The new file-based processing model transforms the workflow of resynchronizing multimedia content.
By Craig Newbury*
For many post-production facilities, the resynchronization of multimedia content has been a fundamental, though not necessarily efficient, part of their business model. To increase the usefulness of their schedules and take advantage of revenue-generating opportunities, customers need to adapt their content (resynchronize it) to fit a given broadcast space, usually based on the amount of commercial content that needs to be broadcast, or based on a network's time constraints for a given broadcast.
For content providers looking to get more out of their content, across more networks and across a wider geographic area, the combination of resynchronization and standards conversion is critical to meeting the many synchronization and format requirements of broadcast chains.
Resynchronization, a process that typically requires a considerable amount of time and human intervention, is being revolutionized by The Tachyon Wormhole file-based automated resynchronization solution and the standards conversion from Wohler Technologies. Tachyon Wormhole, currently available in Latin America through information and communications system integrators (CIS), is a comprehensive solution for resynchronizing video, audio and closed captions from files.
By having a resynchronized product that does not present any perceptible difference in terms of quality, the client can better monetize their multimedia assets, offering content that meets the duration requirements of a chain or that leaves space for the programmer to insert more advertisements in the programs with the largest audience.
With this technology it is no longer necessary to do manual editing to preserve the quality of audio and video, as well as the integrity of closed captioning, since this solution automatically cuts or extends the duration of the content of the programs.
The video is processed with motion compensation algorithms developed by Cinnafilm, a developer of image processing technology, deserving of different recognitions, to "recapture" video and create a much better result than what was obtained before with less sophisticated solutions. The tone of various audio channels can be resynchronized and accurately corrected. Closed captions are automatically adjusted according to the new duration.
Wohler's RadiantGrid platform functions as a solid foundation for processing from files. This platform is compatible with Tachyon Wormhole, and provides a high-fidelity processing channel of 16 bits 4:4:4:4 that allows to process images in 4K resolution. The device accepts both PAL system and NTSC system inputs up to 4K, and seamlessly processes content in 23.98psF, 24p, 25i, 29.97i, 50p, and 60p formats.
The device also allows post-production facilities to incorporate other fundamental processes into the resynchronization workflow. Users have the option to apply standards conversion, deinterlacing, resolution conversion, reverse telecine, and interrupted cadence removal/correction, with options such as Dolby E processing and color legalization.
By consolidating many functions into a single process, you help post-production facilities optimize their workflows and use resources (employees, space, equipment, and knowledge) in a more efficient way so that they can meet the technical and creative needs of their customers.
In some post-production facilities, a single Tachyon Wormhole device can efficiently replace hundreds of thousands of dollars invested in specialized SDI-based equipment. The device can perform two conversions simultaneously, synchronizedly processing up to 64 channels of audio and CEA-608 and -708 subtitling data.
In a single step you get a consistent result – in a high-quality production format such as DNxHD, ProRes, or XDCAM. Thus, in addition to minimizing manual review, the solution frees up technical staff and equipment that would normally be busy eliminating defects in the editing room. Because processing continues to take place on file, operators save time and money that was once used to transfer content to the baseband for processing.
In some cases, the device is being installed in environments with shared workstations that allows for an even greater degree of flexibility and, in turn, efficiency. In these cases, the graphical user interface of the resynchronization solution is installed on workstations throughout the infrastructure. This model allows more employees to manage and execute resynchronization projects, without the limitation of having to work from a particular workstation or operational area.
A simple browser-based graphical user interface makes tachyon Wormhole easy to use, even for non-technical staff members. The operator simply identifies the source of the multimedia content, selects from different preconfigured transformation profiles, chooses a specific duration or adjustment percentage and clicks "Start Retime".
Users also have the option to use timecodes to designate certain regions or segments of a media file to be resynchronized. They can also identify specific segments (such as an initial sequence of credits) that should not be trimmed or lengthened. The workflow template used by the system determines whether the file should be saved locally, sent to a NAS storage type (shared over a network), or distributed over a File Transfer Protocol (FTP).
The user interface continuously provides data on the state of processing, including a sequence of automated tasks: deinterlacing an interlaced video stream, motion analysis with phase correlation of the video stream to establish the movement of the content and calculate the starting places of the content, so that it fits into the desired duration time, resynchronization and tone correction of the audio, and resynchronization of closed subtitles. When standards conversion is required, processing concludes with an automated transcoding step.
By automating all these processes, the system offers noticeable and measurable improvements in the speed of resynchronization, without compromising quality. The content produced by the device has no outdated frames, nor black frames, which were used in less sophisticated systems to extend the duration times. The device leverages its sophisticated algorithms to ensure that the images and objects that appear in them retain their natural movement.
In more complex resynchronization projects, the device can do the job in less than the duration of the asset. For example, by parallel processing two 30-minute sources, the system can trim XDCAM HD422 to MXF 1080i60 by 10 percent and convert it to ProRes 422 1080i60 in MOV in just over 45 minutes.
These significant gains in speed and efficiency in the process of resynchronization and conversion of standards are very valuable in the processing of SD and HD content, as they allow to provide a better, faster and more profitable service for the benefit of both the post-production facility and its customers.
Because the device's processing features also support the 4K format, the device also opens the door to lucrative new business with customers who are producing 4K/ultra high definition (UHD) content.
*Craig Newbury is Vice President of Sales for RadiantGrid