Networking for Post-Exceeding 10Gigabit

This article wraps up a series where I have been exploring different networking options for exceeding the bandwidth limitations of Gigabit Ethernet.  10GbE has come down in price, and has become more common for post production work over the last few years, but is not quite fast enough for uncompressed 4K at higher framerates, higher resolutions, or multiple streams.  There are technologies that offer bandwidths exceeding 10Gigabits a second, but there is minimal information and familiarity with these options outside the datacenter space.  The original approach was 40GbE, which combines 4 channels of 10GbE in a single connection, while the newer 25GbE standard is based on increasing the signaling frequency of a single connection.
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Networking for Post-Switches and N-BaseT

My last two articles covered 10GbE networking, and how to set up a direct network connection between two computers without using a switch.  Using a switch is actually much simpler, but costs more money.  The good news is that we are finally getting high speed switches on the market that are small and affordable enough for nearly any user that needs connections in excess of 1Gigabit.  N-BaseT has been offering hope that this would happen, but even with increasing client support, until very recently, there were no affordable switches.  I first noticed 5 port 2.5G switches listed online a few weeks ago, being offered by both QNAP and Trendnet in the $120 price range, which was half the price of anything else I had previously found.  I immediately decided it was time to buy one, both for this series on networking, and because it will be a useful tool in the future.
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Networking for Post-Sonnet Solo10G

This is the second in a series of articles about computer networking for filmmaking and post production.  Last time we took a broad look at the different technologies available, and the bandwidth speeds that different formats and workflows might require.  It this article we will take a closer look at the oldest and most popular networking option for achieving bandwidths greater than 1 gigabit per second.  Ten Gigabit Ethernet (10GbE) has been available in some form for nearly 20 years, but it was not widely used outside of server rooms until the last five years or so, and even now it is by no mean ubiquitous, even in media and post production environments.  I believe the main obstacle has been pricing, specifically on the part of switches.  10GbE network interface cards (NICs) have been available at reasonably affordable prices for years, and are now finally starting to appear as integrated solutions built into high end motherboards, but the switches to connect these together have remained more than 10 times as expensive as their gigabit counterparts.  So users have to really know what they are getting from 10GbE, and how it will help them, before shelling out the money for that upgrade.  But there is a way to leverage the performance and bandwidth offered by 10GbE without investing hundreds or thousands of dollars in an expensive switch.
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Networking for Post-Introduction

This is the first in a series of articles where we are going to explore computer networks, and how to get the most out of them in the post production environment.  Networking is very IT centric, and not the most exciting topic in the world of media creation, but it has a huge impact on our workflow possibilities, and how we collaborate with others.  There are many different networking technologies out there, and the aim of this series is to help readers identify which ones are most relevant to their situation, and better understand how to deploy and use them, to improve how they do their work.
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Interfacing with your NLE

How do you control your editing application?  Regardless of whether you are editing Avid, Final Cut, Premiere, Resolve, or even Vegas, you are basically trying to communicate with a piece of software, to get it to very precisely alter a group of video clips.  The more efficiently you can get the ideas from your mind into the software, the better time you are going to have editing your project.  The primary way that most people communicate with a computer is through the mouse and keyboard.  The mouse has analog input in the form of motion and scroll wheel, and digital input from the buttons, while keyboards offer a wide selection of digital options through its numerous labeled keys.
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SIGGRAPH 2021

SIGGRAPH 2021 is entirely online this year, and having attended in person in the past, this seems like one of the hardest experiences to translate into an online virtual event.  While pretty much everything exhibited at SIGGRAPH is digital, compared to for example an agricultural tradeshow, we are limited in our experience of a virtual event by the display that we see it on at home.  It is easy for me to see a video about the new features of a tractor online, but not so much to see the difference with a new display technology.  This was an issue when I wrote about HDR content creation as well.  How can I show the differences between SDR and HDR in a medium (a website) that is limited to SDR?  My favorite part of SIGGRAPH was seeing new 3D displays, and VR headsets, and things like that, and those don’t always translate into a virtual experience.
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NVidia’s GTC 2021 Conference

NVidia is hosting the third online iteration of their “GTC” GPU Technology Conference.  The first one was hurriedly implemented last March, as we were just beginning to realize the implications of the Covid issue. NVidia then turned what had previously been a regional version of GTC conference in the Fall into a better planned global online event, once other companies had figured out some smoother practices and infrastructure for these virtual conferences.  Now we have GTC 2021 this week, with a number of new hardware and software announcements.
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AJA’s new T-Tap Pro output device for 4K HDR

AJA has released the T-TAP Pro, a new video output device for editors, colorists, and VFX artists, targeting 4K and HDR workflows.  I wrote a series of articles throughout the fall about the various components of an HDR editing workflow.  Covering software, workstations, GPUs, I/O Cards, and monitor options, it looked at the state of Adobe based HDR post production at the time.  But new things continue to be developed all the time, and this new device from AJA is a hardware output solution that is much more tailored to the needs for most editors who need to output and view HDR content.  The KONA 5 is a great tool, which supports nearly everything you can think of for both input and output from SD to 8K.  But most editors are now using file based workflows that have no need to input via SDI or HDMI, (or even output those ways besides for monitoring purposes) and few users are viewing content in 8K.  So what a majority of editors and other video professionals need, is a solid and reliable way to output UHD and 4K content to their monitor or other device, and ideally one that offers them support for, and control over, HDR color settings.
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Workflow Options Via Newtek’s NDI

Newtek announced their “Network Device Interface” (NDI) protocol back in 2016, as a way to transfer HD video signals in real-time over IP networks.  It was designed to replace SDI transmission and routing of high fidelity video signals, usually within a facility.  SDI was used to connect tape decks, computers, and monitors to routers and switches, which would direct and process the signal.  The vision was to replace all of that coaxial cabling infrastructure with IP based ethernet packets, running on the same networks and cabling that were already needed to support the data networks.  NDI is a compressed alternative to the SMTPE 2022 and 2110 standards which require much more bandwidth for uncompressed video routing over 10GbE.  NDI uses its own codec to compress video around 15:1, allowing it to be utilized over existing Gigabit networks.  There is also an “HX” variant of NDI that utilizes a lower bitrate H.264 based level of compression, optimized for higher resolutions and wireless networks.
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Tech With Mike First on Youtube

I have begun creating a series of technology videos on Youtube.  While I have posted a few Youtube videos of my camera tests in these articles over the past few years, I haven’t been creating stand alone video content.  I still plan to use written articles as my primary way of sharing news and reviews, but will start using videos to share my tips and tricks, as well as workflow ideas and other software interface focused information.  My first set of videos about using my KB Covers overlays for the Loupedeck+ in various Adobe applications went up this month.  And I am planning to do a series of videos about more advanced settings and workflow ideas in Premiere Pro as the year goes on.  Anyhow, enjoy these videos.  The presets involved are at the link in the header.  And the overlays can be ordered from KB Covers.
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