Cinedeck Users Applaud Tapeless Productivity Gains


Cinedeck file-based recorders deliver significant time and money savings for major episodic TV shows, live events and houses of worship

Last Updated: April 6, 2013 11:01 am GMT
(Las Vegas NAB Show SL14911, Nevada--April 6, 2013) Cinedeck LLC, pioneering developer of capture systems for motion picture and broadcast production, today reported how major broadcasters, production companies, rental facilities and houses of worship are all reaping significant productivity rewards after implementing Cinedeck solid-state recorders in tapeless workflows across episodic TV, live and mobile OB productions.

A Behind-the-scenes shot of multiple MXs in action on the Rolling Stones's NY concerts.

Bravo Channel’s popular culinary show Top Chef, FX Networks’ hit sitcom Anger Management, reality-TV giant Bunim/Murray Productions, multiple children’s series on Nickelodeon, plus live shows including The Rolling Stones NY Concerts and PBS’ Live At Lincoln Center: American Songbook, have all used Cinedeck recorders at the heart of their workflows. More will follow as new customers for Cinedeck’s quad-channel MX include NBC Universal, Madison Square Garden, while Apple, MTV and CNN have purchased dual-channel RX systems.

The production and post teams on FX Networks’ hit comedy series Anger Management have the challenge of delivering 90 shows over a two-year period. At the heart of the production are a trio of dual-channel Cinedeck RX recorders, which streamline the workflow by eliminating physical tape and traditional ingest processes. Crucially, the Cinedecks are configured to record four channels of DNxHD175X directly to ISIS, Avid’s shared storage system, enabling the show’s post team to review takes and commence editing within minutes of a scene being shot.

“Most sitcoms shoot three episodes per month. We’re doing double that,” says Anger Management associate producer, Howard Brock. “We need the efficiency to edit as soon as we shoot, and Cinedeck gives us that. We just literally drag-and-drop files, let ISIS index them, and it takes no time at all. The days of realtime ingest are history. We’re probably saving one day every shooting day on ingest alone.”

Bunim/Murray Productions experienced similar benefits when it used multiple Cinedeck RXs for the multi-cam production of Stars In Danger: The High Dive, a two-hour special for Fox Broadcasting Network. It was the first time the company had used Cinedeck technology.

“Mobile OB productions cost thousands of dollars per hour. Normally, you would have to wait as the media is copied off a server or tape onto a hard drive, with equipment and labor costs racking up,” says Mark Raudonis, senior VP post, Bunim/Murray Productions. “With the Cinedeck, you just don’t have those worries. It’s cheaper than tape, and since you’re recording in a native codec, there’s no transcoding needed. When you see these processes side-by-side, you realize what a major step forward the tapeless workflow really is.”

Vendata Solutions, based in Van Nuys, CA, has deployed Cinedeck RX recorders on a variety of Nickelodeon shows, including the new comedy series Sam & Cat and Haunted Hathaways. Cinedeck RXs were also used previously on the slapstick sci-fi series Marvin Marvin and the sitcom See Dad Run.

“File-based workflows are taking off in live and episodic production, and the Cinedeck RX fits right into the existing rack infrastructure that tapedecks have traditionally occupied,” says Vendata’s CEO Scott Heames. “The RXs ability to record master and/or proxy copies on separate channels in a wide variety of codecs, plus the SSD internal record and connectivity options for multiple write destinations add up to a lot of flexibility in how they can be deployed. Compared to tape, Cinedeck RX delivers dramatic savings in time – editors and producers are thrilled.”

Bellevue Baptist Church, based in Memphis Tennessee, is spearheading its transition from SD to full HD production and post with four dual-channel Cinedeck RXs at the heart of its tapeless workflow. The Cinedecks record three services of worship every Sunday, along with additional productions throughout the year. Each Cinedeck is connected to a 24TB Facilis Terrablock SAN via Gigabit Ethernet. This results in dual copies of the media, and enables editorial to commence work on the line cut as soon as services end.

Bellevue Baptist Worship Center

“Cinedeck RX is perfect for us as we transition from SD to HD production and post because, unlike other systems, it supports both workflows in the same device,” says video editor Noah Sidhom at Bellevue Baptist Media. “As the RXs connect directly to our SAN, the ingest time for editorial now takes just a matter of minutes, rather than hours with tape, and we get more time to fine-tune the final edit. Ultimately, we can finish productions to a much higher-standard than we have in the past, and in a lot less time.”

Production-services company Remote Digital Media Inc, New Jersey, has supported a range of broadcast and corporate productions for MTV, mtvU, CBS, Food Network, PBS, TED Talks, AOL and Vevo, with its Cinedeck RXs, and also integrated multiple RXs with ISIS, Avid’s shared-storage system for ABC’s Glasshouse reality-TV series. One of its most recent projects was PBS’ Live At Lincoln Center: American Songbook, starring Josh Groban and Kristin Chenoweth.

Kristin Chenoweth

“As we have so many different clients, each with different workflows, we have to be format agnostic,” says Sandor Bondorowsky, president of Remote Digital Media Inc. “With Cinedeck we know that whatever platform and codec the client decides to edit on, we can accommodate their request. The ability to connect Cinedecks to SAN systems is a major advance, as this eliminates the need to ingest or transfer media completely. Obviously, not every show needs to edit as soon as they capture, but now they can if they want to.”

Video equipment rental company, SIM Digital, recently deployed a pair of Cinedeck RX’s in a tapeless workflow on YTV’s episodic children’s TV show Life With Boys, and this success has resulted in the company winning further TV shows with the RX.

“The paradigm has changed. There’s a growing clamor amongst content producers to get rid of videotape completely and Cinedeck is a great VTR replacement technology,” says Brian McSweeny
, VP Post/Facilities, SIM Digital Toronto. “Lightbulbs go on whenever we show the RX. There’s no voodoo – it’s simple to demonstrate, and producers quickly realize it will save them time, effort and money as there’s absolutely no need to digitize anymore."

About Cinedeck LLC:
Founded by cinematographers, and headquartered in the heart of New York City, USA, Cinedeck manufactures innovative, touchscreen recording systems for use with all popular digital cinematography cameras. Along with on-set monitoring, playback and quality control capabilities, these recorders also unify camera-to-post workflows by offering the industry’s most comprehensive range of edit-ready output formats. Cinedeck EX, the industry’s first camera-mountable device, has proven essential to the workflow on hundreds of TV and cinema productions, and has won TV Technology’s “2010 STAR Award”, the “2010 Vidy Award,” and DV Magazine’s “Award of Excellence”. Continuing this pioneering spirit, Cinedeck LLC has addressed the challenges of the mobile OB broadcaster with its Cinedeck RX rack-mounted, multi-format recorder, monitor and playback system. Cinedeck RX was awarded the prestigious “2011 Pick Hit Award at IBC 2011” from Broadcast Engineering Magazine. The new Cinedeck MX builds on the company’s proven technology platform to offer fully-tapeless workflow for broadcast and cinema entertainment production and post. For more information, visit


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