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Sonic ships first HD authoring systems

Sonic Solutions has released the world's first professional HD authoring and encoding systems, Scenarist4 and CineVision, a sure sign that the rollout of Blu-ray and HD-DVD commercial titles is gathering momentum.

Sonic Solutions has released the world’s first professional HD authoring and encoding systems, Scenarist4 and CineVision, a sure sign that the rollout of Blu-ray and HD-DVD commercial titles is gathering momentum.

Designed for professional content creators who demand the highest level of creative control, Scenarist 4 offers complete support for HDMV (Movie Mode) and BD-J Blu-ray authoring in addition to standard and the all-important advanced content HD DVD authoring. Also delivering comprehensive next-generation format support is CineVision, Sonic’s Hollywood-quality encoding workstation that provides expert control over all three HD video codes: AVC/H.264, VC-1, and MPEG2.

Scenarist 4 and CineVision were developed in collaboration with the High Definition Authoring Alliance (HDAA), an association of top authoring and post production facilities around the globe that Sonic formed in 2005 to help facilitate the successful launch of HD titles. Both Scenarist 4 and CineVision were refined based on feedback from content creators who used pre-release versions to produce the industry’s first replicated discs using the advanced interactive modes of Blu-ray and HD-DVD.

Featuring the same logical workflow and user interface already familiar to the majority of professional DVD authors, Scenarist 4 can be configured to specifically address the needs of authoring facilities producing titles in one or both HD formats. As with its predecessor, Scenarist 4 offers what Sonic calls surgical control over every aspect of the HD authoring process, enabling full access to the HD formats while ensuring player compatibility of titles with next-gen HD players. With Scenarist 4, content creators are able to exploit the full potential of the next-generation formats, delivering titles with dynamic navigation, stunning graphical elements, and engaging interactive features.

Designed to integrate seamlessly within the HD authoring workflow, the CineVision encoder not only links directly into Scenarist 4, but offers comprehensive support for a broad range of HD video input formats including QuickTime, AVI, and DPX image sequences. In addition, CineVision combines comprehensive control over encoding parameters with advanced post-encode quality control and workflow optimisation tools such as segment-based re-encoding, ExpressQC, and StreamData. An exclusive, patent-pending quality control tool, ExpressQC is built into the CineVision Timeline and automatically identifies sections that are that are statistically lower in quality, compared to the source material. StreamData provides the facility to exchange key encoding metadata including encoding parameters, chapter-point information, and reference frame data.

“Creating titles for the new HD formats is exponentially more complex than for standard DVD, requiring production tools that deliver the highest degree of control, quality, and workflow optimisation,” said Rolf Hartley, senior vice president and general manager of Sonic’s Professional Products Group. “Scenarist 4 and CineVision continue the tradition set by our Scenarist DVD systems by providing breakthrough innovations in creativity, efficiency and productivity that, in the hands of content creators, will usher in a new era of HD home entertainment.”