Taming 3D Tigers - Can Media Asset Management Software Help?

  • 17-Jan-2013

A consensus emerging from the recently concluded Consumer Electronics Show seems to be that 3D TV is dead. Perhaps so: 3D TVs may not be coming to a home near you soon.

But the script for 3D movies could play out very differently.

As this article describes, the world saw a sizable increase in the number of 3D screens installed in theatres in 2012. More 3D films are getting released, and they're raking in the moolah. Beyond these numbers, having recently been enthralled by “Life of Pi” in all its 3D glory, I can personally vouch that well-crafted 3D stories are here to stay.

Life of Pi Trailer image

But this proliferation of 3D content will pose challenges for companies throughout the media value chain.  Let's examine if MAM software can help tame the beast…

First and most obviously, 3D content takes up that much more storage. 3D requires at least twice as much storage as plain-vanilla 2D content, and storage costs are non-trivial for media companies. This is a natural fit with a typical MAM usage scenario – implementing a tiered storage management system integrated with a MAM system. The idea is to balance performance with cost in two ways:

  1. More frequently accessed content gets stored on high performance (but costly) storage.
  2. Less frequently accessed content persists on low performance (or offline) storage, which costs less. Here, you rely on the MAM feature of partial file restore – so that you do not move entire, gargantuan files between offline and online storage but fetch only the pieces of video that are of interest.

Of course, nothing stops you from implementing this in a 2D scenario but the stakes get higher for 3D.

Implementing a MAM facilitates multiple departments and teams working from a shared central repository. That means much less traffic of files going to and fro, with attendant savings in bandwidth usage costs (not to mention productivity gains).

Finally, 3D content requires more detailed quality checks and the workflows are also different. Some MAM systems -- though not all -- can help you design workflows with graphical modelers automating many otherwise manual tasks. Here again, of course, your underlying infrastructure must support 3D workflows.

Have MAM on your mind? Get the inside story on the leading vendors here.