The Show Must Go On ‐ How HP ZCentral Remote Boost Made Remote Post‐Production a Reality During a Global Pandemic

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By Barbara Marshall

Last Updated: October 30, 2020 2:00 pm GMT
(October 30, 2020) Tonight was a big deal for HP Inc. During a live-stream event, the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences honored us with an Engineering Emmy for our remote working and collaboration solution, HP ZCentral Remote Boost. For years, Z by HP workstations have powered the entertainment industry. Many award-winning teams have used Z by HP solutions for editing, animation, and visual effects on their TV shows.

Emmy Award Statue

But this Emmy marks the first time HP itself has been honored with such an award. From animation and live music, to prime-time TV and Shakespeare, HP ZCentral Remote Boost has enabled productions of all kinds to make it to air, despite a global pandemic.

"This win is a special moment for HP,” said Jim Nottingham, general manager and global head, Advanced Compute and Solutions at HP. “It is proof that as people’s needs change in uncertain times, our broad combination of hardware, software, and services continue to deliver the solutions our customers need. Little did we know at the beginning of the year that our remote collaboration software would become as essential as the PC.”

Engineering Emmy Awards are given for technologies that are either so extensive an improvement over existing methods or so innovative in nature that they materially affect how television is created. Even before COVID-19, ZCentral Remote Boost was advancing the state of the art of television. It was enabling editors, artists, and other creative pros to improve collaboration, creativity, and productivity. Since quarantine, however, ZCentral Remote Boost has enabled TV productions around the world to make it to air despite teams being unable to access their usual studios.

DreamWorks Animation Pipeline Supervisor Chris Bennett said, “ZCentral Remote Boost allowed for an incredibly quick response to our COVID-19 remote work plan and has kept our film and TV productions on schedule.”

Mark Kendrick, RSC Lead Video Editor said, “HP ZCentral Remote Boost has proved invaluable to the continuation of video production at the Royal Shakespeare Company.”

HP's first product was an audio oscillator used in Disney's Fantasia - so our roots in this industry are deep. From the start, innovation was written into our DNA and customer needs are at the heart of what we do.

Z by HP CTO Bruce Blaho, who was one of the early advocates of the technology, said, “This is what drove us almost 20 years ago to develop what seemed at the time a crazy notion - a remoting protocol that moves pixels instead of data. We anticipated an explosive growth in datasets – and believed that data should stay put, for performance and security reasons.”

HP ZCentral Remote Boost is a software-only remote computing application designed to allow the user access to advanced-compute power from anywhere. Formerly known as Remote Graphics Software (RGS), it features HP compression technology that was used by NASA to retrieve images from Mars. ZCentral Remote Boost enables users to remotely connect to a powerful workstation (Linux or Windows) using almost any end-point device (Linux, Windows or MacOS). We’ve even heard of customers using their mobile phone to remotely connect to their workstation! ZCentral Remote Boost is included with every Z workstation (desktop or mobile) and is available for purchase on non-Z devices.

"HP ZCentral Remote Boost is built on two foundational principles – first, keep it simple and second, do no harm,” said Clif Robin, Z by HP technical manager for software. “It’s important to us to preserve the integrity of the customer experience – so we only transport pixels, not data – and as a software-only solution, it allows the customer to use the infrastructure they already have.”

While ZCentral Remote Boost has just won an Engineering Emmy for its services to TV production, it is a flexible solution that is widely adopted in other industries – such as architectural and product design.

The award ceremony was live streamed tonight (Oct 29) at 5pm PT. A recording is available at emmys.com.

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About HP ZCentral Remote Boost
Advancing the art of television during the global pandemic with access to high-performance computing from anywhere, ZCentral Remote Boost continues to accelerate remote creative processes for production teams around the world. Z by HP technology is powering remote work for editors, artists and other creative professionals with the capabilities required for collaboration, creativity and production. ZCentral Remote Boost provides users access to high-performance computing for a range of applications and use cases including VFX, simulation and 3D, providing flexibility for end users to create on almost any end-point device remotely.

HP ZCentral Logo

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