AmberFin To Unveil New Features for iCR File-Based Content Ingest and Transcoding System

AmberFin, a leading developer of file-based media ingest, transcoding and quality control solutions for content owners, broadcasters, sports organizations, and postproduction houses will unveil new enterprise-class features for iCR, the company’s file-based content ingest and transcoding system. 

Visitors to the AmberFin booth will see how iCR’s enterprise class features can increase efficiency and profitability throughout a media facility’s operation. iCR makes intelligent use of the system’s resources, while making complicated workflows simple to operate for the end user.

“With these new features, our users will be able to harness automation to increase their efficiency and profitability, while maintaining critical attention to consistent quality control.  They will be able to easily scale from proof of concept on a single server to satisfy their operational and business plans and will be able to match the system they purchase to their business needs.  iCR will help them share their resources in a smart way and maximize their ROI,” says Bruce Devlin, AmberFin’s CTO.

With AmberFin iCR’s new Network License Server (NLS), facilities can now use the same technology in their single standalone PC used in the proof of concept as in a network of 100 workstations. Furthermore, each iCR workstation operates all the software required to implement the four main functions of media ingest, file transcode, playback and quality control.

Another key feature of NLS is its ability to ensure that a user’s full capacity is always on-line. For example, if one transcoder node encounters problems, the server will seamlessly swap the required iCR operations to a back-up workstation. It is easy to tie together job queues and the NLS so that the network administrator is able to gauge how many jobs were delayed based on the licensing options available within the group. This feedback gives key capacity information to administrators to allow them to manage both costs and capacity.

AmberFin iCR introduces new and sophisticated tools for adding, checking and inserting metadata through configuration. The iCR metadata plug-in wizard allows users to configure the metadata they need for their organization in such a way that ingest and QC operators can automatically update and validate this information as part of a QC workflow. This metadata can then be used in simple wizards to perform the right process with the right media and right metadata at the right time.

AmberFin will demonstrate how new enhancements to its iCR software help meet the new FCC regulation mandating that all video content broadcast on television in the US now requires captions when it is distributed over Internet Protocol (IP).

 AmberFin has teamed up with caption solution specialist, Softel to show how placing captions in the heart of a file-based ingest and transcode workflow can dramatically improve the efficiency and reliability of otherwise difficult captioning and subtitling workflows. The integration of Softel’s Swift vTX with AmberFin’s iCR supports transcoding to a wide array of media formats whilst delivering the correctly formatted subtitle, caption and ancillary data, with a rich feature set that fits easily into any broadcast workflow.
Since failure to comply with regulations could result in fines, broadcasters and content owners need to find more efficient ways to deal with captions as their programming expands. Bruce Devlin, AmberFin’s CTO and co-author of the MXF format explains:
“Recent FCC regulations indicate a worldwide trend towards regarding captions as a critical element of the OTT discussion.  However, captions rarely increase the revenues of broadcasters or content owners. They are an add-on service that is in many cases required by law. We are entering a world where multi-platform delivery to broadcast, VoD and web streaming channels now also require captions and subtitles by law.  Unfortunately, the traditional captioning workflows that go around the outside of the main workflow are now too expensive and time consuming to justify when the number of platforms is growing and the number of viewers per platform is inevitably diminishing.”
To reduce operational costs, improve productivity and deliver quicker ROI, broadcasters and content owners need to ensure they have a full captioning/subtitling solution ready as they make the transition to file-based workflows.  This way, significant savings can be achieved by processing video, audio and subtitles/captions together on the same platform, and the integrity of subtitle or closed caption data can be securely preserved as video files are converted from one format to another.
“By applying the lessons we learned manipulating high-quality video mezzanine files to captions, we have developed a new breed of easy to manage captioning and subtitling workflows. Whether you need an A/53 transport stream, SMPTE-TT, OP-47 or a simple .scc file, we have an AmberFin’s iCR captioning mezzanine workflow for you,” says Devlin.
“We had a vision when we wrote the MXF ST 436 specification that we could build caption and subtitle workflows that were independent of compression codecs – it’s great to see that dream finally becoming a reality,” he concludes.  

AmberFin has also launched the AmberFin Academy, a new industry resource designed to help broadcast professionals navigate the complexities of file-based workflows.

“The rate of technological change in the broadcast and film markets continues unabated yet nobody has the time or resources to train their employees. As a result there is a real need for people to educate themselves to keep up to date in their current role and to advance their career. Since at AmberFin we spend our lives making complicated workflows simple for the end user and are actively involved with all the standards bodies, we felt well placed to share some of what know,” explains Jeremy Deaner, AmberFin’s CEO.

The AmberFin Academy is a free resource that is accessible to all, and features a lively and informative blog (, white papers, free training videos, media thought leadership, views from experts, tricks and tips and up to date information on broadcast formats and standards.

A key element of AmberFin Academy is Bruce’s Shorts, a highly popular series of free, technology based short training videos hosted by Bruce Devlin, AmberFin’s CTO and co-author of the MXF Format.  At NAB, on booth SU8505, AmberFin will host Bruce’s Shorts Live from the show floor.  Every day of the show, visitors to the AmberFin booth will be welcome to attend lively and informative presentations on some of the industry’s biggest topics including Quality Control, Captions and Enterprise Workflows.  AmberFin is also announcing a Portuguese version of the training series to supplement the existing English and Japanese language versions currently available. 

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