Starz looks to better storage solutions for post-production video handling

MIchelle Clancy ©RapidTVNews | 08-12-2011

Upper-tier cable network Starz Entertainment is looking to abbreviate its post-production storage needs as it seeks to bring more multimedia content to its 51.9 million customers.

The premium movie and original programming entertainment service provider operating in the US, offers 17 premium channels including the flagship STARZ and ENCORE brands, with approximately 19 million and 32.9 million subscribers respectively.
The networks have experienced tremendous growth in the number of shows, video clips and other forms of multimedia produced in its studios, driving a desire for more flexible and cost-effective video post-production solutions with consolidated storage.
Meanwhile, the movement to HD content also has expanded the company's storage needs. Starz has turned to Dot Hill Systems, a provider of unified virtual storage and SAN storage solutions to improve post-production development time through data storage consolidation and access.
The move is complemented by the involvement of GW Hannaway & Associates as w partner for integration. With the new system from Dot Hill in place, Starz says it has a robust storage system with the necessary throughput and performance to handle HD video streaming and processing for multiple editing suites. The solution combines Dot Hill's reliable, high performance AssuredSAN shared storage solution with ATTO Celerity Fibre Channel host bus adapters (HBAs), and Apple Final Cut Pro editing software with connection services to Starz' Digidesign ProTools audio studios.
With two 3730 AssuredSAN's and 75 terabytes of fast SAS-drive capacity, the 8Gbps Fibre Channel storage network supports demanding multi-user workgroup environments, enabling multiple editors to access the same storage at the same time. The companies also say that the AssuredSAN's 6Gb internal architecture produces faster write performance saving even more time on playbacks and streaming, the Dot Hill solution has production humming.
"We look for many things in a new storage solution — higher performance, simple integration, and cost savings," said Michael Held, senior manager of post-production for Starz. "We greatly benefitted from 8Gb Fibre Channel connection services offered by Dot Hill Systems. The system is transparent to editors and producers, translating into a very short learning curve for the user community."