Drive Prices and Flooding in Thailand…The ramifications and solutions for media

November 29, 2011 Leave a comment

The flooding in Thailand is real and will impact the media and post production business.  After the Japan tsunami issues with Sony SR stock, now as tape-less acquisition becomes the standard, hard drives are becoming harder to find and more expensive.

Key Code Media is receiving weekly price increases from our drive suppliers.  Many of our other suppliers who have extended inventories are creating a sense of urgency to us to buy now, rather than being in a situation where they run out of inventory.

Straight from Bloomberg BusinessWeek (

Oct. 12: Seagate Technology PLC, which makes hard drives, says its factories in Thailand have been operational, but it may have difficulty making hard drives because of constraints in getting parts.

Oct. 17: Computer hard drive maker Western Digital Corp. says flooding damage to its Thailand locations will have a significant impact on its operations and its ability to meet customer demand the rest of the year.

Oct. 18: Apple Inc. CEO Tim Cook says he is “virtually certain there will be an overall industry shortage of disk drives.” Cook warns that Apple’s Mac lines will be most affected.

Nov. 21: Hewlett-Packard Co. says supply constraints should start to ease by the end of the fiscal second quarter, which ends in April. But the company says the situation remains dynamic. “I’ve been on the phone with the heads of all four of our disk drive partners and I’m not even sure they have a complete picture about when they’re going to be back up and running,” CEO Meg Whitman said. She says the company expects to get more than its fair share of drives because of long-term relationships with suppliers, but “this is going to be pretty tough for the industry.”

Hard drive limitations and price increases are real and will be an issue through June 2012.  So what should the post production industry do?

The easy answer, buy hard drives now before they get more expensive.  The harder answer is with tight margin and projects not confirmed, buying drives in anticipation of a shortage is tough and risky approach.  Key Code Media’s recommendation is to evaluate LTO-5.  We represent a couple key archive and asset management technologies allowing for quick archive and retrieval.  LTO-5 stores 1.5TB of data and is priced, per cartridge under $60.  With the stability of a 30 year shelf life, LTO-5 provides reliable archive and now with LTFS, can be used in place of fire wire drives and traditional video tape.  We carry two companies products which start below $8,000 that can get our clients over the drive shortage hump: Cache-A and StorageDNA.

Give us a call to further discuss: 818-303-3900, 415-221-0300, 206-728-4000, 310-401-6700 and 949-757-0303



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Key Code Media highlights Innovative Tapeless Daily Workflow @Createasphere

October 27, 2011 Leave a comment

Createasphere is November 2nd-3rd next week. Key Code Media will be featuring a tapeless filebased dailies workflow at Booth #303.
File based workflows are changing the way Hollywood creates Television and Movies.  Key Code Media will release and demonstrate innovative and cost effective ways to capture, edit, archive and conform.

How do you manage and archive large file acquisition of RED, ARRI, Panasonic or Sony?

How do you deploy Avid Technology’s latest version MediaComposer integrated into tapeless offline and online workflows (November 3rd is a must see)?

How do you inexpensively and intelligently archive on robust low cost media and then be able to efficiently search and retrieve the media?  StorageDNA’s Evolution X200-48 leverages automation, LTFS and intelligence to solve the issues with set to post archive.  Additionally, Key Code Media will highlight RED online conforms from LTO-5!

Visit Key Code Media at booth 303 @Createasphere

Explore where future technology and creative vision converge.

Featuring educational sessions, interactive panels, and hands-on access at Gear Alley, Createasphere’s Entertainment Technology Expo in Burbank offers the knowledge and tools you need to compete in the ever-changing world of content creation.

Highlights include:

  • Hundreds of exhibitors with the newest technologies
  • Lively sessions such as:Intensives from Adobe, AJA, Assimilate, Canon, Quantum, & Sony
    • How’d You Get That Shot?@?!
    • Pro Video Coalition Panel
    • Shoulder to Shoulder with the ASC
    • Conversation with Salvatore Totino, ASC
  • Hosted reception for premium networking
  • 3D Road Show follows on November 4
  • Post Production Master Class takes you from the set to delivery with ease

Marriott Burbank Airport Hotel & Convention Center

2500 Hollywood Way

Burbank, CA 91505

Wednesday November 2, 2011



Createasphere Location:
Burbank Marriott
2500 Hollywood Way
Burbank, Ca 91505
Parking: Limited spaces are available at the Marriott ($2/hr, $10max), otherwise there is a overflow parking lot, and shuttle service available ($10 Flat Rate)
Overflow Parking Lot Map:

Createasphere Exhibit Hours:
Wednesday (11/2) 1:00am-8:00pm   (6:00pm-8:00pm, Evening Reception)
Thursday (11/3) 11:00am-4:00pm

Categories: News

Professional Video Monitor Wall at Key Code Media

October 21, 2011 Leave a comment

After many long months of waiting, our video wall is up and running. This is a great way to get clients into our facility – and possibly sell some color grade worthy monitors.

In our arsenal:

Sony PVM2541 (OLED)
Cinetal Cinemage B230
TV Logic LVM-243W
Panasonic BT-LH2550
JVC DT-V24G11Z (2)
…and we also have an old HD Sony BVM CRT for comparison.

All of these are around the $5000 price point, and are 24”-25” The Sony OLED is the highest price model, at $6100 list, and the CineTal is a couple of years old.

Upon request and some advanced notice, we can play client provided footage or a particular codec on these monitors so a client can see how it translates. The ability to compare these monitors with new Sony OLED technology is informative.

The JVC’s + Cinetal are available to be sold – and we really want to get them out of inventory to restock with new monitors. The rest of the monitors cannot be sold until next year. Please speak with Demo if you have a pending sale so we can order a replacement. We’d like to keep a “fully stocked” video wall.

Call Key Code Media
206-728-4000, 818-303-3900, 415-221-0300, 310-401-6700 or 949-757-0303 for more information

Key Code Media, Ten years in business

September 21, 2011 Leave a comment

Ten years ago today, I gathered 21 potential employees in a conference room in Burbank, California to recruit them to a new business I was starting called Key Code Media.  This was ten days after the 911 terrorist attacks, probably one of the toughest times in U.S. history to start a business.  Fortunately, the team was interested in joining me and worked incredibly hard to make Key Code Media what we have become today.

The first year was an incredibly tough start, the economy was slow due to the September 11 attacks and the Writers Guild strike placed a significant shutdown for Hollywood production.  In 2002, we had to lay off nine employees.  That was one of the hardest moments at Key Code Media, as was 2009.  In 2002, my ex-partners, from a previous company had gone out of business.  Their bank still had a personal guaranty of mine and the bank collector was going after me personally.  Since credit was tight, my wife and I applied for over 16 credit cards and our C.F.O. Ka Man Chan juggled all payments with the list of cards and available credit.  The economy started to stabilize. I am grateful that Banker friends from college in helped me leverage the growth of the business by establishing significant lines of credit with their respective banks.  Startups are incredibly difficult.

Key Code Media has expanded our services and solutions over the years.  Early products were Telestream, Avid and Sony.  We have grown  to carry  a range of best of breed products which allow our clients to leverage the digital media revolution.  We are now involved in deploying asset management solutions, archive strategies and advanced services and consulting.

I am even more excited about the next ten years as we help improve our clients’ businesses.  Shortly, we’ll roll out new campaigns, services and solutions that will help our clients leverage their assets in ways that were unimaginable in 2001.

I’d like to personally thank our employees, vendors, my family and especially our clients who’ve supported us over the years.  Key Code Media wouldn’t be around without this amazing support.  Our 10 year celebration party will be on October 20th at our Burbank Corporate Facility.  Please stop by if you can.

Thank you all for your help
Mike Cavanagh
President and Founder

Categories: News

HP divesting PC business?

August 27, 2011 1 comment

HP is considering spinning off or selling the PC business.  Whoa….what does this mean to our Avid, Autodesk, Assimilate and Adobe users who count on HP to deliver high performance HP workstations?

My first take is good luck changing your business model.  That being said, every company needs a strategy and HP is making a distinct move away from the consumer and lower margin business’.  That said, we’re talking about a  $42 Billion top line business with $2 billion in profits, equaling 4.76 % net profit business.   My first take is, HP is passing up on an amazing opportunity to provide vendors with an integrated business to consumer workflow, well, not everyone can do Apple.

I had an opportunity to speak to the HP workstation team and get some insight about what this means moving forward for our clients who use HP products.  The good news is the Workstation team is almost giddy.  They believe carving out the PC business will allow them greater flexibility to design more products and not get caught up in HP’s divisions of server versus software and truly compete with more relevant solutions to complete high value workflows within the media industry.  They’ll be a  “nimble” and profitable Company.

So, HP warranties are safe, all products will be serviced by HP.  This transition could take up to eighteen months.  My one worry is the lack of development during this time as HP shifts resources to “higher margin” opportunities such as their recent acquisition of Autonomy.  Stay tuned, we’ll keep you updated.

BlackMagic H.264 Pro Recorder client feedback

August 25, 2011 Leave a comment

Last week one of our clients came into Key Code Media Burbank to do some testing with the H.264 Pro Recorder from Black Magic.

“There’s a lot to like about this but some trade offs.  I like it’s the size of a turkey sandwich.  with low power, low heat, no noise.  great option for our application which would live at someone’s desk.

The real time h264 looked pretty good.  we noticed some compression glitches when capturing with the “native” profile.

No ability to customize an encoding profile and very limited options in a drop down.  the box does not make any changes to the geometry, cropping, interlacing, etc.   Also doesn’t allow any change in audio settings other than selection of the embedded channels to capture.   So if you feed it 1280×720 HD-SDI, you get a 1280×720 h264, if you feed it 720×480 SDI, you get 720×480 h264.

Definitely not a replacement for a fully featured capture/encoding platform but for certain singular uses like this one, might fit the bill nicely.”

Call us for more info, testing and pricing.

Apple Lion OS 10.7 supported for Avid MediaComposer (local storage only)

August 21, 2011 Leave a comment

Avid now supports Apple OS 10.7 Lion with Media Composer 5.5.3 and Symphony 5.5.3, BUT they only support it with Local Storage. Unity, ISIS and Interplay are not supported at this time.  (knowledge base link).

Key Code Media will be reaching out to the third party SANs to get their qualification timeline.

Categories: News