Myth and Reality of Auto-Correction in File-Based Workflows

File-based workflows are ubiquitous in the broadcast world today. The file-based flow has brought enormous efficiencies and made adoption of emerging technologies like Adaptive Bit-Rate (ABR), 4K, UHD, and beyond possible. Multiple delivery formats are now possible because of file-based workflows and its integration with traditional IT infrastructure. However, the adoption of file-based flows comes with its own set of challenges. The first one, of course, is - does my file have the right media, in the right format and without artifacts?

Auto QC is now an essential component in file based workflows and is widely used these days. This has triggered the need for a QC solution, which can auto-correct errors in order to save time and resources. It is based on the thought that if a tool can detect error, it can also potentially fix it. But auto-correction in the file-based world is a more complex process and should not be trivialized. A QC tool having in-built support for auto correction including transcoding has issues of its own. Transcoding and re-wrapping processes if not managed properly, can introduce fresh issues into corrected content leading to further degradation of content quality. Hence, it is not possible to fully rely on such auto correction flows. A more practical approach would be to reuse facility specific tools for encoding needs during the correction process. In such scenarios, the role of a QC tool is limited to baseband and metadata correction or setting the transcoder correctly. A smarter in-place correction strategy can also be adopted in case of uncompressed content. Having said this, there is still a set of issues, which requires manual intervention and thus cannot be auto corrected. Hence, the scope of QC tools for auto correction is limited but feasible for a set of issues provided we use the right tools, workflows and techniques.

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