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Real-time frame rate conversion in a tapeless workflow W by Paola Hobson hen content moved within facilities and around the world on tape or via live feeds, frame rate and format conversions were easily achieved using real-time hardware converters such as Snell’s Alchemist Ph.C-HD. As broadcasters and content owners moved to more convenient tapeless workflows, which enabled them to lower their costs, save time and improve logistics, the frame rate conversion step remained a baseband island within the file-based processing flow. Initial products designed to facilitate tapeless conversion were undermined by slow processing speed, poor conversion quality and a lack of supporting tools, such as timecode conversions, needed to achieve perfect deliverables. Addressing these issues, Snell’s FileFlow™ option enables users to get the benefit of Alchemist Ph.C-HD real-time standards conversion quality, even in a tapeless workflow. FileFlow™ allows users to convert media files from one frame rate to another in real time without any quality, speed or metadata issues. conversion parameters and start the conversion process. When the file is ready, it can be transferred back to the customer’s chosen location. A user-friendly queuing mechanism is provided via the FileFlow™ client, which allows users to set up multiple jobs that can be run unattended, in a user- chosen order, as illustrated in Figure 2. Figure 1: Using Alchemist Ph.C- HD in a Tapeless Workflow Overview of FileFlow™ Snell’s FileFlow™ option integrates seamlessly with Alchemist Ph.C-HD hardware via dedicated file and conversion management hardware and software supplied by Snell, as shown in Figure 1. Real-time operation is straightforward, thanks to the simple user application that controls the system’s conversion parameters and scheduling. To convert a media file using FileFlow™, the user need only move the required file to the FileFlow™ server, select the desired 64 | TV-BAY MAGAZINE This workflow could be employed, for example, by a U.S. media organization that has received some European content (at 50Hz) as an MXF OP1a file in DNxHD and needs to convert it to 59.94Hz as a QuickTime ProRes HQ file for a client. In this case, the Alchemist Ph.C-HD operator transfers the file to the server and, using the profile configuration tool supplied by Snell, sets up the required output file format and codec parameters (QuickTime ProRes HQ in this instance), as well as the desired Alchemist Ph.C- HD conversion parameters: input set to auto and output set to 1080 59.94i. Benefits of FileFlow™ FileFlow™ is totally unique, as it is the only product in the world offering file-based, real-time, motion compensated frame rate conversion for SD and HD video. With its sophisticated queuing mechanism, users can load up to 16 hours worth of conversion jobs in fewer than 5 minutes, and the queue runs unattended. As a result, facilities enjoy lower operational >>