GB Labs sets out vision for the future at HPA

GB Labs, innovators of powerful and intelligent storage solutions for the media and entertainment industries, is proud to be involved in the inaugural 2021 virtual HPA Tech Retreat (15 – 24 March) as a gold sponsor. Through debating the change, turmoil and incredible technological advancements seen last year, and being planned, GB Labs is looking forward to being part of this year's HPA sessions – giving a thought leadership presentation, as well as discussing how remote and home working can co-exist with top-end creative media workflows. 

“We are taking a very active role in the HPA Tech Retreat this year because it is widely recognized as a place where professionals in the industry come together and really share knowledge and experience,” Dominic Harland, CEO/CTO GB Labs said. “The open and collaborative atmosphere reflects what we are looking to achieve in creating shared production workflows. We are excited to be part of a broad sweep of industry leaders debating the creative future.” 

As well as presenting on how vision and ambition can work in harmony with powerful and intuitive technology, GB Labs is also hosting a number of roundtables debating the storage challenges of the future and how remote working can be designed for ultimate and secure workflows. 

Full information on the event can be found HERE.

Veteran Film-Maker Joins GB Labs To Spearhead North American Operations

Valencia, CA, USA, 5 January 2021 - Matt Scott has joined GB Labs, innovators of powerful and intelligent storage solutions for the media and entertainment industries, to further develop the company’s presence in the Americas. As Solutions Architect and Pre-Sales Engineer, Scott will be based in California, and work with both resellers and end users. 

Matt Scott has a long career in creating content. As a post-production supervisor, he has created workflows and delivered drama, reality and documentary projects for theatrical, television, and new media. He is also professor of giant screen and IMAX film-making at the USC School of Cinematic Arts and has worked on multiple IMAX films around the world. That real-world experience makes him an ideal candidate to help other post professionals develop secure and powerful content infrastructures.

“This is obviously a challenging time to join any new company,” Scott said. “But the GBLabs suite of products offer many unique advantages for both on prem and remote workflows that position them for success in these uncertain timesI'm excited to start working with filmmakers and for the near future when I can visit the UK Headquarters and work with the rest of the team!”

Dominic Harland, CEO of GB Labs, added “Matt Scott has a great track record in post-production. GB Labs develops products and solutions that offer incredible performance. This is a match made in heaven, and we are all very excited to have Matt on side. He will be instrumental in developing ever stronger relationships with premium facilities in Hollywood and the whole of the North, Central and South American markets.”

GB Labs focus on remote and home working for broadcast professionals at WABE

Valencia, CA, USA, October 29, 2020 - GB Labs, innovators of powerful and intelligent storage solutions for the media and entertainment industries, will be both exhibiting and presenting on the GDS Communications booth at the virtual Western Association of Broadcast Engineers (WABE) convention, 4 – 5 November 2020. Given the need for broadcasters and postproduction facilities to embrace remote and home working at the moment, GB Labs will major on Unify Hub, the new intelligent content management software.

Unify Hub is the storage management solution launched in September 2020 for today’s changed world. By managing all storage as a single entity – whether it is on site or in the cloud; whether it comes from GB Labs or other vendors – it gives users fast, simple access to content, wherever they are working.

Gary Shumyla, owner of GDS Communications, GB Labs’ partners in Canada, said, “You may be working from home, but if you are a producer or editor, you just need to access the media – you don’t care where it is. That is what Unify Hub does: wherever the material is physically, it appears to you as a single, secure and coherent source.

“You might be rough cutting on location, or in collaborative post, or simply working from home,” he continued. “With Unify Hub, you are just looking at one virtual location for all the media you need. No worries about where content is and where it can be moved – you just get on with the job.”

Each individual user has a virtual workspace, providing access to just the data they need, while also ensuring that there is only one work in progress file, eliminating workflow errors. A single sign-in connects the user to storage on-premise and in the cloud, and intelligent content management, including GB Labs’ smart SSD storage Flash Cache, speeds workflows by providing local access to content, which also minimizes costly egress charges from the public cloud.

Dominic Harland, CEO of GB Labs, will walk visitors through all the benefits and power of Unify Hub, in conjunction with partner GDS Communications during WABE 2020. Unify Hub, launched just a few months ago, has already won a Best of Show Award from Future Publishing, at IBC2020.

GB Labs unveils Unify Hub, the modern remote working management platform

Aldermaston, UK, 29 September 2020 - GB Labs, innovators of powerful and intelligent storage solutions for the media and entertainment industries, has launched Unify Hub, a platform designed to meet all the challenges of today’s media production environment combining on premise and cloud content, empowering remote production while maintaining data integrity and security.

Unify Hub is a data management platform designed for today’s changed world. It manages storage – on site or in the cloud; from GB Labs or from other vendors – to provide a working environment which is simple and fast, providing the tools for maximum productivity from production and post production artists.

“For most of this year, collaborative production has been impacted,” said Dominic Harland, CEO and CTO at GB Labs. “Content is back to being stored in multiple locations, with all the problems of delays in moving material from place to place, the risk of creating multiple ‘master’ versions, and of course poor security.

“First and foremost, Unify Hub provides a unified approach to content and metadata,” Harland added. “Wherever your material is physically stored, the content you need appears as a single, secure and coherent source. That makes it ideal for high-efficiency collaborative and remote working.”

Unify Hub offers five key pillars of advances in productivity, connectivity and security:

  1. Unify Hub Cloud Mounts: Align the local user permissions with cloud accounts to facilitate single sign-in and simplify the secure access of cloud accounts on-premise
  2. Acceleration: Leverage GB Labs technology to speed up the user experience, as well as reducing costs and saving internet bandwidth
  3. S3 Endpoint: Connect on-premise workspaces to cloud services or remote users
  4. Remote Working: Provide remote workers with a seamless experience, regardless of your location
  5. Virtual Workspaces: Simply select what is needed and securely make available everywhere, instantly

Through its management structure, Unify Hub allows users and groups to be established for each project. All appropriate cloud accounts can then be accessed through the single sign-on, with pre-authenticated cloud endpoints appearing as SMB storage shares. For system administrators Unify Hub File Manager provides a single pane of glass overview and control; for users their log-in brings all the material they need to their workstation, wherever they are working and the content is stored.

Unify Hub is the winner of the Best of Show Award 2020 during IBC 2020 from TVBEurope magazine.

GB Labs showcases storage solutions for today at virtual BroadcastAsia

Aldermaston, UK, 29 Sept - 1 Oct 2020 - GB Labs, innovators of powerful and intelligent storage solutions for the media and entertainment industries, is proud to be part of the inaugural BroadcastAsia (29 September – 1 October) immersive virtual convention. As well as a fully staffed booth, GB Labs is making two presentations on key products: Cloak DR and the award-winning Unify Hub, which will be launched at the event.

Unify Hub was designed for today’s changed world, a storage appliance which has support for remote production and distanced implementation baked in. Unify Hub is a powerful control layer, tuned to the challenging needs of broadcast, which manages storage – from GB Labs or other vendors – whether that storage is on premises or in the cloud; local or remote. So it can leverage existing storage as well as providing a sure foundation for future plans.

“The pandemic has forced changes on the way we work, bringing remote collaborative working to the fore,” said Ben Pearce, CBO Asia and Co-Founder at GB Labs. “The temptation is to go back to the bad old days of material stored in multiple locations, with all the problems of delays in moving material from place to place, the risk of creating multiple ‘master’ versions, and of course poor security.

“As the name suggests, Unify Hub provides a simple, unified approach to content and metadata, so that wherever it is physically stored, it appears as a single, secure and coherent source, ideal for high-efficiency collaborative and remote working,” Pearce explained.” Unify Hub is a winner of the Best of Show Award 2020 during IBC 2020 from TVBEurope magazine.

The other featured product at BroadcastAsia is CloakDR, a revolutionary approach to 'no single point of failure' content security from GB Labs. The intelligence in GB Labs servers uses CloakDR software to build redundant storage systems which are always synchronised from the moment of ingest. This allows Cloak DR to dynamically allocate one appliance as primary, one as secondary, and to provide instant failover whatever the incident.

The inherent intelligence maintains a single IP address for storage, so the rest of the infrastructure can continue unaware of any issues. The result is perfect resilience: content is read from and written to the servers without interruption.

“We are excited to be involved in this year’s BroadcastAsia,” added Pearce “The organisers of the parent event, ConnecTechAsia, have gone to extraordinary lengths to create a virtual experience that is as real as possible, with staff on booths ready to answer questions and presentations on key new technologies. The technology they have brought together to make this a satisfying and engaging experience for ‘visitors’ looks excellent, and we are looking forward to taking part.”

Fancy Film Accelerates with GB Labs FastNAS

Aldermaston, UK, 21 September 2020 - GB Labs, the leader in intelligent storage solutions, has provided its FastNAS F-16 Nitro storage system to Fancy Film, Los Angeles, enabling the facility to complete colour correction and other finishing services on a major new documentary TV series.

Tony Shek, Fancy Film CTO, said, “We were rapidly getting into 4K finishing and HDR Dolby Vision, which meant that we had to start looking for shared storage that was fast enough to run in real-time but was also cost effective. We researched a lot of companies, but in terms of cost effectiveness, the quotes we received were anything but.”

Fancy Film Online Editor Jacob Fisher added, “When high volumes of ultra-high resolution content starts pouring in, you need the ability to work on that content from multiple workstations at speed, which at the time was a capability we didn’t have.”

Rave reviews during NAB 2019 from existing GB Labs storage users convinced Shek that he may have located a solution. A subsequent referral from a user to GB Labs’ West Coast representative and installer, New Media Hollywood, meant that Fancy Film had found what it needed in FastNAS F-16 Nitro.

FastNAS shared storage combines the benefits of hard disk and solid state drives in a single device and has become the high performance storage system of choice worldwide, all at a highly affordable price point.

Shek said, “We took on a high-profile job, and even though we knew ahead of time that the majority of the footage was going to arrive in ultra-high resolution, it was a relief to discover soon into our trial with FastNAS - during which we pushed it to its limits for a solid week - that we didn’t have to worry. It just worked. The FastNAS system didn’t even break a sweat. All we had to do then was focus on the creative, and the results are marvellous.”

Adi Antariksa, GB Labs Chief Business Officer for the Americas said, “It’s deeply gratifying to have our storage systems deliver on what they promise, and then some, especially when it comes to household brand projects like this. We look forward to continuing to support Fancy Film in current and future projects as we get almost as much satisfaction from their success as they do.”

Side Street Post and VFX opts for GB Labs SPACE SSD

Aldermaston, UK, 3 September 2020 - GB Labs, innovators of powerful and intelligent storage solutions for the media and entertainment industries, today announced that Side Street Post and VFX, Vancouver, supported by GDS Communications, has chosen GB Labs’ SPACE SSD NAS shared storage system to drive Side Street’s DaVinci Resolve Studio systems.

More than 300TB of GB Labs "SPACE SSD" shared storage solution, with its massive disc performance of 12GB/s now enables all of Side Street’s DaVinci Resolve Studio workstations to simultaneously playback 4K DPX streams at full resolution, with no network slow-down or dropped frames.

Side Street Post and VFX’s President, Gary Shaw, said, “Our legacy SAN storage system was no longer meeting our needs, and limited our ability to fully utilise Resolve in higher resolutions. We needed a solution that would enable all our colour correction suites to operate simultaneously at 4K resolution or higher and more efficiently.”

Gary’s view, shared by many, was that the current fibre channel storage systems could not affordably achieve the concurrent speeds needed, and the technical development of such systems is generally thought as having been eclipsed by ethernet solutions. For Side Street, NAS was the way to go.

Gary said, “Vancouver is a major market for episodic television and feature film production, a lot of it captured with high-end cameras that shoot at 4K, 6K or 8K, so a lot of raw camera footage arrives which in the grading process requires a very high data rate. Both technically and ethically, we don’t really want to downscale and work in HD. We want our clients to experience the true image quality especially on Dolby Vision projects.

"To deal with such high data rates and file sizes, you need a system that can handle them, and SPACE SSD from GB Labs provided both the bandwidth and file management capability that fits our needs."

SPACE SSD is the world's fastest and most scalable NAS platform, with performance up to 18GB/s and capacity up to 10PB. The Side Street system transfers data at 12GB/s and is linked to a 100GbE switch.

According to GB Labs CEO-CTO Dominic Harland, “Side Street Post is very forward-thinking and knew that a fibre channel system could not achieve what it needed. Speed was of the essence and they needed all colour workstations running at full capacity, simultaneously, in 4K, 6K, 8K and, eventually, beyond. SPACE SSD NAS copes with that easily, with plenty of headroom.”

A major differentiator with all GB Labs storage systems is that they do not require the user to replace or dispose of their existing storage. Like many other GB Labs users, Side Street was able to make use of its existing SAN by incorporating GB Labs ECHO Bridge as a way of accessing SAN data, or moving files to it for near-line storage.

“It’s a case of using the old storage for secondary purposes, essentially cold storage, and empowering SPACE SSD for the heavy lifting,” added Shaw. “After a few minutes of on-site tweaks to configure the system to our preferences, we were up and running – at astonishing speed - without the slightest disruption to our operations.”

CJP Broadcast Fields Live Sports Production and Streaming System for Major-League Football Semi-Finals and Final

CJP Broadcast Press Release: Ross-On-Wye, UK, 20 August 2020: CJP Broadcast announces the successful completion of a video production and live streaming project for three of the highest profile games in the European sports calendar. A complete system centred on a CJP Live Sports Production System captured content to supplement terrestrial and satellite coverage of the events. CJP staff active at the matches included Managing Director Chris Phillips supervising technical setup, James Ruddock operating as Technical Manager, Kieron Sharpe and Kieran Phillips providing AV rigging support, Rob Dyton as Production Director and Chris Hollier as Remote Camera Operator.

“Covid-19 restrictions meant the venue was unable to host the capacity crowds normally present at semi-finals and finals,” Chris Phillips comments. “We were asked to augment the traditional broadcast coverage with behind-the-scenes content. This included manager reactions during the match, player interactions in the tunnel area and a focus on key international players. The resultant video would then be made available online for easy access by supporters during and after each match. Our role was to provide a complete production system plus an experienced installation and operations crew.”

“A key part of the challenge was capturing content from ‘red zone’ areas such as the substitutes’ bench and the technical control area. We provided four JVC cameras with motorised pan/tilt/zoom which were operated from our control base on the gantry in front of the press area. Two of the cameras were positioned in the tunnel. The other two were focused on the managers’ and subs’ benches. In addition to the robotic cameras, we had feeds from two Sony FS7 cameras provided by the host and operated by their own experienced freelancers, plus a JVC GY-HM660RE live streaming camcorder.”

“The Streamstar iPX allowed us to record ISO-style feeds from the six cameras and make these accessible in 15-minute segments to remotely located video editors so they could start producing final edited content while the game was still in progress. We expanded the 1 terabyte of onboard video storage in the iPX with a 16 terabyte GB Labs F-8 Studio recorder using a 512 gigabyte Nitro SSD Layer for ingest while editing. Content for editing was accessed from the F-8 by four edit suites. The system also generated an H.264 RTMP live stream for practically instant publication on social media. An HD/SDI clean programme feed was also provided from our system to the host broadcaster for use as an optional contribution feed within the terrestrial and satellite transmission.”

Available in several versions supporting up to eight camera inputs, the CJP Live Sports Production System provides a wide range production and streaming capabilities in an easily transportable unit. Its facilities include ISO recording, four-layer graphics, transitions, real-time replay, slow-motion replay, on-the-fly highlights creation, advert insertion, clip insertion and audio mixing. Operation is via a touchscreen and keyboard with the option of an external joystick for pan/tilt/zoom camera control. Full multiscreen monitoring facilities are included with the option of a second screen for commentator positions. An H.264 live stream can be fed directly to a TV station or third-party OB control suite via a 10 megabits per second link or via 4G mobile, with the ability to simulcast to multiple platforms and in-stadium screens. Up to 96 terabytes of RAID5 storage can also be attached.

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About CJP Broadcast
CJP Broadcast Service Solutions Limited (www.cjp-bss.co.uk)) was established in 2011 to provide broadcast manufacturers and engineering companies with professional ITIL based service desk solutions. In 2016 the company expanded its portfolio to include digitisation of broadcast tape and film media to provide restoration of historical media archives into modern file-based formats. In 2018 CJP expanded its operation further, providing live production solutions, professional broadcast TV studio system integration and technical support services.

Pandemic reinforces value of partnerships

Aldermaston, UK, 29 July 2020: Having completed a number of projects in recent months despite the constraints of the global pandemic, SI Media and GB Labs reflect on the underrated value provided by global and regional partnerships.

Based just north of Venice, Italy, SI Media is an international broadcast software solution provider – including its proprietary “.YES!”, an HTML5 web-based and cloud-oriented suite for media asset, broadcast management, newsroom computer, and playout automation system for master control rooms and studios.

Dominic Harland, CEO/CTO GB Labs said, “Because so many of SI Media’s customers already use our storage, our systems have now become an integral part of what they recommend as part of their workflow and production solutions to new and existing customers - and one of the installations we have just completed together in Asia was for a new online and nearline archive for master control and production workflows using our FastNAS storage system.”

GB Labs provides the world’s most intelligent NAS shared storage technology, wrapped in simple to use yet ultra-powerful appliances designed specifically for media professionals. GB Labs pioneered NAS technology more than a decade ago, and continues to advance its capabilities - in-house – daily.

GB Labs’ storage products are stable, reliable, and scalable in ways that fit elegantly with any modern requirement. It can be used for both MCR and production workflows, which for a software orientated house such as SI Media is a key element in providing a complete technology solution.

SI Media EMEA Sales Manager, Paolo Favaro further explained, “With the current restrictions on site visits and other practical uncertainties, it’s a major bonus to have a technology partner and hardware supplier you can count on in any scenario. Moreover, the speed with which we receive support for a proposal, and the expertise with which it is delivered, is remarkable.

“Adding GB Labs storage to our recommended portfolio has brought several benefits to our project proposals: It expands our influence on the projects; it increases our overall value; and it enables us to set up and test a complete workflow in our laboratories, minimising wastes of time and risk. It also provides the stability of using the same provider and the certainty of the reliability of the proposed system. A partner with the quality of technology provided by GB Labs enables us to expand what we offer to our clients and minimise the time typically required to build and deliver a system to a specific request.”

Harland concluded, “The importance of mutual trust and respect - especially during difficult circumstances – cannot be overstated. Providing partners with high-quality products and the highest standards of support during normal operating conditions is a core value for any successful business, but it really pays dividends when the going gets tough. We are delighted to have contributed to the ongoing success of SI Media and look forward to many more projects to come.”

 

GB Labs further strengthens CORE.4 and CORE.4 Lite security

Aldermaston, UK, 14 July 2020: The leader in intelligent storage solutions, GB Labs has announced that its proprietary CORE.4 and CORE.4 Lite operating systems have been upgraded with additional security benefits designed to augment existing performance, analytic, and real-time data monitoring and display features.

GB Labs’ Chief Product Officer, Howard Twine said, “We have been anything but idle in recent months and have used our time to further improve our already market-leading storage system OS with a range of security enhancements.

“Some of what we have done will mean little to the casual observer, but to everyday users, we have again practically reinvented what is possible to do with a well-designed storage system.”

Twine said, “Security has always been crucial for protecting valuable assets, and with increasing numbers of people moving files around from a variety of remote locations - including home - and between various platforms, we knew it was important to revisit our operating systems to exploit or improve every aspect of their protective environment.”

The CORE.4 UI has been improved with a range of auditing features, both historical and real-time. Data columns can be sorted to indicate how users have interacted with files as well as the type of protocol; login confirmation; shutdown and restart; file transfer status and location details; in addition to report creation and delivery tools. The real-time data is displayed in a timeline along with a pie chart that includes protocol data, all of which can be viewed for detailed analysis of precisely what’s taking place with the data at any time.

“It is, of course, common to monitor a system and resolve security problems after the fact, using accumulated data, but what isn’t common is our ability to automatically monitor a system’s data - live - and flag up anything extraordinary. This is highly valuable in showing how people interact with a system and in identifying where any bottlenecks may be, unnecessary downtime is being wasted, or further efficiencies may be found. All of these tools are useful in helping an organisation achieve its aspirations.”

Twine added, “The in-built System Security Analyser in CORE.4 and CORE.4 Lite is a tool that actively looks for potential security issues and, if detected, makes appropriate recommendations.


The upgraded CORE.4 OS with advanced security is currently being rolled out to existing GB Labs storage system users and will be available in all new systems from August 2020.

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