Emotion Systems Partners with Utah Scientific
Every broadcaster has an infrastructure for doing file-based work for promo generation and content repackaging. And because of this, we’ve partnered with Utah Scientific in order to provide you with a “best-of-breed” solution for File-Based Audio Processing.
Utah Scientific has been providing best-of-breed Routers and Master Control ever since their inception. And lately, they have been innovating to provide IP solutions for real-time which can be seen in the UTAH-400 Hybrid Router that handles both IP and SDI signals.
But whilst IP for real-time video is a subject of much innovation and excitement, we also know that broadcasters and video companies are also using edit suites and tools to prepare media files in non real-time for broadcast and delivery. And non real-time, File-Based Audio Processing is what we relish and do best.
From Loudness (CALM) Compliance to normalizing files for playout, automated audio processing will save you time and money.
Engine solves many audio processing requirements for content preparation, distribution, and delivery. Automate repetitive tasks with Engine – let people be creative again!
Engine is a file-based, flexible and scalable audio server, used for achieving medium to high levels of processing in an automated environment, or for providing cost effective flexibility in large post production facilities.
Engines saves you time and money by automating repetitive tasks commonly done in an edit suite: Loudness Processing, Dolby E transcoding, Stream Processing, File Wrapping, Audio Channel Add / Remove, Language Tagging, Pitch Correction, and almost any type of non-creative audio processing you can think of.
Customers include: Turner, Fox, KPIX, Premiere Digital, NBCU, Pathfire/Extreme Reach, KATU, Dolby, The Mill, BBC, Deluxe, Encompass, Corus Media, Viacom, and so many more.
Watch this four minute video for an overview.
What does Engine do?
Engine is a software product that processes audio channels within media files, using any combination of the functions listed below.
- Loudness Compliance
- Channel Mapping and Muting
- Dolby E Encoding and Decoding
- Dolby E Guardband Correction
- Stereo to 5.1 Upmix
- 5.1 to stereo downmix, and stereo to mono downmix
- Audio extraction to WAV
- Audio insertion from AIFF/WAV
- Advanced analysis and XML reporting
- Audio Descriptor (Commentary) insertion using a control track
- Increase/decrease the number of audio channels
- Audio pitch or duration adjustment
- Change the stream structure of MXF or QT/MOV files
- Insert language or channel layout metadata
When multiple functions are purchased, they can be used individually, or can be ganged into complex sequences for automatic operation.
What file formats does Engine support?
- MXF (OP1A)
- MOV (Quicktime)
Below are some common uses of Engine within modern broadcast and playout environments, and shows how our software can improve the efficiency of your facility.
Our products are scalable and modular, so that you can fine-tune the system to your exact needs, and know that easy upgradability is designed right into the system, so our software can grow as your business grows.
Compliance with loudness specifications is now a mandated reality in many regions of the world. Although use of hardware processors at the output of a playout centre seems an easy solution, this has been proven time and time again to be only a short term fix, leading to client dissatisfaction with the level of processing that is applied to the audio. The quality of your output will be improved by moving the compliance processing upstream. Our Loudness Compliance solutions are compatible with worldwide standards including ATSC A85, CALM, EBU R128, plus offers support for legacy PPM and VU measurements.
Playout systems require a standard input format yet files are often supplied in a wide range of formats. Is there an efficient way to normalise files?
Dolby E Applications
Dolby E is a fantastic technology, but was originally designed around hardware/real time solutions. Engine has modules available for Dolby E encoding, Dolby E decoding, and for Dolby E guard band correction, which are designed for full functionality within a file-based workflow and overcome many of the challenges inherent in transitioning to files. Full access to AC3 metadata is provided, and you can also obtain comprehensive XML reports of all metadata.
Upmix and Downmix
As we continue to try and offer an improved user experience, technology keeps changing. Sometimes this causes problems for broadcasters, and a good example is the move to surround audio. Ideally all content is produced in both stereo and surround sound versions so that the customer can select the appropriate source for their viewing/listening environment. But older content is probably only available in stereo, yet the surround must still be provided. If you have access to the original master audio, and can afford edit suite time, you can create the surround audio in high quality. Usually though, you don’t have access to the master, and only have the released stereo soundtrack. In any case, apart from particularly high value material, time in edit is likely to be prohibitively expensive, meaning another solution is required. Enter eNGINE with our Upmix module.
Click here to download a trial of Engine
Channel Mapping and Muting
Playout centres normally need a common channel layout but content can be supplied in different formats and sometimes it is a challenge to manipulate the layout to suit your needs. Our channel mapping option is the perfect solution.
Channel Replacement or Extraction
In multi-language broadcast, media files are often supplied, with a separate WAV containing a required language track. The challenge is to insert the audio from the WAV directly in to the media file so that the playout system doesn’t need to be modified. With Engine, this is very simple.
Commentary Track or AD Solutions
IIn Europe we have Audio Description. In USA it is Video Description. A different name but the function is the same, which is to supply a commentary track which is of particular use to the visually impaired. When media is supplied to televisions and set top boxes, the commentary can often be streamed in parallel to the main sound track and selected in the home. When broadcasting to devices such as tablets and computers, this is usually not possible. For these cases it is therefore necessary to premix the commentary over the main audio, and let the end user select either the normal audio, or the audio with commentary. The AD mix for Engine provides a range of solutions for premixing the commentary using a standard Pan/Fade control track.
Video on Demand (VOD) Solutions
We are increasingly speaking to customers looking to broadcast existing content to VOD applications. The common requirements are to convert existing files to the format used.
Instant Automation Solutions using Watchfolders
The power of Engine comes with its flexible automation interface. A comprehensive API is provided, and Engine has been integrated into a number of third party tool sets. For many customers, API-level integration is the ideal long term solution, but this does not prevent you saving time and money today. Simply use the watch folder system (sometimes called hot folder, or drop folder), available as standard with all Engine purchases, to add instant automation efficiency.
Edit Suite Application using Eclient
One area where Engine brings unexpected efficiency is when you use the central server both for your main production workflows, and also for file finishing within your edit suites. The same server can be used simultaneously in both, and a number of customers use this to achieve virtually free loudness compliance within Edit, as part of a main Engine installation.
Not enough channels?
Whilst not an application itself, channel growing is an important function that may be needed to realise specific workflows. In essence, this converts a media file to a media file with a greater number of audio channels. For example, you could start with a two channel MXF file, and end up with an eight channel MXF file. These additional channels may be required, for example if you want to upmix a stereo file, and keep the new 5.1 within the same MXF file.
Integrations in to other products
A growing number of manufacturers now provide integration to Engine. These can be standard modules, or as custom integrations depending on manufacture.
Additional modules and functions are planned or in development.