Clark Media Incorporates Video Devices’ File-based Video Deck for Added Flexibility

As a leading production equipment provider, Clark Media’s clients have come to rely on them for the latest and highest quality production solutions. They also turn to the company for advice and recommendations on implementing the best workflow for evolving productions. With this in mind, Clark Media recently incorporated the flexible PIX 270i file-based video deck from Video Devices — mission-critical video products by Sound Devices — into its rigs to accommodate its customers’ ever-changing needs.

With more than 30 PIX recorders in its inventory, Clark Media primarily uses the PIX 270i in custom rackmount fly-pack kits. They are packaged into “twin-packs” and “six-packs,” giving clients maximum flexibility when it comes to scaling the number of recorders needed for a particular recording project. Clark Media currently provides HD camera systems and a complete PIX 270i record solution for The Kitchen airing on Food Network and Moonshiners on the Discovery Network. Given the company also supports such major corporations as American Express, NASDAQ, VIGA, Merck, Bristol Myers Squib, Bank of America and Morgan Stanley, it is necessary for them to have multiple recorders on-hand. Additionally, the compact size of the PIX 270i lends perfectly to Clark Media’s mobile truck customers, who require the ability to capture multiple camera feeds in a limited space.

“Since many of our clients’ productions take place both in the studio and on location, the compact design of the PIX 270i allows them to have several channels of record in a very small footprint,” says Gary Snyder, President, Clark Media. “An added feature of the PIX 270i is the built-in monitor, as it allows the user to monitor all of the key parameters in real time. Currently, we have a mix of clients that use either ProRes or DNxHD, and the ability of the PIX 270i to record either format is a major benefit. Another huge advantage of the PIX 270i is that it can write directly to external drives, including approved 1TB drives, enabling us to record for extended lengths. At the end of the day, we simply remove the drive and hand it over to our clients’ post departments.”

The PIX 270i offers significant advantages and time savings to production workflows, providing tapeless, file-based recording and playback with the ability to access and transfer high-quality files over Ethernet. The unit records edit-ready Apple ProRes or Avid DNxHD files and allows simultaneous multi-drive recording, giving production staff peace of mind with their rock-solid redundancy and four-drive backup capabilities. The extensive audio capabilities, including 64 channels of both MADI audio and Dante audio-over-Ethernet, make the PIX 270i a comprehensive, cost-effective solution that is ideal for when there is a need for multiple tracks of audio, such as live events, concerts and sports broadcasts.

“The PIX 270i is at just the right price point to provide our customers with high-quality recording that won’t negatively impact the budget for our production jobs,” adds Snyder. “Our engineers are also big fans of its Dante capabilities, because the audio requirements on many of our jobs are usually very complex. We have been using Dante to take advantage of this flexibility, and record 16 channels of audio to each and every recorder. This makes the post-production process very easy, because the editors do not have to search for any ISO microphones.”

The PIX 270i offers 3G-SDI (12-bit, 4:4:4) and HDMI I/O, and can record at numerous data rates. Full RGB Apple ProRes 4444 (330 Mbps) and low-data-rate proxy files (36 Mbps) are available. Files are ready for import directly into popular editing environments, including Avid, Final Cut Pro and Adobe Premiere Pro, eliminating time-consuming transferring and transcoding.

Up to four drives—two SATA drives in PIX-CADDYs and two SATA-connected drives—can be connected to the PIX 270i. All four drives can be recorded to simultaneously or sequentially for redundancy and long-form programs. This redundancy in local, removable storage devices, coupled with standard, Ethernet-based file-transfer features, further reduces steps in the production workflow. Recording to multiple drives offers immediate file backup, eliminating time-consuming post-record copying. Gigabit Ethernet network ports enable remote access to recorded files and the ability to transfer these files quickly into a post-production environment.

The PIX 270i’s mission-critical reliability is further enhanced with DC redundancy, FileSafe and PowerSafe technologies. PowerSafe offers a built-in 10-second power reserve to protect against loss of data due to power interruption while FileSafe automatically recovers files should a drive be accidentally disconnected during recording.

Customer service is a major factor in Clark Media’s continued use of the company’s products. “It’s obvious that Sound Devices values Clark Media as a client because of the interactions we’ve had with support,” adds Snyder. “We at Clark feel as though our voices are heard, especially when we see improvements in firmware that appear to be the result of conversations we’ve had with the company. Sound Devices is one of the most reliable and pro-active companies we have dealt with. We plan to add more PIX 270i recorders to our inventory as it has become our go-to solution for a majority of our clients.”

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