Frame-accurate editing in the cloud

As broadcasters look to improve the efficiencies of remote operations, new tools provide support or video editing over the Internet. The combination of proxy-based editing, along with smart asset management, makes it possible for operations like newsgathering and sportscasting to benefit from more flexible workflows.

Two such platforms are FORscene, from Forbidden Technologies, and the recently announced QTube from Quantel. As would be expected by the broadcast community, both platforms offer frame-accurate editing.
FORscene provides cloud-based editing with advanced proprietary codecs designed specifically for the requirements of editing. The edit window provides a unique timeline view of video content based on the color signature of the scene. This makes it fast to use for logging and general navigation through the content.

Forbidden has recently launched support for Android tablets, giving field crews the ability to rough cut video on the lightweight devices. FORscene also integrates with Chyron’s Axis Graphics platform, giving users more production capability from a cloud solution.

FORscene creates an EDL that can be exported to the location of the broadcast resolution files, where the edits can be auto-conformed.

Quantel is to show QTube at IBC2011. This is a proxy-based editor that integrates with the Quantel Enterprise SQ system. In a news environment, journalists and reporters can cut recently-shot content with proxy content from a news archive at another location. After the edit, the required full resolution content is uploaded from the field to base and auto-conformed with the archive content. This allows the complete story, with archive material giving context, to be compiled in the field.

QTube is H.264 based, with a Silverlight user interface, allowing it to run on most laptops. In field operations, available Internet bandwidth can be limited. The Quantel server uses Microsoft IIS/Smooth Streaming with adaptive bit rate technology and encodes on the fly to the appropriate bit rate for the connection. Since Quantel’s platform is based on frame-based storage, as opposed to long-GOP, full resolution frames can be downloaded if it is necessary to view content in detail — perhaps to check focus or read text in shot.

Platforms like FORscene, QTube and Axis are giving production crews an independence from base not possible in the days of tape media. It gives broadcast management a new flexibility as to where it deploys staff, whether in the field or at headquarters. Creative personnel have access to the company’s archive wherever they are, even on the other side of the world. News bureaus and agencies can share material much more easily, and costs are reduced as proxy editing indentifies the selected broadcast resolution material for inexpensive transfer over intercontinental circuits.