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AmberFin Announces World’s First Unified Quality Control Solution for Content Ingest and Transcoding Operations

At IBC 2011, AmberFin, a leading developer of file-based media ingest and transcoding solutions for content owners, broadcasters, sports organizations and post-production houses, will announce the world’s first Unified Quality Control solution for content ingest and transcoding operations. Called iCR Unified QC (UQC), this unique approach to quality control c

iCR UQC combines multiple tools for baseband checks during tape ingest, file-based QC after ingest, and overall operator-controlled QC, including annotation and mark-up.

The development of UQC represents one of the most significant developments to AmberFin’s iCR file-based content ingest and transcoding system in recent years.
The addition of UQC to AmberFin’s iCR means that users have the potential to create a high quality file-based HD/SD master, provide unique file conversion to multiple formats and implement appropriate levels of automated and manual quality control, all within a single unified software environment. New levels of trust and confidence in the file/media quality are introduced, freeing up staff to focus on other revenue-generating tasks. AmberFin’s intention is that UQC will become regarded as an industry benchmark in media quality control

“The explosion in file-based workflows means traditional manual methods of quality control are no longer effective,” explains Bruce Devlin, Chief Technology Officer at AmberFin. “That’s why we have developed the world’s first unified QC approach, combining automatic and operator controlled tools that deliver the most advanced QC workflow available today. UQC checks not only files, but also the processes that created them”

AmberFin’s new Unified QC approach features the seamless integration of two industry-leading tools: Snell’s Hyperion and Digimetric’s Aurora so that all aspects of QC are now integrated within a single unified timeline to give users an instant and highly accurate visual display of potential quality issues throughout the ingest and transcoding process. QC processes can be implemented at any point in the lifecycle of an asset, using the most appropriate technique. Easy to read reports and a range of graphic displays aid operators easily identify the source, nature and position of an error with a thumbnail of the frame where it occurred.

Snell’s Hyperion provides real-time baseband QC on ingest and automatically checks for VTR playback issues and common audio and time code faults; this ensures that users do not spend valuable time capturing hours of material only to find out later that it was faulty. Digimetric’s Aurora provides file-based QC after ingest and checks for common file wrapper anomalies to prevent expensive mistakes. Aurora tools also automatically check for a variety of compliance violations, including container metadata and delivery metrics, thereby reducing the burden on operators.
Because QC requirements vary from facility to facility and from project to project, each application requires a different level of manual intervention. To that effect, AmberFin has developed new mark-up and annotation tools that allow operators to highlight potential issues, make recommendations and provide information that can be sent on to downstream applications for action. Human readable reports with time code and thumbnail references can be created and exported, simplifying the decision-making process, while machine readable XML reports can be exported to DAM, MAM and automation systems.
AmberFin UQC establishes a QC mark the broadcast industry can trust
With media organizations worldwide seeking to exploit the opportunities presented by new distribution channels and new media consumption patterns, QC across all these media forms is an increasingly important issue.
AmberFin’s intention, by introducing unified quality assurance systems that integrate best in class third party technology alongside its own proprietary systems, is to create a QC standard that will rapidly become accepted as an industry benchmark.

“By combining best-in-class automated processes with a human touch, UQC introduces new levels of trust and confidence to the file creation and distribution processes, leading to increased productivity and a significant reduction in the time and costs associated with re-works. We are confident that our new UQC standard will rapidly become accepted as an industry benchmark for end-to end quality control across all ingest and transcoding operations,” adds Devlin.
About AmberFin
AmberFin is a company at the heart of solving file-based workflow problems for content owners, broadcasters, sports organizations and post-production houses. The AmberFin Media Factory, based on the iCR family of modular software products, digitizes and transforms new and archived content, combining a service oriented design philosophy with intelligent use of cost-effective generic IT. This enables customers to save time, increase revenues and grow in-line with business demands.
Unique to the Media Factory system, AmberFin’s industry first approach to Quality Control, known as Unified Quality Control (UQC), introduces a QC mark that brings a new level of trust to media assets. UQC uniquely combines an automated process with a human touch, enabling more efficient and effective decision-making and new levels of confidence in the file creation and transformation processes.
AmberFin has experienced growth of 90% in the last year thanks to hundreds of iCR systems being deployed worldwide. Systems that are trusted where quality matters by some of the world’s leading media organizations including Sony Pictures, NBA, Turner Broadcasting, ZDF, NRK, National Geographic, BT, Discovery and Warner Brothers.