With recent advancements in animated graphics, broadcasting organizations are looking to have a competitive advantage with high-resolution graphics that inform and entertain their audiences. To enable this type of graphics performance, the speed advantage of solid state drives (SSD) is more important than ever. As a leader in the graphics industry, ChyronHego provides graphics system for television and video production companies to add specialized graphics for everything from basic station identification logos, to overlays of sports scores and titles.
If you’ve ever watched a live game on TV, you’ve likely benefited from this type of technology: It provides visual effects for sports broadcasting, such as the first-down lines in football, trajectories of soccer balls or the highlighting that makes a hockey puck easier to follow during fast play. In fact, ChyronHego systems are used by sports organizations including the Olympics, the National Football League and Major League Baseball to provide scores during broadcasts.
The Need for Ultrafast, Reliable Storage
Increased graphics capabilities require more storage space and faster data-transmission speeds. In order to make these graphics possible, the systems must take recorded video and add additional layers of graphics on top of the original video. When the source video is filmed in 4K, or 3840×2160 pixels at 60 frames per second, the amount of data that must be processed can be significant.
According to Brian Wisnowski, a platform engineer at ChyronHego, the graphics standards for most television sets have improved from standard definition to high definition to 4K. Because of this change, traditional hard disk drives (HDDs) could no longer keep up with the sizable amount of data being captured, stored and processed. “Higher throughput became an issue for us on traditional drives as we began working with high-resolution content,” says Wisnowski. “We discovered that hard drives with spinning disks were limiting our efforts. A single high-resolution news clip could take up an entire spinning drive. That’s when we started looking at solid state drives.”
Solid State Drives Deliver Performance and Availability
Choosing the right solid state drive (SSD) isn’t always easy. As Wisnowski notes, ChyronHego needed to get the correct tool that combined reliability and performance. “Our initial switch to SSDs really came down to performance, but after our vendor ran into supply problems, we also realized the importance of supply and availability,” says Wisnowski. “So we looked at the Samsung 840 Pro and 850 Pro and saw a significant improvement in performance and plenty of availability. After that, selecting the Samsung SSD was a no-brainer. If I knew then what I know now, we would have started with Samsung from day one.”
The Samsung 850 PRO Series SSDs that the company selected can hold up to 2TB of data with sequential read speeds of up to 550MB per second and write speeds of up to 520MB per second — enough to meet the demanding requirements of video processing. The Samsung 850 Pro SSDs also have the lowest power consumption of any drive in its class. ChyronHego made this solution standard in almost all of its hardware due to its outstanding SSD speed and reliability.
SSDs Provide Superior Performance and Reliability
Not only is SSD speed and storage space a significant consideration for broadcasters, but the reliability of the SSD solution is critical. For sports programming, most broadcasting organizations have built mobile production facilities in large trucks, which can be moved from site to site between games. SSDs are immediately a more reliable option because they are lighter and more resistant to the bumps and bruises of life on the road. The reason for this is the lack of moving parts in SSDs, which makes them less prone to damage during transport from game to game. Additionally, these devices make no noise, use less power and require less cooling than HDDs.
SSDs Make a Big Impact
According to Wisnowski, ChyronHego’s clients are “consistently impressed” by the performance of the Mosaic XL, a graphics production platform that is used to create the graphics seen on television. “They could not believe how much they could do with the system,” said Wisnowski.
A significant part of the company’s success is its collaboration with Samsung SSDs. Its SSDs provide clients with confidence to record and produce an entire event without experiencing a hard drive failure. “The Samsung 840 Pro and 850 Pro SSDs have been extremely reliable,” says Wisnowski. “We experience far fewer problems than we ever did with traditional spinning disks. Before Samsung SSDs, there was always the possibility of a disk failure during a broadcast. Now our products with Samsung SSDs are more reliable and more predictable.”
When it comes to processing large amounts of data, SSDs can provide greatly improved performance and reliability, while using less power and producing less heat and noise. That’s why graphics companies like ChyronHego have adopted SSDs as their go-to solutions.