Product Spotlight: HugeMediaLibrary

Aug 19, 2002  •  Post A Comment

What it is: HugeMediaLibrary, a shared media access storage system geared for the audio and video market, from Huge Systems in Agoura Hills, Calif.
How it works: The storage system is designed for multiple users sharing video. Newsroom environments and post-production houses need systems where many people can have unrestricted access to material, said Michael Anderson, chief engineer with the company. “MediaLibrary is a scalable solution and is intended for multiple users and is geared for a range of storage from DV to high definition,” he said.
If a broadcaster is covering a fire, for instance, the station may need to create pieces such as a 15-second teaser, a 30-second intro and a two-minute package. Since time is of the essence, shared storage makes sense, Mr. Anderson said. Work in a post-production facility, like titles, editing and color correcting, is also usually conducted by a team of people. “It’s better to let the whole team have unrestricted access,” he said. The system can operate at 10 megabits per second, hold 1.2 terabytes and provide real-time playback of compressed MPEG video. It is a desktop system the size of a mini-tower PC, Mr. Anderson said.
The world according to ethernet: Huge’s solution is ethernet-based. “Most attempts to provide this technology have been done with Fibre Channel, but it’s expensive and doesn’t have the ubiquity of ethernet,” he said. Ethernet-based systems cost less and are more compatible, since platforms such as SGI, Macintosh and IBM include a wide variety of ethernet support, he said. “The big shift in the industry is toward ethernet, where ethernet will be the thing used going forward,” he said.
Features and benefits: HugeMediaLibrary is a RAID (redundant array of independent disks) system and guarantees a real-time performance. It can detect pauses in the disk drives that could cause delays. When the system senses the pause in the disk, it re-creates the data so it isn’t lost and there aren’t any pauses. “In the audio/video world, you really want everything real time,” Mr. Anderson said.
Price: The system starts at $7,995.
Availability: Huge will introduce HugeMediaLibrary in stages: support for DV this quarter, support for standard definition next quarter and support for high definition in the first quarter of 2003.