Utah Scientific launches Foundation Series of routers

Utah Scientific launched the Foundation Series, a family of hybrid digital routing systems ideal for a broad range of broadcast, mobile, corporate, and postproduction applications. It leverages technology …


Utah Scientific launched the Foundation Series, a family of hybrid digital routing systems ideal for a broad range of broadcast, mobile, corporate, and postproduction applications. It leverages technology in Utah Scientific’s UTAH-400 Series 2 router family, designed to provide a single platform for all digital router applications and handle all digital signal formats.

The Foundation Series routers include newly designed output cards that use the same physical footprint as any Series 2 router to provide twice the number of outputs. These outputs can be connected directly to multi-viewers and other monitoring devices that are installed locally with the router. These outputs can also be repurposed as standard outputs to drive up to 100 meters of standard cable runs.

“With the growing number of large-screen displays that use multi-viewer technology to display multiple images on a single screen, our customers have an increased requirement for outputs that can be dedicated to monitoring. In the new Foundation Series, we’ve repurposed our Series 2 technology to offer customers a feature-rich yet lower-cost solution,” said Tom Harmon, president and CEO, Utah Scientific. “The ability to drive normal cable runs as well as short runs to multi-viewers is a unique attribute of the Foundation Series, and it is another example of our ongoing commitment to provide the industry’s most advanced signal distribution technology to our customers.”

The Foundation Series gives users the ability to deploy routers in a rectangular configuration, rather than the traditional square router design, and additional outputs can be added while still maintaining full crosspoint redundancy for both normal outputs and monitor outputs. Additionally, the outputs can be loaded with all of the advanced feature cards currently available for Series 2 routers, including IP gateways, embedders/de-embedders, frame synchronizers, advanced audio features, and clean/quiet outputs.

The Foundation Series can be controlled by any version of Utah Scientific’s current family of routing control systems, including the SC-4, SC-40, and SC-400. In addition, the routers support hardware control protocol to enable control by third-party interfaces and legacy control systems.

Clear-Com’s Helixnet 3.0 makes US debut at NAB 2016

Clear-Com HelixNet Version 3.0, a software-only update to the HelixNet digital network partyline platform, will make its US debut at 2016 NAB Show. It expands the system channel …


Clear-Com HelixNet Version 3.0, a software-only update to the HelixNet digital network partyline platform, will make its US debut at 2016 NAB Show. It expands the system channel capacity of a single Main Station to 12 PL channels as an out-of-the-box standard configuration. For productions needing more communication links and customization, HelixNet can be expanded to a 24 PL channel system by purchasing a firmware license.

Coming to customization, with Version 3.0, every user device can be assigned a role, which is simply a label for a pre-defined configuration including channel assignment and audio parameters for a particular workflow. The number of roles is virtually unlimited, and a role could be used by many devices in a workgroup, or a unique role could be assigned to an individual. Roles can be bypassed for independent device programming if desired.

An added feature is the ability to stack and/or expand Main Stations with Remote Stations or Remote Stations with Remote Stations, allowing these stations to act as one user position when it comes to addressing all channels. A single headset or microphone could command an entire multiple-device HelixNet system.  It also allows the Remote Mic Kill feature to affect all channels, not just the selected ones, as in previous versions.

HelixNet 3.0 comes with a free browser-based software tool called Core Configuration Manager (CCM). This tool can be easily setup and can be configured to all HelixNet devices online using the latest and popular browsers running on Mac, PC and tablet platforms. The CCM displays and controls all connected devices, network settings and audio parameter functions on the screen, while the save/restore function allows quick duplication of systems.

“With this software upgrade, we are helping HelixNet users to do much, much more with less hardware,” said John Wyckoff, Product Manager at Clear-Com. “HelixNet 3.0 offers the advantages of an IP-based platform for easy linking and management of HelixNet, without losing the simplicity and familiarity of partyline functions.”

Square Box Systems introduces CatDV Archive to S3 Cloud

Square Box Systems announced the launch of CatDV Archive to Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3) Cloud, enabling the archiving of CatDV-managed media assets and associated metadata in S3, …


Square Box Systems announced the launch of CatDV Archive to Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3) Cloud, enabling the archiving of CatDV-managed media assets and associated metadata in S3, the cloud-based file-storage service offered by Amazon Web Services.

Square Box Systems claims that its CatDV helps teams organize, communicate and collaborate effectively in organizations that create or manage a large volume of digital media. These tools support sophisticated media workflows, from single-user installations to large dispersed teams in global operations.

With CatDV Archive to S3 Cloud providing a direct link to S3 from CatDV’s Web and desktop user interfaces, users can copy content directly to Amazon S3 object storage or archive files to clear space on their local storage drives — all the while preserving the assets’ metadata and tagging. They can view the status of the service and the job queue at any time during a CatDV Archive to S3 Cloud operation.

“Ideal for production, postproduction, and repurposing of finished media assets, CatDV is well-suited to content creators in traditional broadcast and production operations, as well as many other types of businesses,” said Dave Clack, CEO of Square Box Systems. “With CatDV Archive to S3 Cloud, we’ve given our customers even greater workflow flexibility and the added confidence that their valuable assets are protected — with the increasing cost savings and efficiencies enabled by the cloud.”

The Call Of The Wild

Emmanuel Lubezki’s decision to shoot ‘The Revenant’ in natural light, a challenging choice, paid off when he bagged his third Oscar. The support from the teams of Technicolor …


Emmanuel Lubezki’s decision to shoot ‘The Revenant’ in natural light, a challenging choice, paid off when he bagged his third Oscar. The support from the teams of Technicolor and Moving Pictures Company equally helped him deliver one of the most cinematically riveting movies of the year

When cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki won an Oscar for ‘Best Cinematography’ for ‘The Revenant’ in 2015, he set a new record. ‘The Revenant’ was shot mostly in natural light in harsh climatic conditions, giving it a wraithlike luminosity. The punishing survival epic depicted by director Alejandro González Iñárritu’s was about the true-life trial survived by 19th century explorer Hugh Glass, played by Leonardo DiCaprio. Iñárritu and Lubezki opted to shoot the movie using only natural light under the harshest of conditions in chronological order during the fall and winter of 2014 and 2015.
In various interviews, Iñárritu, Lubezki, DiCaprio, and various cast and crewmembers have referred to the shoot as the most arduous project of their careers. What has been less discussed, is how uniquely challenging and often unorthodox the project’s post-production requirements were!
In particular, the filmmakers’ needs for the colour-finishing process over the course of eight weeks were more complex and unusual than any motion-picture that Steven Scott, Technicolor’s Supervising Finishing Artist on the project and the company’s VP of Theatrical Imaging, had ever experienced in his 25 years career as a visual effects artist and colourist working on major motion pictures.
Aware that this would be a challenging movie, Lubezki had Technicolor work with him from day one to plan the complex workflow that would allow him to complete its colour finishing the way he wanted. To accomplish this, Technicolor put together a team of people, including visual effects animators and artists, led by Doug Spilatro, Technicolor’s VP of Visual Effects.
The team had to bring their technique to a whole new level since Lubezki shot the movie relying exclusively on natural light, which was constantly shifting during production. Indeed, the project posed challenges in this regard because of the subtle properties of the natural light that Lubezki captured on location while shooting the movie with a combination of Arri Alexa camera systems—the Alexa XT, Alexa M, and the then-brand new Alexa 65 system, to permit an ultra-wide-angle visual aesthetic.

COLOUR CORRECTION ON-SITE
Shooting in the woods, on mountains, and on the plains of Alberta in the late fall and winter, Lubezki’s team was often limited to daylight shooting that started around 9:30 a.m. and ended before 4 p.m. most days. With shifting clouds and giant trees constantly blocking and changing the direction of light and producing moving shadows, the cinematographer knew from his earliest location scouts that his job mastering natural light to his satisfaction would be an ongoing process—one that would begin on location and be completed at Technicolor during the finishing phase. Scott emphasized that the seamless integration of Technicolor’s finishing department was not only crucial to the project, it was also made easier by the fact that Technicolor’s On-Location Services unit was tasked with handling data management and dailies work as the production laboured in the Canadian wilds. In fact, Technicolor unit travelled with Lubezki’s crew to all locations for principal and second-unit photography, and handled dailies distribution back to multiple visual effects vendors and editorial, and made sure data management was consistent throughout the entire project.
An Autodesk Lustre colour-correction system was utilized on location for colour grading dailies, allowing for full finishing colour and controls on a 2K projector, which was set up in a Technicolor trailer near the show’s production offices in Calgary and British Columbia. Colourists Jodie Davidson, Jeff Olm and Dave Wilkinson handled dailies colour-grading responsibilities.

BEING PREPARED FOR ISSUES
Technicolor’s dailies platform, rendered-out deliverables in multiple formats as needed—DNX36 175 for editorial, H.264 for the PIX dailies viewing platform, and HDCam SR for 20th Century Fox marketing requests, while all dailies were backed up to LTO drives. Additionally, a dailies screening room was set up for editorial and creative needs in the production offices. Lubezki would frequently supervise grading in the trailer in 2k, and then go to the screening room for nightly screening sessions.
Kenny Vicent, Technicolor’s Director of Field Engineering, helped support the location work. “Chivo (Lubezki’s nickname) always knew it would be an extremely complex undertaking, and that he would not have the typical lighting support and setups,” he said.

An Autodesk Lustre colour-correction system was
utilized on location for colour grading dailies.

Scott explained, “He strategically planned based on the fact that he would have no [lighting] control. He was keenly aware of the issues that would bring about, and he wanted to be as prepared as possible. So we talked about that early on, as soon as he started doing scouting and conducting tests. I saw all that [test] material, and we would get together and play with it and establish preliminary looks. In fact, even before he shot a frame of this movie, Chivo knew what kind of pipeline we would have to set up, and he knew how long we would need for the finishing and that it would be a longer schedule than typical. We discussed the kinds of work we would be doing, and that we would be isolating and playing with different parts of individual frames. That was all planned out in advance.”
More specifically, Lubezki needed Technicolor’s in-house visual effects’ department to work in tandem with the finishing department to do the job that Lubezki envisioned. In fact, Spilatro emphasized that Lubezki “told them early on, ‘I’m going to make changes until the very last minute,’ so we would need to be flexible. We understood that, with his [cinematography plan accounting for] light shifts during the finishing, we would have to build our own hand-drawn animated mattes and track them, and that there would be a large number of them, far more than on Birdman, where we originally experimented with this technique.”
The project required a visual effects team in-house, under the same roof as the finishing team, precisely as Technicolor Hollywood has been structured. The subtle visual effects-related work inside the finishing processes that Lubezki planned for was precisely within Technicolor’s wheelhouse. A team of finishing artists under Scott’s supervision colour graded the imagery using Lustre 2015 Extension 3 software and a Christie 4220 4k projector.

Emmanuel Lubezki shooting Forrest Goodluck who
plays Leonardo DiCaprio’s son, Hawk, in the movie.

ADDING LUSTRE FOR MAXIMUM FLEXIBILITY
Spilatro adds that Technicolor was able to perform all the animation work using the Lustre software, though it is traditionally considered a colour-correction tool first and foremost. This was required, once again, for what Spilatro calls “maximum flexibility,” because of the need to rapidly move mattes and other digital material through the finishing pipeline to keep the process from bogging down.
“The visual effects pipeline [within the finishing suite] that we designed started very early with Chivo, Steve, and myself,” Spilatro states. “We sat with Chivo on early cuts to map out the type of looks he was requesting. Once we had a locked cut (from picture editor Steve Mirrione, ACE), Steve and [finishing artist] Charles Bunnag would painstakingly go through every shot and build keyframe mattes—single frames of the requested mattes.
Steve and Charles would then use our shot tracking software [called Ftrack] and spreadsheets to pass the information onto the VFX team. Then, the matte was animated, reviewed, and sent to the finishing team for integration.” Using Lustre in this way was largely made feasible through the company’s unique partnership with Autodesk, according to Scott. “We have always worked closely with Autodesk, and their team, led by Bernard Malenfant, doing things which allowed us to complete the challenging roto in the way that we did,” Scott said.

GETTING GLOBAL SUPPORT
The project also benefitted from the fact that Technicolor’s global reach includes its subsidiary The Moving Pictures Company (MPC), one of the world’s leading visual effects producers, and the fact that MPC’s pipeline seamlessly plugs into Technicolor’s finishing pipeline. The MPC team worked on the film’s early ambush sequence.
Supervised by Arundi Asregadoo with support from VFX producer Lena Scanlan, the scene was meant to supplement Lubezki’s execution of an extended, one-take illusion in which a brutal, surprise assault on a trapper encampment by native fighters along a riverbank is seen—and felt—as intimately as possible.
Lubezki choreographed and shot much of it handheld, and operator Scott Sakamoto shot the rest via Steadicam and Technocrane. But Iñárritu wanted to subtly enhance the brutality and realism of the moment with the addition of more photo-real elements. MPC also created photo-real CG animals, including a beaver, deer, vultures, and horses; and its effects and compositing teams added smoke, fire, flying mud, and sky replacements, and strategically placed CG arrows to complete the illusion.

Emmanuel Lubezki shooting with the Arri Alexa 65 for ‘The Revenant’.

“Our whole approach was conceived and based on what Chivo said he needed to achieve and what Alejandro and he were envisioning,” Scott stated. “We advanced the technology and our thinking about how to do things so that they could be in the middle of the process. That is a fairly new concept for this industry, but it is the best way for the cinematographer to continue to guide the imagery, even after production ends, and not to sit to the side waiting for ‘post’ to do its thing. This is his work, and he should be able to continue in his role as the author of the images until the movie is released. Our job was to support him in doing that.”
That support was made possible thanks to an all-hands-on-deck commitment from Technicolor. Under Scott’s supervision, in addition to Bunnag, the film’s finishing colour-work also included finishing artists Michael Hatzer and Ntana Key, finishing producer Mike Dillon, finishing assistant producers Laura Holeman and Brandie Konopasek, and finishing data assistants Juan Flores, Chris Jensen and Kevin Razo. Supervising finishing editor Bob Schneider and finishing editor Carrie Oliver handled the film’s editorial conform responsibilities, interfacing with the production’s editorial team, led by Mirrione. Technicolor created a master 4K DCP for the movie, while the film’s Dolby master, award-season screeners and home-video versions were finished by colourist Skip Kimball.

On The Road To Glory

After eights months of gruelling shoot in South Africa’s Namib Desert, Margaret Sixel sifted through 470 hours of footage to create a 120-minute extravaganza that shocked, awed and …


After eights months of gruelling shoot in South Africa’s Namib Desert, Margaret Sixel sifted through 470 hours of footage to create a 120-minute extravaganza that shocked, awed and surpassed cinematic expectations, and landed her the ‘Best Film Editing’ Award at the 88th Academy Awards

Mad Max: Fury Road’ is the fourth film in veteran director George Miller’s Mad Max franchise and the first Mad Max film in 30 years. Set in a stark desert landscape, the film stars Tom Hardy as Max and Charlize Theron as Furiosa. The two team up to face a relentless enemy as they try to escape the desert wasteland on the Fury Road.

Margaret Sixel with director George miller

The film was well worth the wait—the post apocalyptic thriller is a technical and creative feat, receiving universal acclaim from audiences and critics alike. But the creative journey wasn’t easy. An intense eight-month shoot in the desolate Namib Desert in Southern Africa was followed by more than two years of post production. To cut the film, Miller’s long-time editor Margaret Sixel and her team had to weave together more than 470 hours of location footage into what would eventually become the final 120-minute film.
And not to mention the 2,700 individual shots that are an integral part of this 120-minute movie. One just cannot afford to go wrong with even one frame in any of these shots as it can jar the entire movie experience!
To achieve this monumental task, Sixel and her team relied on creative tools built upon the Avid MediaCentral Platform. By embracing Avid Everywhere, they were able to overcome immense challenges, including harsh production environments, limited Internet bandwidth, and great distances between creative teams to deliver one of the most innovative and exciting films of this generation.

The team used up to 20 cameras at one time
– from Arri Alexas to canon 5ds – that were often
fixed to moving vehicles to capture the action scenes

Staggering production challenges
The majority of ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’ revolves around an intense road battle, with dozens of vehicles, hundreds of extras, and mind-boggling stunts. To create these sequences, the team shot with up to 20 cameras at one time—from Arri Alexas to Canon 5Ds—that were often fixed to moving cars and trucks.
The editorial team on location needed to process 10 to 20 hours of footage on a daily basis—from ingest through transcoding to clearance—before finally sending media to the cutting rooms in Sydney. Furthermore, the more complex stunts had to be processed first to meet the shooting schedule and ensure they had been captured properly.
“All of the footage had to be flown back to Australia, which took at least three days, with essential material uploaded to Sydney daily,” explained Matt Town, Post Production Supervisor. “Unfortunately, the limited and inconsistent Internet bandwidth in Namibia made this extremely difficult. With over 470 hours of film, including 90 minutes of complex stunt work, the complexity of managing and sharing such a massive amount of media was staggering.”

Dealing with on-ground challenges
In order to meet these challenges, the team turned to Media Composer and ISIS shared storage. The system was comprised of nine Avid Media Composer stations running off a 44 TB ISIS system, including three Media Composer | Nitris DX systems to provide editors with highest performance for editing real time effects. Assistant editors used six additional stations to cut the film, with one running remotely in an in-house DI suite to facilitate greater integration with the DI process.
“For the most part the film was shot chronologically, which proved very useful,” Sixel explained. “Throughout the eight-month shoot in Southern Africa, I was in Australia building the cut. It was important to create decent cuts of the film early, so I could give George feedback and discuss pickups.”

All footage had to be flown back to Australia,
which took at least three days

The Media Composer system on location had its own separate ISIS system containing a copy of all the footage, which helped the teams overcome the difficulty of uploading cuts. Avid bins containing sequences were sent via email, which allowed them to turnaround sequences in as little as an hour—from the cutting rooms in Sydney to the desert of Namibia. The Avid system held up well in the two-year post-production process, including the time spent in the heat and dust of the Namib Desert.
“Throughout the entire process, Media Composer and ISIS allowed us to handle a massive amount of footage with ease,” said Town. “The ability to share bins enabled us to spread the load of sorting and arranging the footage across multiple assistants, so it could be easily reviewed. This is the bedrock upon which the whole editorial process stands. If you can’t find footage easily, you simply cannot edit it.”
“Our Avid workflow handled it brilliantly. It’s really the whole Avid package that makes it the only choice for professional editors,” said Sixel.

Working the material to death
Once the dust settled on the Namibia shoot, the real challenge for Sixel and her team began. Sixel spent countless hours experimenting, re-examining material, and searching for overlooked gems to provide Miller with as many creative choices as possible. The team created an enormous number of comps to build hundreds of shots, often combining up to eight layers. For example, they added missing vehicles, flames, muzzle flashes, extra war boys on the War Rig, and different backgrounds.
“I try to be as prepared as possible before Miller steps into the room, and I know what he expects,” said Sixel. “This was not an easy film to cut, and the overall orchestration was more challenging than any one scene. I created multiple versions of each scene and ordered them in terms of my favourites. Some of it looks deceptively simple, but the variables were enormous. Every sequence had many hours put into it, and every scene had to earn its place. No fat. No repetition.”
Once Miller was happy with a scene, Sixel asked the assistant editors to string together every available option for every shot, including numerous comp options. To create the alternate comp versions, the editors varied the timing of elements, used different takes, and experimented with alternate backgrounds. Miller and Sixel would then review all the alternatives and refine the cut further.

The team created an enormous number of comps to
build hundreds of shots, often combining up to eight layers

An intuitive editing process
“It was wonderful having all of this stunning material, but it could be mindboggling at times,” Sixel recalled. That is always a challenge when you have visually incredible footage like the screaming War Boys on The War Rig or other action sequences. At times like these, Sixel had to literally stick to the plot drop some scenes because the viewer might feel jaded with too much action. It meant looking at the same scenes, repeatedly.
“The number of possible variations was daunting, and we constantly returned to the original scene bins. When you first put a scene together, you look at a particular piece of footage one way. But as the film matures, you might look at the same material differently and see a new way to use it. We worked the material to death,” Sixel said.
The team’s relentless work ethic paid off, and ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’ became a blockbuster success. Sixel believed that although the process was very time consuming, it is very satisfying to see the amazing results. She compared the process to creating a mosaic work of art or a musical composition—subtle rearrangements can have a potent effect on the final cut.
Sixel felt that editing the film on Media Composer made the creative process very straightforward and intuitive. “I could sleep easily at night knowing that our Avid systems would keep track of the hundreds of edit decisions we made everyday,” she added.
Ask her the secret about the perfect editing and she revealed that it is not merely a technical exercise. Instead, she said, editing is intellectual, emotional and ultimately, like all artistic endeavours, intuitive. And like Jonas Salk said, the intuitive mind will tell the thinking mind where to look next. The same principle applies to editing too!

Ross Video’s Compact Production Switcher

Ross Video introduced a new Compact Production Switcher, Carbonite Black Solo, with nine inputs and six outputs, specifically designed to meet the needs of smaller productions. Solo has …


Ross Video introduced a new Compact Production Switcher, Carbonite Black Solo, with nine inputs and six outputs, specifically designed to meet the needs of smaller productions. Solo has six SD/HD-SDI connections and three HDMI inputs, with six floating frame synchronizers and format converters that can be assigned to any input, making connecting unreferenced sources simpler. For outputs there are five SDI and one HDMI, all completely assignable.

Carbonite Black Solo features a single ME with four full featured keyers, a transition keyer for DVE and Media wipes, and a UltraChrome chroma keyer. Additionally, there are two MiniME’s that are ideal for small event production and for secondary produced outputs. Each MiniME has two individual keyers, providing Solo with eight key layers in all.

Solo also includes a fully configurable MultiViewer as well as four channels of MediaStore for animated graphics or stills. There is also a digital audio output for the playback of audio with animations.

Carbonite Black Solo comes bundled with XPression Live CG software which provides the ability to create and push static graphics like lower thirds, over the shoulder boxes and slates directly into Solo’s internal MediaStores via Ethernet from a customer supplied computer. It includes full DashBoard control integration, ViewControl touch screen visual control, and RossTalk protocol as well as Camera Robotics, Video Server, and Audio Mixer control interfaces.

The product is available in three versions.  The first is an all-in-one with combined control panel and electronic processing, offering maximum portability.  The second is a rack-mount electronic frame with soft control panel, while the third is a control panel with a separate electronic frame for installations where it is desirable to separate operation from electronics.

The Carbonite Black Solo systems ships with an XPression LiveCG license to provide a complete production system with graphics. There is even an easy upgrade path to XPression Go, Prime, or Studio systems.

Riedel launches ESP-2324 Expansion Smartpanel

At the 2016 NAB Show, Riedel Communications introduced the ESP-2324 Expansion Smartpanel for its RSP-2318 Smartpanel, a multifunctional user interface aimed at broadcasters and A/V professionals. When connected …


At the 2016 NAB Show, Riedel Communications introduced the ESP-2324 Expansion Smartpanel for its RSP-2318 Smartpanel, a multifunctional user interface aimed at broadcasters and A/V professionals. When connected to an RSP-2318 Smartpanel, the compact expansion keypanel provides an additional 24 keys and four high-resolution multi-touch color displays that are easy to read even at wide angles and in bright sunlight.

“Our Smartpanel user interface is designed to enable a new degree of flexibility in building the communications solutions that professional production and broadcast operations require, and the new ESP-2324 Expansion Smartpanel very simply adds further versatility and scalability to this system,” said Jake Dodson, director of product management at Riedel Communications.

The combination of the RSP-2318 Smartpanel and one ESP-2324 expansion keypanel gives users a total of 42 keys and seven displays in 2 RU. Because as many as four ESP-2324 Expansion Smartpanels are supported by Riedel’s RSP-2318 intercom app, users have the ability to extend their Smartpanel configurations to include up to 19 displays and 114 keys.

Molinare invests in QC resource from ATG Danmon UK

Britain-based post-production company, Molinare TV & Film, has expanded the media file quality control resources at its central London headquarters with the purchase of an additional Vidcheck Vidchecker-post …


Britain-based post-production company, Molinare TV & Film, has expanded the media file quality control resources at its central London headquarters with the purchase of an additional Vidcheck Vidchecker-post license from ATG Danmon UK.

“We invested in our first Vidchecker-post in October 2014,” commented Richard Wildingm, CTO, Molinare. “It proved a highly efficient addition to our quality control resources, automating many of the processes that previously required close and continuous human attention. Now a key part of our file-based workflow, Vidchecker-post performs a wide range of tests including video luma and chroma quality as well as audio peak and loudness levels. It also allows us to perform intelligent correction of signals to ensure conformance with international standards. Together, these enable us to provide our clients with a more efficient service and absolute confidence in the quality of the completed programme. Our second Vidchecker-post has been purchased to handle the increasing amount of file-based content now being processed, particularly for AS-11 DPP file deliveries to UK broadcasters.”

“Vidchecker and Vidchecker-post have become the go-to product both for broadcasters and postproduction companies in the UK,” added Russell Peirson-Hagger, MD, ATG Danmon UK. “Now that some of the functions of Vidfixer are available as plugins to Vidchecker, the product is becoming even more popular not only in post but also for automated QC of file-based playout and IP content distribution. With support for IMF checking announced at NAB, investment in Vidchecker will see returns long into the future”.

Designed for checking file-based video and audio content plus its related metadata, Vidchecker provides a server-based alternative to checking conformance by eye and hand. It can also automatically and intelligently correct video and audio levels. Sub-SD, SD, HD, UHD, 4K, 8K and mixed workflows are supported.

The Vidchecker GUI is accessed through a web browser either on the local machine or remotely over a network. Vidchecker is also used by broadcasters to inspect files received from postproduction companies and content owners, ensuring that file, video and audio parameters and levels are correct and ready for general transmission.

Avid unveils Avid NEXIS storage platform

Avid introduced Avid NEXIS, a software-defined storage platform specifically designed for storing and managing media that enables fully virtualized storage so media organizations can adjust storage capacity mid-project, …


Avid introduced Avid NEXIS, a software-defined storage platform specifically designed for storing and managing media that enables fully virtualized storage so media organizations can adjust storage capacity mid-project, without disrupting workflows. Powered by the Avid MediaCentral Platform, it delivers media storage flexibility, scalability, and control for both Avid-based and third-party workflows.

Avid Chairman, President and CEO, Louis Hernandez, Jr said, “Avid NEXIS provides dynamic virtualization, adaptive protection, and media-savvy collaboration so media professionals and creative teams can share and access media assets reliably from anywhere without overinvesting in infrastructure. Leveraging the power of the Avid MediaCentral Platform, it provides customers the reliability they need today, the scalability for tomorrow, and the technology to take media production to the next level.”

Avid NEXIS works with all top media creation applications, including Media Composer, Pro Tools, Apple Final Cut Pro, Adobe Premiere Pro, Grass Valley EDIUS, and many more. Production teams can quickly access a shared pool of virtualized storage resources, which dramatically increases their efficiency.

The software-defined storage architecture of Avid NEXIS is what allows customers to select components that meet their current needs, and easily expand storage capacity and bandwidth as their business grows. Avid NEXIS is also the only scale-out storage solution that enables customers to dynamically tune the system to ensure that high-priority workflows always have the capacity, performance and data protection levels they require. Customers can give critical projects maximum performance, while throttling back on less critical workflows. This ability lets teams react quickly to changes, adjusting performance and protection levels to match the needs of a project at any stage in the workflow.

The modularity of Avid NEXIS enables teams to mix and match storage engines and elastically scale capacity from as little as 20 TB to over 1.4 PB in a single system, without any interruption in service or down time. All Avid NEXIS systems are powered by the Avid NEXIS | FS file system, so customers experience consistent performance, reliability, and protection, regardless of configuration size.

Rogers Centre invests with EVS for live production and archive system

Rogers Centre, home to the Toronto Blue Jays professional baseball team, has added to its EVS-led live production workflow to enable a live production to archive solution. “We …


Rogers Centre, home to the Toronto Blue Jays professional baseball team, has added to its EVS-led live production workflow to enable a live production to archive solution. “We chose EVS to help us meet live recording needs and store multiple seasons worth of media by moving content to a file storage,” said Mike Christiansen, Manager-Technical Production and Broadcast Services at Rogers Centre. “Storing multiple seasons of media was straining the resources needed for the live production and necessitated additional storage.”

EVS’ IPDirector content management platform with integrated archive capabilities is key to the new workflow. The system provides simple and direct integration with deep archive for back-and-forth media exchange, delivering critical fast content turnaround for the stadium.

EVS worked alongside archive and storage management expert SGL, who provided its FlashNet content management system to enable Rogers Centre to store highlights and content from prior seasons. The new workflow allows Rogers Centre to search and access specific content from past seasons and view on low resolution, and send it directly to the EVS XS or XT server for playout as well to as their editing systems. Approximately 11,000 clips have already been shared between the two systems.

“We were able to seamlessly maintain our IPDirector interface, and keep all our media management in the same software environment, from content creation to deep archive,” said Christiansen. “Now we can move older content to secure storage while all of our assets, including metadata, are in one place and easily accessible, and our nearline storage can function for immediate live production needs the way it was intended.”

The new workflow allows Rogers Centre to search and access specific content from past seasons and view on low resolution, and send it directly to the EVS XS or XT server for playout as well to as their editing systems

Bernie Walsh, SGL’s director of worldwide sales added, “The SGL FlashNet archive management solution provides high availability for any combination of disk and tape storage. FlashNet’s unique clustered architecture wraps a software management layer around the physical storage. This allows a mix of storage platforms as well as providing a technology proof buffer between the EVS environment and the archive storage. Storage types, whether disk or tape, can be added and capacity increased without affecting the associated workflows.”

In addition to the IPDirector suite in the control room, the EVS workflow features a six-channel 6U XS media server, XT3 live production servers and XStore shared storage. Together, the new database sever, software and workflow configuration allows a seamless system that is tightly integrated with non-linear editing.