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Testronic opens facility for file-based testing

Testronic Labs, a provider of quality assurance services for film and television production, has opened a new File-Based Lab within its existing manufacturing facility in Burbank, CA, that will help studios and content owners design and test file-based ecosystems that move and process content from mastering through to digital distribution to consumers. The company said the new File-Based Lab will provide end-to-end QA/QC services in a way that has not been previously available for rich media.

Testronic said that simply mimicking the traditional process for the file would limit its ability to craft an efficient and effective QC process for its clients. As a result, within its File-Based Lab, Testronic has implemented what it calls an “advanced system for high-resolution, multiformat A/V playback” that reduces the amount of equipment necessary to work with all of the various master and distribution file formats and allows a QC operator to test a wide variety of file formats without having to switch to other equipment or to a different QC bay.

Also factored into the design is the ability to handle a massive quantity of files, which the company said is a critical component facing facilities in the immediate and long term.

The core of the File-Based Lab features a project and asset management system. While automating part of the QA/QC process does reduce costs and human error, Seth Hallen, CEO of Testronic Labs, noted that media companies still require skilled experts to be successful. With a 10Gb/s line, the lab can accept transfers of large files (e.g., a 2TB DPX package) via any of the standard Internet (e.g., FTP) or other common file acceleration (e.g., Signiant, Aspera, WAM!NET) protocols.

“In the new lab, we have automated the administration of file delivery, as well as asset and project management, enabling us to achieve significant internal efficiencies and focus our process improvement efforts on content QA/QC, but the human element will continue to be integral to the testing process into the foreseeable future,” Hallen said.

He added that Testronic is currently developing a prototype file processing system in combination with automated administration that will integrate seamlessly with existing systems and provide its clients with a real-time view into the status of their files and projects.

The Testronic File-Based Lab will offer clients the ability to work with multiple formats (including DPX, Clipster, JPEG 2000, ProRes, GXF, QuickTime, Windows Media, MPEG, and AVC), manage and perform high-speed file transfers; and ensure system compliance. All types of files can be analyzed to ensure they meet required delivery specs.