CASE STUDY – ENVY: Capture to the Max
Award-winning full-service post production house ENVY sees a wide range of projects, including documentaries, entertainment, factual entertainment, scripted and shortform content pass through its doors. Featuring a state-of-the-art set-up, the London-based facility has built a reputation for its ability to offer clients streamlined and bespoke workflows to support their requirement.
ENVY’s newest division, CAPTURE, is a specialist remote workflow division, delivering record and media management services on location tailored to overcome the challenges of fixed rig productions. The custom-built set-up creates high-resolution and proxy versions of the incoming video feeds to provide edit-ready media, removing the need for backup and ingest workflows out in the field.
The creation of ENVY CAPTURE involved a lot of custom designed hardware that needed to operate as efficiently as possible with as few people on set as possible. “Although Cinegy works out-of-the-box, we needed to push it much further in order to meet our technical goals” says Toby Weller, Solutions Architect at ENVY CAPTURE.
With the sheer volume of content the post house handles – an average show can rack up in excess of 2500 hours of live feeds – it was critical to ensure the workflow could support ingest of multiple feeds quickly across different formats, reliably. The obvious answer was Cinegy Capture, which now powers the fixed rig record offering.
ENVY 2022 SHOWREEL
As Weller explains, “One of the things we wanted to do, which other fixed rig providers don’t do, is provide quality on scale. We wanted to offer a much higher quality native XAVC Intra codec as standard and combine that with live-creating proxy versions. This saves huge amount of time on the back end instead of creating them on Avid or other transcode engines.”
Cinegy Capture was designed to make ingest as flexible and reliable as possible, supporting a wide range of video formats and creating multiple formats and proxy copies at the same time; this enables the solutions to replace separate ingest and transcode machines typically required to achieve the same results. Each ENVY Capture system supports up to 48 HD channels, up to 768 uncompressed audio tracks and up to 12 UHD channels.
Weller adds, “Each of our Capture nodes will record 16 video inputs with 16 mono audio embeds and create a native, a proxy and a multiviewer stream – based on Cinegy Multiviewer – so in all, each of our Capture nodes is creating up to 48 different live encodes. We then pack in up to six nodes per rig and duplicate records to create a fully redundant, incredibly dense system”
In a typical OB environment ENVY will use Cinegy Multiviewer side-by-side with live production feeds to monitor the stream status and incoming audio, as well as provide the production teams with a confirmation of record.
When you work on the scale that ENVY does, it can create storage bottle necks, which is something no project can afford. As Weller explains, “The great thing about Cinegy Capture is that it runs on x86 hardware. This offers an awful lot of buffering potential; you can choose where those buffers are and how much protection you have to circumvent the bumps in the road. This enables us to record straight to ultra-fast network storage, allowing immediate creation of LTOs as well as sending data back to base for editing.”
With Cinegy Capture at its heart, ENVY has been able to create a compact, highly mobile piece of kit that is far smaller than would otherwise be possible and is very accepting of different temperatures and solar radiation.
The workflow has already been used on projects such as C4’s Love Trap, Amazon’s Lovestruck High and BBC3’s Love in the Flesh.