Applied Technology: An Appliance of Science at NAB

Controlling content quality for delivery in an increasingly diverse array of formats to multiple platforms is time-consuming and costly, particularly in the rush to prepare and exchange file-based media between post production, distribution and broadcast facilities. There are now ways to automate that time-consuming process, but the question broadcasters and facilities houses should ask themselves when they are considering an investment in auto-QC technology is, “Does this auto-QC software just tell me where the problems, are or will it tell me where they are and fix them for me”?

It makes a difference. A big difference.

Some QC systems automatically test content for unacceptable flaws, but still require considerable amounts of manual intervention to repair those flaws, and yet another pass to confirm that they have indeed been fixed. Unfortunately, what compounds the problem is that manual repairs can often introduce new errors, which means that the “auto” QC process has to be repeated, sometimes over and over. There’s precious little that’s “automatic” about that at all.

And therein lay the risk when considering an auto-QC product for an otherwise healthy workflow. The wrong decision can actually slow the workflow down.

This is, in part, because expecting video and audio editors to be fully conversant with the multitude of file-based media formats and their delivery specifications is a big ask. An editor should be focussed on creating content rather than getting bogged down in the minutiae of formats and standards. One major online content provider has a complex list of broadcast/distribution delivery specifications that includes more than 20 different combinations of “acceptable” video/audio HD formats. So where do you start and, more importantly, how do you know when you’ve arrived at “acceptable”?

The good news is that the AS-11 UK DPP delivery standard is an excellent example of a well-considered signpost that makes those definitions much easier to grasp. That’s why we’ve not only supported this specification but developed technology to take the pain out of correction. If there are issues with a file, Vidchecker not only describes the problem, it automatically corrects it, too, which is what makes it different from any other QC product on the market.

The AS 11 UK DPP delivery standard has been very positive for the UK market and I see no reason why similar partnerships could not be established in other parts of the world. All it takes is the dedication of knowledgeable resources coupled with political will and industry collaboration. I am sure we’ll hear discussions about like-minded initiatives taking shape while we’re at NAB 2015.

For our part at NAB, we’re introducing our intelligent “Vidapps-Video” plug-in for Adobe After Effects or Premiere Pro to correct RGB gamut and YUV levels within the NLE. This means that users of Adobe After Effects and Premiere Pro can correct illegal video levels to broadcast safe parameters using Vidcheck's patented algorithms

as part of the edit process, immediately before the media is rendered. This approach means that the user can be confident that the rendered media will fully comply with the specified requirements before it leaves the Adobe environment.

We think that’s a great way to control content quality for delivery.

VidCheck are at NAB Booth SL5421

You might also like...

5G Service’s Use Of C-Band Frequency Causes Interference With Aviation

Although 5G service providers AT&T and Verizon have agreed to delay the launch of more powerful wireless transmissions sent within the C-band spectrum obtained in government auctions from broadcasters around airports—due to concerns over interference with airplane a…

Cloud Workflow Intelligent Optimization - Part 2

In the last article in this series, we looked at how optimizing workflows improves reliability, and enhances agility and responsiveness. In this article, we investigate advanced monitoring systems to improve data analysis and aid optimization.

Cloud Workflow Intelligent Optimization - Part 1

Optimization gained from transitioning to the cloud isn’t just about saving money, it also embraces improving reliability, enhancing agility and responsiveness, and providing better visibility into overall operations.

HDR: Part 44 - Creative Technology - 2021 Cinematography Roundup

Filmmaking is now an artform with a long history, and that means a lot of received knowledge. Things like primes being better than zooms, and characterful primes best of all. The public attitude to that orthodoxy, though, is starting to…

Managing 2022

The new year is a time to ponder the past and muse about the future. In the past, nearly each technical device needed to produce broadcast TV cost more than building a new house, was as huge as it was…