LA’s Mosaic goes 4K for content creation
USA: Located in the heart of Hollywood, Mosaic – a Southern California church with more than 3,000 regular attendees – is among the first houses of worship in the USA to adopt an end-to-end native 4K-resolution file-based video workflow for media content creation. To expand the reach of its message through media outlets such as YouTube, social media and the church’s podcasts, Mosaic has extended 4K capability throughout its broadcast facility.
‘Our goal is to shoot and produce video with the highest image quality we can afford in order to preserve our digital media distribution options well into the future,’ explains Adam Genzink, the broadcast director at Mosaic. ‘With this move to 4K, we needed a robust storage system capable of the heavy lifting required to move multiple streams of 4K video simultaneously.’
Mosaic procured a Facilis Terrablock 24D shared storage system with 192TB of storage and 16GB of fibre channel networking capacity from Cutting Edge Audio and Video Group, a media systems integrator with offices in Los Angeles and San Francisco. Cutting Edge, which served as Mosaic’s systems integrator, continues to help the innovative organisation as it pushes the 4K-production envelope.
‘Mosaic is an innovative organisation that is constantly striving to expand the reach of its message through media. With the new 4K production studio, they were doing something that had never been done before, and needed a cost effective, high performance storage solution,’ comments Zeke Margolis, Cutting Edge Los Angeles sales manager. ‘Facilis Terrablock with 16GB fibre channel has been a solid foundation to Mosaic's workflow.’ The Terrablock offers a shared file system and data management tools, along with the capacity to handle processing-intensive tasks, such as colour grading and graphical overlays. It also delivers video, audio and data over Fibre Channel and 1/10/40 Gigabit Ethernet connections through a custom protocol said to avoid overhead processing and latency delays.
Mosaic’s 4K-workflow is comprised of several ‘best-in-class' third-party systems. It begins with four Sony Cinealta 4K/HD live production cameras that are used to capture the theatrical flair of Mosaic’s weekend worship services. The dramatic staging includes theatrical lighting, singers, band performances, big-screen graphical displays and sermons by Mosaic pastor Erwin Raphael McManus. Two Sony PWS-4500 4-channel multiport A/V storage devices record the four isolated, raw 4K camera feeds (ISOs), and then this acquisition video is transferred directly to the Terrablock. The Terrablock also receives two additional 4K-video streams, which are the programme output and clean feed from a Sony MVS-8000X 4K production switcher used during the worship service. A Levels Beyond server for media asset management is in the process of being installed and will also interface with the Terrablock.
Another key system element that interfaces with the Terrablock at Mosaic is the Vantage Transcode Pro Connect media-processing platform from Telestream. Any media that’s deposited on the Terrablock automatically drops into a ‘watch’ folder. Vantage automatically picks up files from the watch folder and creates the file versions and formats that are needed. For example, it generates H.264 low-res proxies for editing and the file formats needed by the Levels Beyond asset management server. Vantage Lightspeed servers – also from Telestream – provide accelerated GPU processing to boost the productivity of the Vantage workflow.
‘Both 4K raw files and their respective low-res proxies can reside on the Terrablock,’ Mr Genzink elaborates. ‘And editors can work with full-res files, low-res proxies or both as they’re editing in Adobe Premiere Pro CC. Premiere has a new workflow that lets editors toggle between raw acquisition footage and low-res proxies on the editing timeline. But anytime they render files out, that footage is always rendered from the raw high-res acquisition media.’
In time, Mr Genzink says, their infrastructure might be enhanced with a tighter interface between Adobe Premiere and the Vantage Transcode Pro to enable a more automated workflow. The Vantage workflow at Mosaic might eventually include the transcoding of files for digital distribution, which are currently being handled on the local workstation. Mosaic is also evaluating the possibility of distributing to other new platforms, such as Roku, Apple TV and Chromecast, and has plans to scale its storage capacity, including the use of cloud storage for long-term media archives. Media files will move to the cloud when they’re no longer needed in online storage.