Apple's Pro ezine has posted a nice piece by Joe Cellini on the production of Saturday Night Live: The Complete First Season (available on DVD and in iTS) by Broadway Video. The definitive DVD set includes the original 24 "Not Ready For Prime Time Players" episodes from way back in 1975. Why the long delay? Music clearances, which took a full 32 years to finish, leaving BV only six weeks to complete the DVD set in time for the holiday buying season.
Enter XSan. In the process of converting to high-def production, the SNL team built out a ginormous XServe RAID storage network, including a complete 30-year archive of all the standard-def shows stored in 10-bit uncompressed format. Gosh, that's... (quick calculation in AJA Data Rate) about 150 GB per 90-minute show, 30 seasons of 24 shows each: over 100 terabytes of funny, not even counting the HD shows from the past two seasons. With the first season already digitized, the DVD production was dramatically faster than it would have been otherwise, and according to BV, they "did the entire process using Macs running Final Cut Pro, Shake, Final Touch, and DVD Studio Pro, all SAN-based." Cheeseburger cheeseburger!