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Australia's Nine Network installs AmberFin iCR

Australian broadcaster Nine Network has installed AmberFin iCR systems for video file transcoding and audio and caption processing at its new National Playout Centre (NPC) in Sydney.

Nine Network's NPC is a highly efficient, file-based, HD broadcast facility. It simplifies operations by centralizing all playout for Channel Nine's 18 channels across Australia, using a single HD file format (XDCAM-HD 50Mb/s).

"Our decision to standardize on a single HD format for all playout presented a number of challenges, since commercials and other promotional content are often delivered to us in a variety of standard definition file formats," said Murray Robinson, Engineering Manager - NPC at Channel Nine. "Moreover, captions provided in the original content, which have to be kept and transmitted to air, are also often stored in these standard definition video files, using a variety of different methods."

Following a thorough evaluation of possible solutions, Nine Network chose to work with AmberFin and its local distributor Quinto Communications. 

Using AmberFin's iCR Nine Network, working with AmberFin and Quinto Communications, developed a solution that provides Nine with the highest possible quality file-to-file SD to HD conversion while retaining all captions present in the original files.

iCR is used to extract the captions carried in a variety of formats from source files, and then re-insert the captions into the XDCAM-HD media.

To meet Nine's audio output specifications iCR remaps the audio tracks as part of the file transcoding process to cater for both stereo audio and Dolby 5.1 surround sound.