The media and entertainment (M&E) is now omnipresent and the core of the industry has been shaken as connected technologies turn everything more fluid. From content creation and production, broadcast to delivery, everything is digital. Coupled with the exponential growth of streaming content and mobile video as consumers shift away from traditional cable TV, along with the breadth of new technologies such as AI, 5G networks, IPv6 protocols, virtual and augmented reality, 4K (and higher) and IoT – M&E companies today are seeking to become more agile, adopt innovation throughout the media value chain and collaborate and co-create more extensively than ever before.
At Dell Technologies, we aim to help organizations in the media & entertainment industry eﬃciently create, manage and deliver content by simplifying their data environments and streamlining workﬂows through the provision and support of a market-leading workstation portfolio and high-performance storage infrastructure. To this end, we hosted a focused event in Dubai, led by Simon Haywood, CTO for media and entertainment in EMEA at Dell Technologies, who shared insights on how companies can build innovative solutions, while being leaders in the industry.
At its heart, the M&E industry is about creating, managing and delivering content and content is ultimately data. Here’s an interesting fact – the amount of data used per episode for the Amazon Prime Series show ‘The Grand Tour’ which was shot at 4K in HDR was 20-40 Terabytes! (Source: Dell Technologies M&E research whitepaper).
All data needs to be stored, produced in multiple forms and distributed and this is increasingly performed via on-demand data networks rather than traditional over-the-air broadcasting, watched over high resolution displays that enhance the overall viewing experience of the user, and even the latter is being delivered from the same storage repositories. Media production is also now prevalent in areas not traditionally associated with this activity, such as training, museums, and education.
There’s also a lot of competition for pieces of the pie, so companies working in the sector need to keep ahead of the technological curve, and ensure their workflow is as efficient as possible. Maintaining an advantage in this environment requires a supportive provider and streamlined choice of hardware platforms. The more fluidly those platforms work together, without having to be reconfigured after deployment, the more economical the production workflow will be.
However, there are also lots of different workflows in the media and entertainment industry, and these put different emphasis on the elements of the hardware chain. Some content creation activities, such as 3D animation, VR, compositing, grading or non-linear editing, will place the compute focus on the workstations. Other types of activity, such as 3D rendering or video format transcoding, will require greater processing power in the datacenter. All of these tasks will not only require fast networking and fast shared storage, but also professional grade monitors with high resolution, precise color grading and industry relevant color coverage that reproduce data in high fidelity. Digital video production, whether for TV or film, will put particular emphasis on the storage part of the equation as well as being able to view and edit data natively with 4k, especially now that 4K is becoming the norm, and 8K and HDR looming on the horizon.
Dell Technologies can provide the best-in-breed hardware solutions for this process – to create, manage and deliver, and use its unique position to offer solutions that service the entire pipeline. Today, we have the five key components of a complete media and entertainment solution – workstations, displays, servers, storage and the networking that binds them all together. While all of these components are state-of-the-art in their own right, putting them together provides even greater synergy. Also, there is huge benefit to deploying hardware that comes from one manufacturer. For starters, the vendor will be in a much better position to design a solution where all the bits of the system function together in an optimal way.
To conclude, Dell Technologies is helping media companies in the UAE and region, delight audiences with technologies designed to accelerate workflows and enable the adoption of innovative, new approaches such as real-time 4k editing, volumetric capture, workstation virtualization, Artificial Intelligence and more. With the media and entertainment industry being valued at $1.81 trillion in 2016 and expected to reach $2.14 trillion this year in 2020, the time has come for companies in this sector to ensure they have the right technology partner who can help generate growth, while enabling the seamless creation and delivery of impactful content.