Raw Cut speeds up the action with Optical Disc Archive

One of Soho’s most innovative production houses, Raw Cut TV is making better-looking programmes faster and more efficiently with Optical Disc Archive.

Leading the way in file-based production

Founded in 2002, Raw Cut TV is home to some of the UK’s grittiest, most compelling blue-light series and factual shows like Police Interceptors and Road Wars. Based in the heart of Soho, the forward-looking production house has consistently anticipated mainstream industry trends – including early adoption of tapeless post production and creation of the first ever real-life crime series in HD.

Today Raw Cut is at the leading edge once again, relying on Optical Disc Archive by Sony to make programmes faster, more efficiently and at lower cost.

Faster and more flexible than tape

With content stored on 1.5TB ODA cartridges from Raw Cut’s three ODS-D77U standalone Optical Disc Archive drives, production teams are able to find footage and pull it back onto the timeline for editing almost instantly, as Technical Manager Zio Hancock explains:

“It’s so much faster than transfers from LTO tape, and it’s so much easier. The 3.3TB capacity of Sony’s latest second-generation drives is even bigger, and they’re quicker than ever.

“Being able to pull media from archive at speeds comparable to a USB3.0 external drive means footage is accessible very quickly. The increase in speed of the new Gen-2 drives lets you link media directly from an ODA disc into Avid, giving instant access to any footage you’ve have archived. In terms of production time, being able to archive media directly from source can mean saving countless man hours.”

With material for a typical full-length series typically exceeding 40TB of HD video files and metadata, there’s a lot of content that needs storing, archiving and managing safely and reliably.

It’s great having all your content instantly available – now you can even link files directly from ODA into Avid Media Composer for transcoding or viewing.

Zio Hancock
Technical Manager

From nearline archive to mainstream production

Material for a new show arrives at Raw Cut in a wide range of formats, codecs and file types – spanning 1080/25p or 50i media typically encoded as XAVC, MPEG, ProRes or H.264. Until now, content handed over on memory card has first been wrangled onto a PC hard drive.

But now Zio is excited at the prospect of ingesting media straight to Optical Disc Archive, not just for near-line storage but as a mainstream production format. “We’d like to cut out the middle man and go straight to ODA”, he notes. “With the quick new Gen-2 drives that’s a viable option”.

Optical Disc Archive has already played a key role on hit shows including Neighbourhood Blues, Police Interceptors and TT Blues. And right now it’s also being used on more upcoming series that are currently in the edit phase, as well as one-off primetime special The Murder of Sadie Hartley that airs on ITV1 in the UK from 1st September.

Realising profitable new archive opportunities

In addition, Raw Cut is gradually transferring a decade’s worth of tape-based content onto robust high-capacity 1.5TB cartridges for long-term storage. This makes it easier than ever to track down and profitably repurpose legacy content, rather than wading laboriously through shelves full of tape.

“We’ve got thousands of hours of content here,” notes Zio. “With Optical Disc Archive you can just stick a cartridge in the ODA drive, view it and pull it right back. It’s like having everything on a huge removable hard drive that will last for ages.”

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