Case Study with Norb Caoili

About Norb Caoili

Norb Caoili has been a Seattle Seahawks fan since the age of 10, back when the Seahawks weren't known for plays as much as the personalities on the roster such as Jim Zorn and Steve Largent. Norb remembers playing a little league game at the Kingdome before a Seahawks vs. Giants game where he scored a touchdown and then got to watch the Seahawks game from the sidelines. He was hooked and become a season ticket holder in 1996.

The start of his YouTube channel would come later in 2013 and happen almost by chance. The Seahawks were losing to the Buccaneers at CenturyLink 20-0. Amazingly, the Seahawks came back to send the game into overtime. Seattle was driving for a would-be game winning field goal, and Norb decided to record his reaction to this historic come-from-behind win and posted it on YouTube. Peopled loved it and wanted more. So, he continued to record it all the way to the NFC Championship game and made a documentary of my journey to the Super Bowl with his dad.

With that first Super Bowl win, his YouTube channel started to explode.

Tools of the Trade

The NFL season is the busiest time of the year for Norb. He posts at least five videos a week including NorbCam panel discussions about previous and upcoming games, collaborations with YouTubers from rival teams, comedy sketches, and Madden simulations. Norb streams some of this content in real time on YouTube, but a lot of it requires production and editing. Norb spends about 15-20 hours a week preparing his content for YouTube.

Norb uses a variety of software tools to manage his daily workflow. He uses Adobe Premiere and Photoshop for editing video, creating thumbnails and graphics for his channel. Occasionally he relies on Pro Tools for sound design or music composition. But the hub for all this livestreaming is a product called OBS Studio, which is freeware yet powerful and versatile. Norb uses these tools to incorporate a lot of visuals and sound effects during his livesteam.

My last computer struggled to keep up. It’s hard to edit when you can’t watch the flow of the show due to system hiccups, dropped frames, etc. It’s very frustrating.

Technical Challenges

Producing content during the time the world is dealing with COVID-19, creates several challenges, none bigger than not knowing exactly how his content creation business would be affected. Norb produces videos on a regular basis for clients, and he wasn't sure if they would remain committed to him, but they did. Norb and his team learned how to create content from home like simulating Zoom meetings, teaching employees how to create themselves on mobile phones or how to use a green screen to put people in places where he couldn't shoot.

Other challenges include how to handle increasingly large files sizes as cameras improve. Norb's previous computer had a hard time keeping up with all the layers of video, graphics and effects he had loaded into Premiere.

Speed, speed, speed. I just want to be able to create and not have the technology slow me down.

The Solution

Norb has been working on custom PCs for many years including various desktop Macs and Mac laptops through the late 90s, mostly because he used Pro Tools and Final Cut. When Apple stopped supporting Final Cut about ten years ago, he switched over to running Adobe products on a Windows PC, and have been there ever since.

When his last PC struggled to keep up, Norb's business partner thought it would be best to upgrade to a custom workstation from Puget Systems. One of his primary goals was to own a top-of-the-line editing workstation that could handle his workflow without any bottlenecks or hit to reliability.

With that in mind, Puget Systems built the following workstation:

  • Asus ROG Strix X570-E motherboard
  • AMD Ryzen 9 3900X 3.8GHz twelve-core CPU
  • 128GB Samsung DDR4-2666 RAM
  • EVGA GeForce RTX 3080 XC3 Ultra 10GB graphics card
  • Seagate Firecuda 520 Gen4 2TB M.2 SSD (x2)
  • EVGA SuperNOVA 850W PSU
  • Fractal Design Define 7 case
  • Windows 10 Pro 64-bit

Why Puget Systems?

In short, speed. Norb wanted a workstation that could make quick work of his video without getting in the way of telling a story. Norb mentioned that the technology doesn't mean anything if there's not a story behind it. And having a powerful workstation from Puget Systems leaves Norb with more time to create and tell stories.