Mastering on iCR™ Speeds Media Time to Market for Sony Pictures Entertainment

AmberFin’s iCR used to Master 90 percent of Movie and TV Studio’s Media Assets in both Standard and High-Definition Formats

The Customer

Sony Pictures Entertainment, Inc. (SPE), a unit of Sony Corporation, encompasses motion picture production and distribution, television programming and syndication, home video acquisition and distribution, operation of studio facilities, development of new entertainment technologies, and distribution of filmed entertainment in 67 countries worldwide.

The Challenge

To build a centralized digital library from Sony’s massive collection of motion picture and television media assets. Content from the library had to be quickly made available to Sony’s diverse clients throughout the world on any format and for use on any platform-ranging from traditional video display to use on the Internet and on devices that include video iPods, mobile phones, and a rapidly changing array of new media access products.

The AmberFin Solution

iCR, a single operator, high speed workstation that encompasses a completely automated workflow including ingest, pre-processing, mastering, and repurposing. Integrated within iCR is advanced quality control monitoring to ensure a fast, troublefree industrial quality process. The system can be conformed for any or all functions, depending on the requirements of the end user.

The Results

About three years ago, Sony Pictures Entertainment begain building a digital library, called DIAMONDS (digital inventory asset management online distribution system), for the storage of features and TV episodics in standard and high-definition video. After evaluating a number of mastering solutions, SPE chose iCR.

“In the end it came down to quality, and the AmberFin solution proved to provide the best images,” said Tony Beswick, SPE’s Senior Vice President of Operations and Technology. From ingest to archive to repurposing and delivery, SPE services nearly 50 domestic and international clients with monthly delivery of assets through the DIAMONDS platform. Of the more than one petabyte stored in DIAMONDS -60,000 media assets and climbing -approximately 90 percent of the master files were encoded with iCR.

“Mastering with the iCR system does more than allow for subsequent transcoding and digital sell-through,” Beswick said. “The ability to provide mezzanine files to broadcasters rather than tape-based masters makes it much easier for our clients to build assets into their digital workflows. While the digital model has been additive to our business, the real benefit is a much faster time to market. With quality masters stored in DIAMONDS, we can perform batch copy and delivery operations quickly and with minimal intervention. By eliminating manual delivery, we’re cutting both costs and delivery times.”

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