Tapeless: the technology has moved on

Chris Forrester

Some older established broadcasters installed their first tapeless automated systems “years ago”. Have there been changes since, either in the hardware or the thinking behind Tapeless Workflow? A recent Rapid TV News’ Round Table on Tapeless Workflow examined the latest thinking behind automation.

Chris Simons, VP Automation & Asset Management at Harris Corp, says technology has definitely moved on. “Storage capacities, network bandwidths, the software tools and so on that are available to enable this whole process has moved on hugely. Although whether something that was invested in five years ago is totally obsolete, I very much doubt. I think there is a method always to evolve and once you've made this move it's really then making sure that you keep up to date, you introduce technology that is right for you as it becomes available. I don't believe in technology going out and looking for a solution but as your needs evolve, make sure that you make sensible choices. Look at how you build the system up. That means that you can go and you can pull part of it out and upgrade part of [the system] without doing something totally disruptive to your whole organisation. Because processing power, network bandwidth, storage capacity, all of those things are going to carry on increasing as we go forward, they're going to open up new possibilities for operations and just keep up, and make wise investments to protect your future.”

Dimitris Papavasilliou, Head of Digital Workflows (European Markets) at Cisco says he advises clients that everything has a natural lifecycle. “But for us at at Cisco, at least we're focusing very much on how future-proof the technology is and how future-proof the designs we are building with our customers are. And perhaps another case that we have been working on for many years now with the same infrastructure, of course with the right appropriate updates to cope with the new bandwidth requirements, new storage requirements and so forth. I think on the application domain, the more we are moving into IT-centric applications, this will become less of a pain point, how you keep up with the new technologies, [delivering] a new evolution for us all.”