Abekas ClipStoreMXc supports QuickTime

Abekas, Incorporated added QuickTime MOV file-based media
import feature for its ClipStoreMXc HD/SD digital disk recorder product. This feature
provides an innovative video clip “ingest” method for the ClipStoreMXc, which
vastly improves image quality and reduces production workloads.
“The QuickTime MOV file import improved our workflow and
reduced our workload. We used this new feature during preparation for this
season’s Boston Bruins telecasts. Our Creative Services department created the
MOV files and transferred them onto a USB 2.0 hard drive, and upon arrival at
our venue, we loaded the elements into
ClipstoreMXc.” said Rose Mirakian-Wheeler, director for Boston Bruins Hockey
for the New England Sports Network
When asked how the new MOV import feature in the
ClipStoreMXc has benefitted her workflow, Mirakian-Wheeler replied: “This ingest
process eliminated several steps in our initial preparation, including the rendering
of elements to tape and to the EVS, and the clipping, syncing and naming of the
fill and matte for each element. Since the MOV files retain their original
naming upon transfer, the QuickTime MOV file import feature streamlined our workflow
and was much more efficient. This method of ingest also improved NESN’s on-air
look, since the MOV files are relatively unprocessed and therefore have no
visible loss of HD video quality.”
The ClipStoreMXc is deployed in dozens of professional HD
mobile television trucks around the world, with the primary purpose of
replaying animated graphics transitions, show openings and sponsor promotions
during live television broadcasts. Since the time when digital disk recorders
(DDR) were first introduced into mobile television trucks, pre-produced content
for these DDRs was transported on professional videotape from the studio to the
mobile trucks, where the tapes are ingested into the DDR with the use of an external
videotape recorder (VTR).
In this original workflow process, the studio-produced materials
(which include video, key and audio elements) are all rendered to real-time
video playback hardware, and then laboriously edited and packaged onto
videotape. These videotapes always contain two major segments: one for the
video/audio portions of the clips, with the other for the key portion (also
known as “alpha”). While this workflow process has served the industry well
over the years, it’s now creating major bottlenecks in the studio-to-air
production chain in the era of file-based video workflows.
Furthermore, the majority of live broadcasts within the past
couple of years have shifted to full 720p or 1080i HD
video quality—especially in the broadcasting
of sports. However, the media intended to replay from DDRs such as the
ClipStoreMXc, which is fully HD capable, are still being supplied
studio-created HD content via an SD
pathway—with one or more “down-conversion / up-conversions” along the way. The
primary reason for this fact is cost: the majority of mobile television truck
companies are quite reluctant to invest the $80K to $100K required for a
professional HD VTR, along with the very steep annual maintenance costs
associated with these HD VTRs. This is why SD videotape remains the defacto
method of transporting such media into DDRs such as the HD-capable
ClipStoreMXc. Until now, that is.
With this new QuickTime MOV import feature, broadcasters may
now render their animated show openings, graphics transitions, promotions, and
the like with full HD quality into QuickTime MOV files while in the studio. This
is an operation that in most cases is already performed for purposes of project
archiving. It should also be noted these QuickTime MOV files may contain HD
digital video, up to eight tracks of digital audio for surround sound, and a
key track (alpha)—and they can be created with any available QuickTime “codec”
to encode the QuickTime MOV files.
Then, to transport the rendered media to the remote
broadcast truck, the QuickTime MOV files are simply copied to any
commercially-available Hi-Speed USB 2.0 portable disk drive. Eliminated is the
painstaking process of editing and compiling the media elements onto linear
videotape in the studio; with a compliment (and arduous) operation in the
mobile truck to ingest and decompile the elements from that videotape and into
the DDR.
In contrast, the portable USB disk drive filled with
QuickTime MOV files is simply transported to the remote broadcast truck in the
field, where the ClipStoreMXc then quickly and efficiently ingests the media
into separate clip identities for later replay during the live broadcast.
“Our experience with the Abekas ClipstoreMXc and its new
QuickTime MOV file import feature, although limited, is a very positive one.
This HD digital disk recording system saves us work and retains the video
quality of our HD elements; and the best part is that it’s very cost effective
too.” NESN’s Mirakian-Wheeler concluded.
This exciting new QuickTime MOV Import feature is a standard
feature and is now shipping in the product; this new feature is also available
to existing ClipStoreMXc users free of charge, through a simple software update
to the machine.

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