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Digital storage for audio and video

TV & Video had the opportunity to speak with representatives of three prestigious companies dedicated to the development of this type of technology. These are his assessments on the subject of video storage systems.

In order to inquire about the fundamental aspects that must be taken into account when selecting an audio and video storage system, TV&Video had the opportunity to speak with the representatives of three prestigious companies dedicated to the development of this type of technology; they are: Martin Bock, President of Storage Concepts, Inc.; Dan Forcucci, Marketing Communications Manager; and Mike Wolschon, Philips Representative. These are his assessments on the subject of "video storage systems".

TV&Video: What do you think is the most important aspect when selecting an audio and video storage system?

Martin Bock – President – Storage Concepts, Inc.: Today there are many changes in the way video and audio information is stored. The biggest approach is to use a product with an interface like the 601. This product provides the user with an interface compatible with the most popular tape recorders. Today, Fibre Channel offers a standard interface with performance capable of supporting more than four uncompressed paths simultaneously. It allows you to make use of storage on all platforms such as Mac, NT and Irix SGI products. A simple adapter converts Fibre Channel to the internal bus of the Hosting Platform. Additionally, Fibre Channel can be expanded for higher performance between systems.

Dan Forcucci – Marketing Communications Manager – ATTO Technology, Inc.: When users select a storage system, several aspects encompass the decision: users must analyze the speed of information transfer they need, the size (how many Gigabytes, etc.) that the system should have, and the reliability that must be found in the totality of system needs.

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Mike Wolschon – Representative – Philips: The first and most important thing in selecting a video server is to decide what capabilities you are looking for. All video servers are not created equally. For example, a user might decide to choose a video server based on cost, leaving aside any study focused on their true needs. Video server manufacturers offer many different options in input and output configuration, number of storage disks, control options, and a wide variety of software applications to make the system actually work in the customer's environment. At Philips we believe that the number one question for broadcasters is not what type of compression or types of hard drives are used, but that they should ask which applications are developed on the video server that can meet the needs of operation.

TV&Video: Development in this kind of technology is going too fast; What is the future for this?

Martin Bock/Storage Concepts, Inc.: Fibre Channel storage system developments are happening at a very fast rate. Testing at 200Mbytes/sec is currently available. Many vendors, including Storage Concepts, are offering products with this performance, using multiple channels of the Fibre Channel technology that currently exists.

Dan Forcucci/ATTO Technology, Inc.: New technologies like Fibre Channel and developments in current technologies like SCSI are doubling information transfer speeds at least once a year. Therefore, storage capacities will be increased.

Mike Wolschon/Philips: The market is driven by the same kind of dynamics that are fueling the computer industry. As a result if readers think technology is changing too fast now... don't stop reading this, because while you're doing something else, the product could be changing as a result of the dynamics of the computer industry.

TV&Video: Could you explain in a few words the latest development you have achieved with your products?

Martin Bock/Storage Concepts, Inc.: Storage Concepts participates in the uncompressed digital content storage market. Our products are Fibre Channel RAID interface solutions that can be used for real-time digital video or cinema storage. This means that the user can receive sustained information all the time even in the event of a power failure.

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Dan Forcucci/ATTO Technology, Inc.: Atto is a long-standing provider of providing high-performance SCSI solutions to the Macintosh community. The Atto dual channel Ultra2 SCSI Host Adapter will be integrated into Mac G4 servers and workstations. Available through Apple, the SCSI hosting adapter will be integrated into high-bill servers, or on demand for workstations and desktop drives.

Mike Wolschon/Philips: The latest hardware configurations of the Media Pool include High Definition capability. Unlike other competitive products, Media Pool can support up to six simultaneous HD inputs/outputs and store more than 30 hours of pre-compressed HD video and AES audio. It is also true that we have introduced new applications and increased the features for all users.

TV&Video: How is the relationship between editing systems and storage systems?

Martin Bock/Storage Concepts, Inc.: If real-time RAID is used, the editing system can review imaginary high resolution in real time, reducing costs. Real-time RAID can recover multiple paths simultaneously, simulate multiple tapes effectively or VDDRs with a single device. This reduces the processing time as well.

Dan Forcucci/ATTO Technology, Inc.: Editing systems require information transmission as quickly as possible due to the large files transferred between storage and editing systems. Digital video users need to increase storage speed, thereby increasing productivity when time is limited. The connectivity of Atto solutions provide the resources to achieve this speed of information.

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Mike Wolschon/Philips: Editing and storage can be done precisely on any server using "I" Frame, with the encoding of M-PEG and M-PEG 422 algorithms. Any other compression algorithm could compromise editing with accuracy, without having to re-encode the material.

TV&Video: What are the key factors in choosing a storage system?

Martin Bock/Storage Concepts, Inc.: Performance Rat Compatibility and Sustainability. Many storage systems were created without taking into account the video market. These products speak of high volume of information but cannot guarantee performance in a predictable way. This leaves the app out of real time. Fibre Channel is a growing technology. Compatibility is a technology that can be certified by the vendor for connectors, switches and in many cases for the application itself.

Dan Forcucci/ATTO Technology, Inc.: Critically important factors are speed, size, reliability, functionality, and interoperability.

Mike Wolschon/Philips: The factors to consider are the number of hours required and what is the maximum number of controlled disks in the system. It is also required to know if the server will be used for creation or distribution content only, or for both requirements. This will affect the quality and storage capacity of the subsystems and the required performance.

TV&Video: How does the Latin American industry see this kind of technology? Is it a potential market?

Martin Bock/Storage Concepts, Inc.: I personally can't comment on the Latin American market but it's certain that Fibre Channel RAID solutions are being accepted around the world right now.

Dan Forcucci/ATTO Technology, Inc.: In the global arena of digital video storage and editing systems, the increase in demand for proven quality TV production in Latin America will mirror the expansion and advancements of connectivity technology around the world.

Mike Wolschon/Philips: We create Media Pool for all countries and all markets. Actually, if it is a potential market.


Dan Forcucci

Marketing Communications Manager

ATTO Technology, Inc.

716.691.1999 ext. 20

Martin Bock


Storage Concepts, Inc.

2652 McGaw Ave.

Irvine, CA 92614

Mike Wolschon

Philips Digital Video Systems

2300 Salt Lake City

UT, 84119 USA

Phone: 800.962.4287

Fax: 801.-972.

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