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Snell aims AmberFin at multi-platform

3 April 2008

Snell & Wilcox is set to launch an entire new spin-off company aimed at enabling the industry to maximise efficiencies in creating and distributing content to multi-platforms, writes Adrian Pennington. Called AmberFin, it is centred on Snell & Wilcox’s multi award-winning technology, iCR.

ICR is a single operator, high speed workstation which enables automated and accurate transcoding of content for DVD, mobile phone or games consoles, broadcast, online video or cinema.

ICR encompasses a completely automated workflow including ingest, pre-processing, mastering, and repurposing. Integrated within iCR is advanced quality control monitoring to ensure a fast, trouble free industrial quality process.

AmberFin is being marketed to film and broadcast clients with a view to maximising the value of video content by multiformat transcoding, automating processes, producing copies more cost-effectively, reducing encoding errors and offering better quality at lower bitrates.

One key, existing iCR customer is Sony Pictures Entertainment which selected it as the mastering solution for its massive digital library called DIAMONDS (digital inventory asset management online distribution system) which stores 6000 assets – features and TV episodics – in standard and HD video.

“In the end it came down to quality, and the Snell & Wilcox solution proved to provide the best images,” said Tony Beswick, SPE’s senior vice president of operations and technology.

“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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