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Australia’s Showtime Adopts AmberFin iCR for Video File Quality Control

Unified Quality Control Provides QC Analysis on Widest Range of File Formats for Delivery to Showtime Broadcast Video Servers

Basingstoke, UK(23 Aug 2012)

In Australia, the Premium Movie Partnership has selected AmberFin’s channel partner, Quinto Communications to supply and commission the new AmberFin iCR File Player with its advanced Unified Quality Control (UQC) option for video asset checking at its Showtime Movie Channel content preparation facility, located at the Fox Studios Entertainment Quarter in Sydney.

Showtime (the trading name of The Premium Movie Partnership (PMP)), is an Australian registered operation with its head office located at The Entertainment Quarter in Sydney. Established in 1995, Showtime is jointly owned by four of the world’s pre-eminent film studios: 20th Century Fox, NBC Universal, Paramount Pictures, Sony Pictures and Liberty Global International.

Showtime required a single solution that could play back and perform QC analysis on a wide variety of file formats including their in-house editing format Apple Pro Res and formats used for delivery to broadcast video servers.

Quinto Communications was able to demonstrate that using the new advanced QC option, AmberFin iCR can perform comprehensive QC analysis on the wrapper and essence structure of the file-based video and audio content and also generate a comprehensive compliance report.

“The file world can be extremely complicated, but with AmberFin’s iCR software, Showtime Australia has acquired not only a trusted and comprehensive product, but one that’s easy and effective to use,” commented John Turner, Director of Operations and Production at Showtime.

Showtime owns, operates and produces Australia’s premium Subscription Television movie channels: Showtime Premiere (+ Showtime Premiere HD and Showtime Premiere 2), showcase (+ showcase HD and showcase 2), Showtime Action (+ Showtime Action HD),

Showtime Comedy and Showtime Drama, as well as the on-line download channel Showtime Family and Showtime Horror. The channels are distributed on the Foxtel and Optus platforms.

Enhanced and extended UQC system excites the market
When first launched last year, AmberFin’s UQC integrated Digimetric's Aurora system to provide 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.  

Earlier this year at NAB, AmberFin showcased development work intended to increase the number of third-party QC systems including vendors such as VidCheck (VidChecker), Tektronix (Ceriphy) and Metaglue (MXFixer). The provision of wider choice enables users to integrate UQC seamlessly within their existing workflows more easily. Also, the option of integrating multiple third-party systems within UQC empowers the user to compare and contrast measurements from the different systems, increasing overall confidence in the quality of their media files.

Incorporating customer feedback from existing UQC users, the latest version comes with metadata workflows and possesses additional logic, which increases the system’s overall efficiency and enhances the user experience.

With this new version of UQC, the operator can perform tasks with two mouse clicks with no need to import or export EDLs. This leads to very fast and efficient workflows where QC is not a means in itself but makes the whole workflow better. These refinements lead to an enhanced user experience with higher levels of trust in media assets for facilities and their customers.

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 65% 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 HBO, AP, Reuters, WWE, ITV, Sony Pictures, NBA, Turner Broadcasting, ZDF, NRK, National Geographic, BT, Discovery and Warner Brothers.