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 Archimedia Master Player v1.5. An upgrade to the company's software player, v1.5 now supports the remainder of all common master formats in use around the world today -- including the long-awaited, studio-driven SMPTE IMF -- and contains new features that make the player a true 4K-era replacement for videotape machines for master-grade quality control (QC) and archiving functions.
"Videotape players are becoming less common in general, and are almost useless in workflows that include any 4K, DCP, DPX, or IMF. At the same time, modern file formats are becoming more useful, but that means they are also becoming more structurally complex," said Mark Gray, Archimedia president and CEO. "For those and so many other reasons, we've upgraded our player to give media professionals in the file-based world all the advantages they had with videotape, and extend those advantages into the most modern and demanding professional formats. Now they can QC master files in HD and 4K and view what's going into and out of their archives in HD and 4K. Plus, they can do it more affordably than with videotape players or mastering tools, which can be prohibitively expensive and might not offer an upgrade path to 4K."
In preparation for the rapidly approaching onslaught of 4K-capable consumer devices, Archimedia has added support for Avid's DNxHD format, Industrial Light & Magic's OpenEXR format, Panasonic's AVC-Intra format, Sony's IMX and XDCAM formats, and the newest SMPTE format, IMF. Now users will be able to play even more mastering formats with precision from one vendor-neutral player, knowing all formats have been vetted and validated by professional users to ensure performance and accuracy based on their actual work samples.
Besides support for even more mastering formats, the Archimedia Master Player v1.5 also includes new features that eliminate the need for a videotape player. Key among them is the ability to control audio and video remotely using RS-422 jog/shuttle wheels.
"What we miss the most about videotape players is the jog/shuttle wheel, so we're bringing it into these workflows by supporting popular PC-compatible ones such as those from BUF, DNF Controls, and JLCooper," Gray said.
Also, in a first for the industry, users hear smooth scrub sounds for all supported formats in slow-motion, forward, and reverse while in jog/shuttle mode. The action sounds like an analog videotape in slow motion and fast motion, with no annoying clicks or digital noise as found in other players.
Other new features include the ability to browse and automatically check Digital Cinema and IMF packages -- that is, their XML metadata files -- for completeness and checksum integrity, and additional support for increased 4K frame-rate speeds up to 60 frames per second with Quad 3G-SDI.
The new version of the Archimedia Master Player will ship with all Archimedia Workstations starting in mid-December. The upgrade will be announced and available to existing customers in their Archimedia Master Player when connected to the Internet, and by download from www.archimediatech.com
Information about the Archimedia Master Player, including an online demo, a free trial, and online purchasing, is available at www.archimediatech.com.