In Broadcast - October 2012 - 59


ISSUE 13 - OCTOBER 2012 | WWW.INBROADCAST.COM

I N T E R N A T I O N A L

N E W S

InMEDIA
Post-Production Formats And Suitable Workflows Cont.
over multiple generations of postproduction processing. The resulting image quality, it is claimed, will be virtually indistinguishable from the original image while original 8-bit or 4:2:0 files may well have started to exhibit unwanted digital artefacts. Therefore as far as postproduction is concerned, are there any advantages of working at, for example 50 Mbs in an MPEG-2 based format such as XDCAM HD. For productions that entail more cutting than compositing, transcoding may offer little advantage and working with lower bitrate files may be advantageous. To take these files, however, into the world of process-heavy effects and transcoding is worth considering. As for HDCAM SR and AVC-Intra 100, these are high bitrate, robust formats, with arguably few reasons to transcode to an intermediate, beyond the stipulations of particular editing software developers. In fact, with systems such as Final Cut Pro, AVC-Intra is re-wrapped swiftly and not transcoded into ProRes. modest workstations became capable of handling acquisition formats without the need to transcode. However, facilities remained wedded to intermediate codecs, with their guarantee of system stability and their finely tuned workflow. This habit of transcoding paid dividend with the arrival of Red Cinema in 2007 and its .R3D format bringing very high bitrates and above-HD resolution. Re-wrapping the 4K files into QuickTime was possible but again pushed system capabilities to their limit. Moreover, most software of the time would not support files of this resolution. Two options remained: proxy editing and conform, or transcoding. editing are over. Now even an Apple MacBook Air is capable of sustained 4K playback for problem-free editing and real-time effects. This can be achieved without transcoding from the .R3D files. Indeed, with a powerful desktop system edits can be performed without the need to move into ProRes or DNxHD. So does this native editing of 4K footage spell the end of intermediate codecs. In short, the answer is no, and for a counterintuitive reason. Besides cinematic release, there is still little call for 4K programming. Often therefore, 4K data is likely to be downscaled to 1080 for use on television or output to BluRay. Rather than working on massive 16-bit RAW quality. The potential for grading and visual effects using such images is enormous, a cinematographer’s dream. However, Grass Valley’s HQX and Avid’s DNxHD only support maximum 10-bit files. And while ProRes 4444 supports 12-bit video, there are no (to my knowledge) affordable editing tools that can cut the files. To remedy this situation, Blackmagic has had the foresight to bundle DaVinci Resolve with its camera at no additional cost. This enables an all 12-bit workflow: Resolve for quick edits before rendering to proxy ProRes files for FCPX editing. The offline XML file is then exported back to Resolve for conform and final grade using RAW. The finished programme is then rendered into the desired final format for distribution.

Life Span Concerns
Video formats have a shelf life. Try finding a D3 tape deck, a player for early Real codecs or a means of accessing U-matic tapes. It may be possible now, but in years to come certain tapes, certain files will become derelict unreachable memories. Companies such as Panasonic are renowned for continuing to support ‘retired’ formats such as DVCPro, but ultimately it is in their hands to maintain that level of backward compatibility. New codecs and formats are frequently emerging – we can see the rise of H.265 even now – and as they do so, another expired .xyz slips into oblivion. Given today’s ver y high performance processors and low-cost ma ss storage devices, perhaps there is a new workflow to be considered that protects assets for the very long term and delivers the most suitable post-production format at the time the editor needs it. Archivists storing old standard definition material are already adopting the process of holding assets uncompressed. In this way there are no codec rights issues, no fears over player availability or edit station compatibility. And with transcoding tools from the likes of Root6, Telestream and Harmonic able to offer up - very quickly media in whatever codec the editor requires, programme makers would have the assets they need almost instantly, with no worry about degrading original media files. Perhaps, rather than working on high resolution, beautifully transcoded files, the idea of proxy editing, EDLs and conforming was, after all, the best approach. ■

Intermediate Formats
Digital workflows – early DV-based digital acquisition and non-linear editing – developed at a time when (with hindsight) processor and storage technology were barely able to cope with standard definition’s relatively high bitrate data files. Within a short number of years complex formats – HDV, DVCPro HD and HDCAM – arrived on the scene, along with sophisticated compression algorithms. Realtime multi-stream editing of this new material required computing power that went way beyond the capabilities of all but the heftiest workstations. One answer was to transcode files into edit friendly codecs, such as CineForm or Edius HQ, resulting in significant improvements in post-production workflows. The arrival in the late 1990’s of ProRes and DNxHD, promoted by industry heavyweights, saw these two formats take off very quickly to become commonplace, both in dedicated facilities and on field edit systems. T h e r e s u l t s we r e g o o d. Intermediate codecs are less aggressively compressed than acquisition codecs, so transcoding from an acquisition format to ProRes, for example, with an increased colour space and higher bitrate had few adverse effects and the time spent transcoding re-paid itself by a far more effective – and hence creative – editing process. As time passed, technology and the industry evolved and system performance levels leapt, more

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Harmonic ProMedia Carbon High Speed Transcoding

Image Priority
For ultimate image quality, proxy editing was the most likely route. Data would be transcoded into low resolution ProRes files, sequences edited offline and then conformed with the full resolution media in a grading tool such as Color for final mastering and online correction. Avoiding the use of an intermediate codec for the edit guaranteed the best possible results but required organisational skills for the additional step. The second option – transcoding to an intermediate codec – had major disadvantages. Although, once converted to ProRes 422 (HQ) editing was fast and efficient, what was lost was the original 4K RGB 4:4:4 highest quality structure as well as the original the high resolution. Never theless, using ProRes or DNxHD was still a means of quickly editing at 2K and outputting potentially fantastic results. So today, what’s the score with editing Red footage? With the advent of the Red Rocket PCI card, the days of stuttering editing performance and the need for proxy

4K files that have to be converted at the end of the edit to HD, Red’s own Redcine X tool enables 4K colour correction before transcoding material to HD ProRes for editing. Thereby the post-production supervisor grades at full resolution, the director of photography retains the intended depth of field, the producer has fabulous (though not 4K) pictures while the editor can work at high speed on files that are easily stored and shared across networks. Ironically, transcoding therefore still has its place, but not in its original role.

The RAW Deal
So, while transcoding may be a good workflow for predictable editing results, worthwhile for highly graded content and even a necessity when 4K material has been shot for television output, there’s more to it. Increasingly, above-HD footage, shot by systems such as Red cameras, the Blackmagic Design Cinema Camera, Canon’s C500 or Sony’s 8K-ready F65 are capable of capturing data – often uncompressed – in 12-bit or even


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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of In Broadcast - October 2012

In Broadcast - October 2012
Contents
PO Group Invest in 4k SGO Mistika Solution
BBC Entertainment Launches in Malaysia
AJA KI Pro Eases Elton John Show Workflow Transition
Bolshoi Theatre Install RTS System
Canal+ Sports Opts for Orad Power Wall
SIS LIVE Rolls Out OB 14 HD Truck
OCC’s Bill Smith Answers on the Technical Challenges
4KTV? Not So Fast!
ChyronIP Powers Graphics on Newtek Tricaster
Take Control With Rascular’s Helm
In Broadcast - October 2012 - Intro
In Broadcast - October 2012 - In Broadcast - October 2012
In Broadcast - October 2012 - 2
In Broadcast - October 2012 - Contents
In Broadcast - October 2012 - PO Group Invest in 4k SGO Mistika Solution
In Broadcast - October 2012 - 5
In Broadcast - October 2012 - BBC Entertainment Launches in Malaysia
In Broadcast - October 2012 - 7
In Broadcast - October 2012 - 8
In Broadcast - October 2012 - 9
In Broadcast - October 2012 - 10
In Broadcast - October 2012 - 11
In Broadcast - October 2012 - 12
In Broadcast - October 2012 - 13
In Broadcast - October 2012 - 14
In Broadcast - October 2012 - 15
In Broadcast - October 2012 - 16
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In Broadcast - October 2012 - 25
In Broadcast - October 2012 - 26
In Broadcast - October 2012 - 27
In Broadcast - October 2012 - 28
In Broadcast - October 2012 - 29
In Broadcast - October 2012 - AJA KI Pro Eases Elton John Show Workflow Transition
In Broadcast - October 2012 - 31
In Broadcast - October 2012 - 32
In Broadcast - October 2012 - 33
In Broadcast - October 2012 - 34
In Broadcast - October 2012 - 35
In Broadcast - October 2012 - 36
In Broadcast - October 2012 - 37
In Broadcast - October 2012 - Bolshoi Theatre Install RTS System
In Broadcast - October 2012 - 39
In Broadcast - October 2012 - 40
In Broadcast - October 2012 - 41
In Broadcast - October 2012 - Canal+ Sports Opts for Orad Power Wall
In Broadcast - October 2012 - 43
In Broadcast - October 2012 - 44
In Broadcast - October 2012 - 45
In Broadcast - October 2012 - 46
In Broadcast - October 2012 - 47
In Broadcast - October 2012 - 48
In Broadcast - October 2012 - SIS LIVE Rolls Out OB 14 HD Truck
In Broadcast - October 2012 - 50
In Broadcast - October 2012 - 51
In Broadcast - October 2012 - 52
In Broadcast - October 2012 - 53
In Broadcast - October 2012 - OCC’s Bill Smith Answers on the Technical Challenges
In Broadcast - October 2012 - 55
In Broadcast - October 2012 - 4KTV? Not So Fast!
In Broadcast - October 2012 - 57
In Broadcast - October 2012 - 58
In Broadcast - October 2012 - 59
In Broadcast - October 2012 - ChyronIP Powers Graphics on Newtek Tricaster
In Broadcast - October 2012 - 61
In Broadcast - October 2012 - 62
In Broadcast - October 2012 - 63
In Broadcast - October 2012 - Take Control With Rascular’s Helm
In Broadcast - October 2012 - 65
In Broadcast - October 2012 - 66
In Broadcast - October 2012 - 67
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In Broadcast - October 2012 - S1
In Broadcast - October 2012 - S2
In Broadcast - October 2012 - S3
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In Broadcast - October 2012 - S5
In Broadcast - October 2012 - S6
In Broadcast - October 2012 - S7
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In Broadcast - October 2012 - S9
In Broadcast - October 2012 - S10
In Broadcast - October 2012 - S11
In Broadcast - October 2012 - S12
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