TV-BAY
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>> costs, as conversions can be automatically carried out, and assets can be used 24/7. A key advantage of FileFlow™ is that conversions can be precisely timecode- controlled according to the source file start and end points. No other file- based standards conversion system offers this facility, which is essential for clean frame start of conversion. An API, based on the industry- standard control protocol SOAP1, is published by Snell to allow control of the application through a user-scripted automated process, which can be called from third-party media asset management systems. This control capability has enormous benefits for large content owners whose workflows have been set up around a preferred media asset management system. The user maintains visibility of the conversion progress through the Snell application and is informed when the conversion is complete. As the video and audio standards conversion is carried out by Alchemist Ph.C-HD, the real-time conversion quality is perfect. Applications File-based frame rate conversion can be a necessity in a number of workflow scenarios and use cases. Two examples follow. Use case 1: Incoming content conversion A user accepts content from multiple sources globally, and this content may arrive in many different formats and frame rates. These pieces of content must be converted to DVCPro 100 720 59.94p, which is the “house” format used across the entire facility’s editing processes. One example might be 2012 Olympics 1080 50i content requiring conversion to 720 59.94p for editing and distribution by a U.S. broadcaster. A suitable conversion chain (shown in Figure 3) first decompresses the file, converts it from 1080 50i to 720 59.94p at baseband using Alchemist Ph.C-HD and re-ingests it as a DVCPro100 file. In this way, the user gets the best possible quality of converted content with the convenience of tapeless processing, all in real time. 66 | TV-BAY MAGAZINE Figure 2: User-friendly Client for Unattended Conversions T y p ic a l w o rk flo w w ith A lc h e m is t P h.C -H D : c o n te n t u p lo a d to p la y o u t Edit Source content storage Transfer to FileFlow™ Transfer to customer output server Conversion using Alchemist Ph.C-HD with FileFlow™ Content now 720 59.94p MXF OP1a DVCPro Content may be any format e.g. 1080 59i, 1080 25psf etc Playout Figure 3: Incoming Content Conversion In te rn a tio n a l c o n te n t s a le s u s in g A lch em ist P h .C -H D Content store Edit; color correct; effects etc Transfer to FileFlow™ Conversion using Alchemist Ph.C-HD FileFlow™ Transfer to outbound server Content stored in client's preferred format Content stored as MXF OP1a DNxHD 1080 50i Figure 4: Workflow for International Program Sales Use case 2: Outbound content conversion When a company sells content internationally, frame rate and format conversion may be required if the destination country’s format or frame rate is different from that of the source. For example, a client might request some content from the company’s recent archive, wishing to integrate it into a new program. When the content is of high value and has a lot of fast action (e.g., sports footage from football or baseball games), a high-quality standards converter such as Alchemist Ph.C-HD is essential. The workflow is shown in Figure 4. The use case shown in Figure 4 also could apply when an international customer places an order and, in an automated process, the content is pulled from the archive server and the correct conversion applied, all according to a script generated by the customer order process. FileFlow™’s support for SOAP ensures that integration of conversion processes into a customer media asset management system is easy. Simple Object Access Protocol. SOAP is a simple XML-based protocol to let applications exchange information over HTTP. Summary The aforementioned workflows and use cases show that media companies can continue to benefit from the outstanding real-time conversion quality of Alchemist Ph.C- HD as they migrate from baseband to tapeless workflows. Paola Hobson is senior product manager for conversion and restoration at Snell, provider of a comprehensive range of solutions for the creation, management, and distribution of content, as well as the tools necessary to transition seamlessly and cost- effectively to digital, HDTV, and 3Gbp/s operations.