Archimedia Technology, a new company whose technology and applications bridge the gap between content producers and their archives without loss of quality, today announced the release of two Power Workstations that enable critical viewing and quality control of master media files by quality control (QC) operators, archivists, managers, and other media professionals in the digital cinema and broadcast industries. The Power Workstations are driven by Archimedia's breakthrough Universal Master Media Player software and come preconfigured for use in either HDTV or UHDTV environments.
"Configuring a computer for QC or critical viewing of master media files is a complex undertaking that can be very time-consuming, especially for the uninitiated, and it's easy to overlook important criteria," said Mark Gray, Archimedia president and CEO. "We used our experience with JPEG 2000 in SD/HD, DPX, Digital Cinema for 4K, and UHDTV to create Power Workstations that take the guesswork out of it. This is the perfect equipment for organizations that are transitioning from SD to HD, or HD to UHD, because it's a single unit that plugs into any of those environments and handles any of those master file formats."
The Power Workstations are built around Archimedia's Universal Master Media Player software (formerly known as Archimedia Reference Player), the first software player to support multiple vendors' JPEG 2000 and MXF formats, allowing users to view, test, and measure archival-quality files on a standard HDTV and traditional SDI equipment. The software is now available in two versions, the HDTV Universal Master Media Player and the 4K/Digital Cinema/UHDTV Universal Master Media Player, which are being released along with the new workstations. Each Power Workstation comes with a state-of-the-art HDMI graphics card, 70 alignment test patterns up to 4:4:4 12 bits, and remote control with a jog/shuttle/scrub device by Sony 9-pin protocol. (In another industry first, the remote control with Sony 9-pin protocol achieves "slo-mo"-type audio scrubbing, which is critical for hearing audio cues in postproduction and transcoding workflows.) An optional SDI card is available for SDI monitoring, and an optional Fibre Channel card enables use with a storage area network. Optional advanced test patterns up to 4:4:4 12 bits allow the most sophisticated users to set up critical workflows and systems.
The Power Workstations can lead to faster, cheaper, and more accurate workflows because they require no training; they enable staff to use master media files on a device with a traditional videotape player look and feel, rather than making transcoded copies to suit their existing equipment's limitations, and they eliminate the need to reserve time in expensive dedicated production rooms for QC. Instead, QC work can be done elsewhere, freeing the existing dedicated rooms for their designed purpose.
For QC and analysis, operators can use the Power Workstations to compare their QC standards (templates) to the technical parameters they're viewing on the HDTV or UHDTV screen overlays. They can simultaneously feed SDI to their existing SDI QC tools, such as vectorscopes and waveform monitors, and can also view and export MXF metadata about the video. For critical viewing, the Power Workstations display video on a user's HDTV or UHDTV screen in full-screen mode at the source video's native frame rate, aspect ratio, and color space for a more cinematic or UHDTV experience.
At $11,000 and $17,000, respectively, the HDTV Power Workstation and the 4K/Digital Cinema/UHDTV Power Workstation are priced to beat the cost of assembling a homegrown solution, especially considering the time and expertise required. Furthermore, the price point is far lower than the cost of dedicated systems that were meant for purposes other than critical viewing and QC, which start at $50,000 and can cost as much as $400,000.
The Archimedia Power Workstations are available now. More information about the Power Workstations and other Archimedia products can be found at www.archimediatech.com.