CASE STUDY

AXS TV Saves Time and Money Editing in the Cloud

February 21, 2023By Whit Jackson

AXS TV is an American television network dedicated to the best in music programming, select concerts, in-depth interviews, and high-energy combat sports. The channel is available across 50+ million households via cable operators, telcos, satellite providers, and streaming services. When the global pandemic struck on top of a planned move of its master control center, AXS needed a new content storage solution that was both economical and highly accessible.

Global pandemic and a master control relocation forces move to the cloud

Like so many in the M&E industry, when the global pandemic forced new work-from-home models, the team at AXS had to quickly figure out how to keep the creative pipeline running when their staff could no longer enter the studio to access their on-prem content library. Initially, AXS creative teams in Los Angeles and Denver deployed a remote screen-share setup for editing, but it was incredibly slow. “The latency was off the charts,” said Orin Levy, post-production engineer and producer at AXS. “It was literally click and go grab your coffee. Absolutely untenable.” It was clear that things needed to change.

AXS then discovered LucidLink Filespaces, a file system that offers access to data stored remotely as if it were on a local disk. With LucidLink, AXS could centrally store content files in the cloud and creatives working from home could edit as if the source files were directly attached to their workstation. LucidLink solves the problem of distance and latency by segmenting the stored objects into tiny blocks to minimize the data traffic between the cloud and local applications. For AXS, that meant video files did not need to be downloaded in their entirety prior to editing but could instead be edited from the cloud – a massive time saver.

AXS was able to get the production pipeline back in action, but there were considerable costs to absorb with their initial cloud storage vendor. Further, AXS was planning a relocation of their master control from Denver to Toronto, which was going to require a substantial amount of temporary storage to execute the move of 20 years of accumulated content.

Wasabi Hot Cloud Storage with no hidden fees

Levy was introduced to Wasabi Hot Cloud Storage as an alternative to his existing storage provider. Wasabi offers high-performance cloud object storage at flat-rate pricing. In particular, Wasabi does not charge for data egress (download) or API calls, which is a substantial cost-saving factor in an edit-from-the-cloud workflow.

Levy decided to put the two cloud storage vendors to the test. “I did my own tests for latency and user experience, and while the two solutions offered similar performance, the price point of Wasabi was literally half,” said Levy. “I could see that the per-TB, per-user cost of our original cloud storage was going to exceed our budget for the master control move. That was really the bottom line that drove me to Wasabi.”

Wasabi was pitched as tier-two storage, but it certainly didn't act like it. It was that fast. Why would I pay more money when I can get the same or better results for less with Wasabi?”

Fast, inexpensive cloud storage opens up new possibilities

Once AXS was using Wasabi Hot Cloud Storage, Levy found other valuable use cases for it. One was faster delivery of advertising from the company’s various vendors. Another was faster upload and availability of content from the network’s affiliated IMPACT Wrestling division, which produces live events. “The team could shoot during the day and upload the camera files to Wasabi that night, so it was ready for editing first thing the next morning,” said Levy.

What’s next for AXS TV?

“We’re at the technical infancy of cloud-based editing,” said Levy. “We have heard in our industry for years that cloud-based editing was a thing, but nobody could ever get it to work. Well, it works now. It’s great to have a solution like Wasabi, connected to LucidLink, that works so well and keeps us within budget.” 

Learn more about how the media and entertainment industry leverages hot cloud object storage.

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