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Alteran's ViTaDi

Content owners are facing a monumental challenge today: convert their legacy material to new digital formats or forfeit it forever. Television networks and every other organization that harbors a library of priceless, irreplaceable content must uncover a solution or stand by helplessly as it deteriorates and the opportunity to monetize assets vaporizes.

As an affordable alternative, Alteran Technologies has designed the ViTaDi product suite, a rapid and scalable digital migration solution that captures, transcodes and delivers video in multiple video/audio file formats to media servers, digital archives and asset management systems. The solution uses a systems integration approach and incorporates partner products for maximum efficiency. Using both new and legacy technology, it adapts to a content owner's pre-existing system architecture and integrates with any pre-existing tape library system. Its ability to be installed on-site allows tapes to remain in their original controlled environment.

The system's scalable robotic hardware/software video migration solution enables the automated digitization of video content. Using a complex and proprietary database backbone, the system can ingest multiple channels of content at a single time, making it an efficient migration method. This customizable turnkey system targets high-volume encoding of videotapes to digital file formats, which allows for accessibility to searchable digital archives and asset management systems.

The product series includes a fully automated robotic and a semiautomatic capturing system, capable of ingesting a multitude of video formats and recognizing all standard cataloging bar code systems. After the ingest phase, the video content is automatically organized using a digital asset management (DAM) solution, which makes the assets available for transcoding and repurposing. The storage phase can be easily adapted to a pre-existing or new storage system.

Automatic and semiautomatic capture systems

The Robotic Package (Robo Pack) is designed to facilitate the maximum production with the least amount of downtime. The robot is capable of holding small or large Betacam cassettes of varying formats, such as Betacam, Betacam SP, Digibeta, IMX, SX and HDCAM.

Auto Package (Auto Pack) serves as a semiautomatic capturing solution that allows any serial RS-422 VTR to be connected as an ingestion source. It features an intuitive tape-handling tool easily operated by technical or nontechnical personnel. Formats include 1in, 3/4in, U-Matic, D1, D2, D3, D5, D9, DTC, DVCPRO, DVCAM and many more.

The system works in combination with both HD and SD versions of Telestream's Pipeline network encoder to automate the process of simultaneously capturing and digitizing multiple videotapes and encoding them in real time to digital video files. Telestream's Episode Engine works in tandem with ViTaDi and Pipeline to begin transcoding the video files to additional formats while they are being encoded.

It offers a rich feature set to optimize the digital migration process. The ViTaDi Control Software (VCS) not only controls the interface to the hardware, but also organizes the capture data, allowing one-touch ingests and metadata embedding without any operator interference. Using the smart capture option, ingest is achieved with or without client-provided data or time code, thus allowing smooth captures from any original tape, every time.

ViTaDi's database (VDB) works directly with pre-existing database infrastructures, allowing seamless migration of all data pertaining to the capture process. The system accepts .CSV and .XML files for maximum compatibility. Data is inserted directly into the file during ingest to further streamline the process. The video streaming monitoring system continuously streams the final output file at near real time to ensure the file is being recorded and quality requirements are being met.

Extended Package (Ex Pack) offers a transcoding option, allowing for simultaneous capture and transcoding without user interference. Transcoded files can be immediately used for asset management solutions, or put directly on the Web. Transcoded file types include Flash, Windows Media H.264 and many more. Using Digital Vision hardware technology, it can reduce noise in the audio and video signals for all formats. The archiving solution allows for automatic storing, searching and reviewing of captured material, including metadata, logging info and any other data or file.

A powerful and optional quality control tool, ViTaDi Quality Control (VQC) allows each file and original video content to be automatically checked against a set of user-adjustable parameters that once configured, allow for extremely accurate reporting on each file.

Conclusion

As content owners stand at a critical crossroads and decide whether to digitize or disintegrate, an affordable remedy has come to their rescue. The ViTaDi product suite's ability to adapt to pre-existing systems architecture and to use both new and legacy technology allows owners to achieve their objectives without breaking the bank. The solution ingests multiple channels of content at a single time, making it an efficient digital migration method. Its ability to be installed on-site reduces error probability by allowing tapes to remain in their original controlled environment. The system addresses any video library migration challenge and lets content owners control the future of their material by giving them the opportunity to manage and monetize their assets.

Tyler Purcell is VP of engineering for Alteran Technologies.