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So, what technology options do people have? AMBERFIN iCR AmberFin’s iCR is a file-based content ingest and transcoding platform. Included amongst its various options is what the company calls UQC (Unified Quality Control). This is made up of a variety of tools for checking baseband video during tape ingest and file-based QC after ingest and overall operator- controlled QC (including annotation and mark-up). First introduced in 2011, it is a vendor agnostic platform that enables broadcasters and facilities to use different QC software systems depending on their requirements. At its core is Snell’s Hyperion, used to check the baseband video, and Digimetric’s Aurora, the file-based QC offering which is built around a web- services API and includes hot folder monitoring and email notifications. Via plugins iCR can also work with Cerify, Vidchecker and Baton (mentioned below) as well as MXFixer from Metaglue, MediaArea.net’s MediaInfo and the Pulsar product made by Venera. Minnetonka’s AudioToolsServer can be added to provide audio QC and loudness tools. CONTENT AGENT ContentAgent is a file-based workflow management innovation from Root6 Technology that offers a number of tools for automating transcoding tasks. For file-based QC and automated file correction it has three options: Cerify and Baton (see below) and VidChecker. VidChecker acts as a node within ContentAgent, analysing files for errors then providing a report of its findings as metatdata. If the file has passed the checks performed then ContentAgent can either continue the workflow or copy the file to a UNC path for delivery. If the clip fails, the file is moved to a designated fail folder and an automatically generated email alerts an operator to the problem. Vidchecker doesn’t just spot the errors it can also correct them. This works for video luma level (including black levels), video chroma (colour limit errors) and video RGB (gamut/legality problems) Some key features: Can process up to four files simultaneously; several VidChecker nodes can work on multiple workstations in a networked environment; can also check and fix audio loudness issues and peak levels. ContentAgent also features a DPP node that automatically transcodes and wraps files to the correct format, and injects all compulsory metadata fields. CERIFY Tektronix’s Cerify provides content analysis for QC in a file-based environment. It is a fully automated system that can be deployed on a standalone PC workstation or as part of a facility-wide set-up in conjunction with other workflow systems. Cerify will pick up on all sorts of problems including encoding and syntax errors, format, bit rate, quantisation, frame rate, GOP length, aspect ratio, colour format, buffer analysis and file size as well as video playtime, signal levels, gamut, luminance, chrominance, black frame detection, blockiness, freeze frame detection and field order. Some key features: Automatic objective testing; user definable test templates; logging of all testing and results; multi-user browser interface; video server and automation integration; user definable quality levels; audio loudness measurements (including peak and minimum levels, audio loss, clipping, silence, mute, test tones). Some key features: graphical view of automated QC results; ‘Cut and Splice’ engine for simple editing tasks; ‘Light’ QC checks at multiple points in the workflow. Amberfin is also responsible for the iCR-500 DPP, a workstation specifically designed for the creation and preparation of AMWA AS-11 compliant assets in accordance with the DPP spec. This product combines ingest, transcode and playback functionality with metadata entry and validation, QC review and mark-up. 42 | TV-BAY MAGAZINE: ISSUE 83 NOVEMBER 2013 BATON Interra Systems’ Baton is an automated content verification and QC application. Like the others it checks a whole host of things including, but not confined to: content layout, VoD compliance, play time, file size, packet size, number of audio/video streams, ARIB specifications and AS02 compliance as well as frame rate, bit rate, frame size, aspect ratio, duration, resolution and more. Some key features: web based; rule-based smart folders for content aware QC; audio loudness and metadata correction; web services API to integrate with media servers, transcoders, MAM and archives.