SDI model and the Quad Link SDI to 12G-SDI model.

    A great example is if you wanted to connect Quad Link SDI to the new HyperDeck Studio 12G then you just use the Quad Link SDI to 12G-SDI model to do it. Doing this would let you record from any Quad Link Ultra HD device direct onto the SSD in the HyperDeck Studio 12G.

    I personally think that 12G-SDI is much better as it uses only 1 cable instead of 4 cables and it will instantly switch between SD, HD and Ultra HD without changing cabling.

    Imagine trying to use 8 separate BNC cables just to plug the input and output of Ultra HD equipment vs 2 12G-SDI cables instead. Then trying to route it would use up most of a large router! So the best solution is to convert any Quad Link SDI Ultra HD products to 12G-SDI with these new Teranex Mini converters.

    The Teranex Mini 12G-SDI to Quad Link SDI model can also act as a video wall processor as you can take the Ultra HD and send a HD tile out to 4 separate screens.

    New Teranex Mini SDI Distribution 12G

    We also have another new Teranex Mini model and this one is called Teranex Mini SDI Distribution.

    This new model is a 12G-SDI distribution converter that lets you send any SD, HD or Ultra HD video connection out to 8 separate 12G-SDI outputs, so you can send a single SDI connection to multiple devises. Like all the Teranex Mini converters it will automatically switch to the SDI input format and handles all SDI, HD-SDI, 3G-SDI, 6G-SDI and 12G-SDI rates.

    Because these new models are part of the Teranex Mini family, you can also add the Teranex Mini Smart Panel to see what you are converting on the front panel.

    These new Teranex Mini models will be available in a few weeks for $495 US from all Blackmagic Design dealers worldwide.

    IP Video Demonstration

    Another new technology we have been working on for a while is video over IP and we would like to give you an update on our progress.

    Most of our 12G-SDI products have space for an optical fiber SDI module and this allows them to be upgrade to optical SDI if you need to use it. However what it also means is that we are preparing to be able to introduce models of these products that will allow a 10G data module to be used so the products can have IP video capability built in.

    I think this is a much better solution than using converters all over the place and allows the same equipment to plug into both SDI and IP based systems.

    We are showing this on our booth at IBC and what we are showing will be a technology demonstration of Ultra HD connected via a 10G optical IP switch between two prototype Teranex Mini IP Video products.

    We are currently talking to the major broadcasters about workflows and if you are looking into IP based systems, please come by so we can discuss what you need and how you would like to integrate IP video into your systems.

    Blackmagic MultiView Update

    We also have a new software update for Blackmagic MultiView we will be showing at this IBC and it includes new audio meters and on screen labels.

    The VU meters let you see the audio levels on each video input and they feature correct VU ballistics that accurately conform to the VU meter standard. The meters are displayed independent of how many views you have selected and because the output can be Ultra HD, the meter graphics are very sharp and clear.

    We have also worked on updating the design of the on screen view labels and they are more subtle and elegant now and match the view size better. You can turn the audio meters, labels and the borders around the views on and off independently in the on screen menus as you need.

    Please visit our booth at IBC to see this new software running and keep an eye out for this software which is due in a few weeks and will be a free update.

    Teranex Express Update

    Another new software update we have is for Teranex Express and with this new software it’s now even more powerful than ever. We have added extremely powerful recursive noise reduction, so you can clean up noise video sources such as older videotapes

    Another new feature is a new home screen that now shows you video, audio meters, video standard and timecode displayed. I think it’s really nice being able to see the audio levels and the timecode display is really helpful when you need to confirm your timecode settings are correct.

    With our recent update that includes full motion conversion, not only does Teranex Express convert between all SD, HD and Ultra HD video formats, but it can now also do noise reduction and much more. It’s extremely powerful now!

    This new software will be available next week free of charge, so please check out the BlackMagic website to download it and upgrade Teranex Express with these new features!

    Decklink Quad 2

    Next at this IBC is a new DeckLink Quad capture and playback card. This new model is designed for developers, system integrators and OEM’s who need multiple channels of video in and out of the computer in a single card.

    The new model has 3G-SDI on all channels so it can do SD and HD video formats up to 1080p60. What’s really exciting is this new model actually has 8 channels internally so it’s a lot more powerful and configurable than the previous model.

    For example, you can change in software the SDI connection on the card to have up to 8 channels of playback or 8 channels of capture all on the same card.

    By default at startup it has 4 channels with an SDI connector for input and an SDI connector output on each of the 4 channels. But then what you can do in the software SDK, is change the channels to split and take one of the SDI connectors to the other channel.

    What this means is you can then capture or playback on each of the channels independently and you might want to capture on both or playback on both. You can do this to all 4 channels on the card so you end up with any combination of capture or playback on all 8 SDI connectors.

    For example, you might need 8 channels of capture, or you might need 8 channels of playback. You might need 1 channel of capture and 7 channels of playback. It’s really up to what your custom solution needs and you can do any combination you like!

    The new DeckLink Quad 2 card will be available soon for $995.

    DaVinci Resolve 12 Final Release

    Lastly we have a quick update on DaVinci Resolve which has been received extremely well and we have been getting fantastic feedback.

    We have added many of the suggestions you have told us about and we have listened as you have used the new features on real jobs and told us how they performed. DaVinci Resolve is stable and worked very well and today we have just posted the release version of DaVinci Resolve 12 to our website.

    We would really like to thank everyone that helped us beta test DaVinci Resolve and for all the wonderful feedback you have given us. Their advice has been greatly appreciated. Now we are going to get busy working on the next DaVinci Resolve so please keep talking to us and helping us make it even better!

    Fusion 8 Beta 2

    The new Fusion 8 has also been extremely well received and we have just released a new beta update today for both Mac and Windows. This new beta now includes a lot of fixes that people needed, as now we have more time to work on these issues to get it finished.

    Fusion is an incredibly powerful motion effects software tool and now with the Mac and Windows versions it’s been received extremely well by customers.

    That’s all for this IBC and we hope you like these new updates we have for this years IBC and get the chance to check them out on the booth in detail. It’s through your support of us that we can design all these wonderful tools and we will always be very thankful to be able to work with you all.

    Also if you would like updates when we release new software then please follow us on Twitter. We don’t send out emails very often because people find email annoying. However at the same time we want to make sure you hear about new software updates we are releasing as we add lots of new features all the time.

    So the best way is to follow us on Twitter as we tweet all new software updates!

    Ursa Camera 4K EF mount  price drop by $1,000 to under $4,995 … on display and in stock and ready for your next project.

    New Products (most products expected to ship in summer 2015):

    • Ursa 4.6kEF and PL mount, new Super 35 sensor with full digital cinema features under $4,995
    • Ursa Mini 4k, 4.6k, EF or PL cameras. 12G-SDI output, 5″ fold out screen, CFast recording and under $2,995
    • Micro Cinema Camera, miniaturized for drone use including remote wireless control under $1,000
    • Micro Studio Camera, World’s smallest HD/4k camera with remote control via SDI, under $1,295
    • Teranex branded converters for format and signal conversion starting at less than $495
    • Smart VideoHub 4k/UHD 12G 40×40 SDI i/o video router with free EAR system consultation $4,995

    get a quick quote

    Read more

    Avid Audio Announces Pro Tools V12


    Avid Unveils Next Generation Pro Tools 12

    Open yourself to the possibilities. Pro Tools redefines the world’s most popular, most advanced music and audio production platform with a completely re-architected, open version of Pro Tools software, giving you what you asked for—and so much more. Most product ships within one business day!

    Pro Tools 12 offers:

    • True 6 bit processing
    • Access to the Avid Cloud Platform
    • Greater collaboration worldwide
    • Sell your services to the world via Avid Market Place
    • And a ton more stuff!

    DGD-ProTools11_Oview_GoBiggerAnd now Pro Tools comes with a one-year, renewable Avid Standard Support plan, which includes all future Pro Tools updates and upgrades—including the new cloud collaboration and Avid Marketplace features we announced earlier this year (watch the video for details)—plus, access to world-class professional support around the clock.  More about Pro Tools .

    Complete system bundles will be available, Avid say this is to ensure the greatest performance, stability, sound quality and price.

    Working with Older Hardware?

    When you trade in your old Pro Tools | HD TDM hardware, you can save up to 40% on Pro Tools | HDX. There’s never been a better time to upgrade to the industry’s most powerful DAW.

    Need more convincing? Here are four reasons to upgrade now:
    • Work with large projects faster thanks to the redesigned Avid Audio Engine and 64-bit performance
    • Hear what you’ve been missing with HD Series I/O
    • Play and edit HD video formats in Pro Tools—without transcoding—using the new Avid Video Engine
    • Get over 1,000 dB more headroom with 32-bit floating-point processing and mixing
    • Bundle with a new Mac Pro and save even more!

    Free Configurations for most systems. Special pricing for bundle pricing will start at $9,999. Ask about professional, educational and government discounts! We can even integrate with existing systems and provide system wide support.

    get a quick quote

    Contact an EAR product specialist at 800-473-6914 to get Pro Tools 9 today! EAR Has been a Pro Tools reseller since 1989. We know PT and professional audio like no other company in the South West. Ask about special pricing for professional, educational or government purchases. Get a quick quote today!


    EditShare Shared Storage Under $10k

    EditShare Unleashes Ultra Storage/Archiving Under $10,000

    Looking for a complete integrated bundle for shared storage to archiving? EditShare Energy is the collaborative storage solution of choice for production companies, post facilities, OB trucks, news operations, and schools that need powerful media and project sharing plus scalability on a limited budget. And now – getting into the EditShare ecosystem just got amazingly more affordable!

    EditShare Ultra

    EditShare Ultra is a complete EditShare shared storage system in a compact, lightweight form factor. Designed for small workgroups with up to four concurrent users, Ultra provides an entry-level solution for companies that might otherwise think they can’t afford an EditShare system. Thanks to Ultra, no film or television company should ever have to settle for a “do-it-yourself” generic NAS product. Now there is an EditShare system that offers EditShare workflow advantages to everyone. Standard configurations include 4TB, 8TB, and 16TB models.

    Ultra has all the standard features you expect to find in EditShare’s flagship XStream, Energy, and Field shared storage models, including hardware RAID protection, enterprise hard drives, media and project sharing support for Avid, Adobe Premiere Pro, and Apple Final Cut Pro, guaranteed real-time “edit in place” performance, the EditShare Sync Tool for sending media to another EditShare system over a network or Internet connection, and simple administration tools that don’t require any IT expertise. You can even expand Ultra storage by adding a second EditShare shared storage system and creating an Extreme Scalable Architecture (ESA) group.

    Ultra comes with two Gigabit Ethernet ports for direct connections to client workstations or laptops, or for a “bonded” connection to an affordable Gigabit switch. With a bonded connection to a Gigabit switch, Ultra delivers all the performance you need to power an entire small workgroup.

    Need More Capacity & Speed?

    EditShare can also provide much larger customized systems for commercial, government or educational applications. What’s more, every full sized system includes EditShare’s powerful Flow asset management and Ark backup and archiving software – turning your storage system into a complete, end-to-end tapeless workflow solution covering file ingest, logging, searching, backup, and retrieval.  Add multi-channel, multi-format SDI ingest and playout servers, worker nodes, tape libraries, and more to expand capabilities as you need them.

    Sample 32TB Configuration @ ~$50,000
    • EditShare 32TB Energy 3U
    • Ten 1GbE ports on the server
    • Flow Admin/Database with 5 Flow Browse licenses
    • Ark Tape with 24-slot LTO-6 Tape Library
    • 1 Year Support and Maintenance

    Let us set up a web demonstration of Editshare’s high-performance shared storage, production asset management, archiving and backup, and ingest and playout solutions.

    For more information, contact an EAR product specialist at 800-473-6914.

    Passing Of A Pioneer, Ray Dolby

    Remembering Ray Dolby, Audio and Video Pioneer

    For most people, “Dolby” is just a light on their home entertainment system. For working audio and video professionals, the Dolby Company founded by Ray Dolby has been the backbone of technically superior products and technologies for over 4 decades. Ray died September 12th 2013 at the age of 80.

    I first experienced Ray Dolby’s genius in the early 1970’s. At the time, tape based audio players and recorders had limited dynamic rage and audible “hiss”. Dolby offered the early processing features needed to expand the fidelity and reduce noise in the studio and home. This early awareness of merging technology and solving practical problems would be Dolby’s focus for many decades to come.

    As a chairman of one of the Audio Engineering Society chapters I experienced personally for many years, Ray being very active in promoting the highest quality engineering practices and bringing new people into the world of professional audio and video. It would be impossible to touch on all of Ray’s life accomplishments in a single blog or even a book. We simply wish to thank one of our industries most influential pioneers for his great work and service. (View an interview with Ray from the AES website).

    Thanks Dr. Ray, your work will live on for generations!

    -Ed Vogt

    Today Dolby is primarily a licensing company and still very centric to the broadcast and entertainment world’s advancing technologies. EAR has been a Dolby reseller since 1978.