NAB 2013: AmberFin Looks to Streamline File-Based Workflows
At NAB 2013, on booth SU8505, AmberFin, a leading developer of file-based media ingest, transcoding and quality control solutions for content owners, broadcasters, sports organizations, and postproduction houses, will demonstrate new enhancements to its iCR software designed to further facilitate the digitization and transformation of new and archived content in modern file-based workflows.
New enterprise-class features:
Visitors to the AmberFin booth will see how iCR’s enterprise class features can increase efficiency and profitability throughout a media facility’s operation. Using a federated architecture, iCR makes intelligent use of the system’s resources, while making complicated workflows simple to operate for the end user.
A central principle applied throughout iCR is scalability, as AmberFin’s CTO Bruce Devlin explains:
Unlike other solutions on the market, with AmberFin iCR, facilities can 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.
As a result, AmberFin iCR is a nimble solution â€“ it offers the right technology to an enterprise at the right time with inherent scalability and the ability to respond to business needs. Essentially for enterprises of all sizes, this means that capital expenditure costs are minimized.
AmberFin has developed a new feature set called ORCA Activity Manager that enables both group and local orchestration of workflow tasks to create a desired outcome.
Whether itâ€™s standard definition to high definition, 4:3 to 16:9, 59.94fps to 50fps or Dolby E conversion, ORCA enables facilities to set up very specific conditional types of transcode, ingest and QC operations. This level of specific automation will significantly improve enterprise efficiency and profitability, according to Devlin.
New Application Specific Modules:
At NAB 2013, AmberFin will also demonstrate how its new competitively priced application specific modules for iCR address new industry standard and workflow requirements including: ingest and transcode to MXF AS11 and metadata support for the Digital Production Partnership; ingest and transcode to the most popular MPEG2, XDCAM, and IMX formats; best of breed playback, QC review, annotation, and metadata entry or tape layback for a wide range of codecs and wrappers; file-based proxy generator; and a fully featured PC workstation for the creation and preparation of MXF-AS12 compliant deliverables, especially the creation of AS-12 commercials.
Captioning workflow to meet new FCC regulation:
AmberFin will also demonstrate how new enhancements to its iCR software can help simplify the complexity of captioning workflows to meet the new FCC regulation mandating that all video content broadcast on television in the United States with captions should now include 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 while delivering the correctly formatted subtitle, caption, and ancillary data, with a rich feature set that fits easily into any broadcast workflow.
Support for new IMF Format:
AmberFin will also announce its strategy for iCR’s support of IMF (Interoperable Master Format) a new SMPTE file format designed to create a single – standardized – master file for distribution of content between businesses into multiple territories.
“With IMF, you won’t need to create a thousand copies of the same content to suit different audiences, formats, and geographies,” says Devlin. “What the standard does is separate the content into various ingredients or components (namely, AS02 MXF media files), a number of â€˜recipesâ€™ (Composition Play Lists), and a selection of instructions (or Output Program Lists) appropriate for each of those audiences. IMF is designed to take the right mix of ingredients, the right recipe and a tailored set of instructions to create a dedicated version for each market, without having to duplicate files. From the end-user perspective, IMF will not be something they ever see, but which will bring significant efficiencies to their workflow; iCR will make it so boring, that it will all just work.”