BTV Post has completed the world’s first successful conversions of low-frame-rate video in a beta test of Alchemist OD, the new software-only version of Snell’s Alchemist Ph.C-HD standards converter, which can work with HD, 2K or 4K video. BTV Post’s tests converted a variety of challenging and complex material from 25Hz to Digital Cinema 24Hz.
“With Alchemist OD, Snell has brought its Ph.C technology to the file-based realm. Since 90% of BTV Post conversions either begin, reside, or end in the digital file domain, Alchemist OD is the answer we have sought for conversions that provide unrivalled quality and breath taking results,” said Jon Lee, chief technology officer, BTV Post, which has facilities in Brighton and London.
“Plus, with Alchemist OD Snell has now found the holy grail of low temporal-rate standards conversion by enabling us to convert from 24p/25p/29p to any other frame rate and even return to interlaced formats. Ph.C works its magic on all frame rates to deliver dazzling results every time.”
Snell’s Alchemist is the first conversion line to address the challenges of converting digital cinema and other content that is typically created at low temporal rates, including 23.98, 25, and 29.97Hz. Previously, converting such material meant compromising picture quality unless the speed of the playback was altered, an especially unsatisfactory option for music and performing arts content since the off-speed playback results in a change in pitch. Alchemist OD, however, can perform high-quality 4K conversions at these low temporal rates without affecting the audio.
Alchemist OD is the first product to use Snell’s On Demand technology, a media processing framework that provides instant access to Snell’s signal-processing algorithms in file-based, virtualized broadcast and digital media environments. This approach enables cost savings through the use of standard IT hardware and supports more efficient operations that enable 24/7 asset use.
“This collaboration is the second time that BTV Post and Snell have worked together on a beta project for the Alchemist product line. We knew BTV Post and its sister company, Electric Sky, would be ideal partners for testing Alchemist OD because of their extensive and varied catalogue of premium content, and also their requirement for delivering titles on all platforms and in all territories at every possible frame rate and size,” said Paola Hobson, senior product manager at Snell.
“Even when pushed to these high tolerances, Alchemist OD demonstrated all of the best qualities of the On Demand framework, providing a fast and efficient means of delivering pristine quality even with high-end 4K content,” claimed Hobson.
By David Fox