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File Based Delivery from Avid in a post HDCAM world :(

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Murray North
File Based Delivery from Avid in a post HDCAM world :(
on Sep 8, 2014 at 6:51:43 am


Sorry if this is not really an Avid question per se., didn't know which part of the forum it might be better suited.

Things here in Australia are finally turning towards file based deliveries (mainly XDCAM 50 op1a MXF) and away from HDCAM delivery, which we have been doing happily enough for the last 5 years or so.

Now file based delivery sounds really cool in theory, cloning/duplication is only a drag and drop away, and you can put a whole series on a cheap little hard drive - wahoo! But in reality, because of the inability to insert to tape/file, mastering is looking to become a far lengthier and unpleasant process.

Here is our current tape mastering process.

-Play out to HDCAM with client.
-Insert any changes to the HDCAM.
-Send HDCAM to Tech Check/QC, get back HDCAM, and insert any required fixes to the HDCAM
-Begin duplication and dubbing.

Now with tape delivery, how do you avoid having to watch the file time and time again with every change and fix that you make? What are Avid users doing now to make this is pain free as possible?

The way I see a mastering session playing out now is as follows.

-Export MXF/QT file.
-AMA file back in and watch back with client.
-If they want to make changes - make changes and re-export another MXF.
-Now that you have re-exported it, you can't really trust it, so watch again?
-Send to QC, make changes and re-export and re-watch AGAIN.
-Deliver/Dub etc.

The amount of re-watching and re-exporting is pretty extreme. How are people dealing with this? Is there any easier way? Are people playing out to tape and then ingesting that tape to make their file based masters? Do people have some wacky bit of software that allows inserting to Quicktimes/OP1a MXF files? Is there just a smarter pathway to follow?

I know in theory that you could make your changes and make a new file and be like "yep that should be fine - send 'er off!", but I've made enough mistakes to know that you can never just make the assumption that a fresh export is as you expect it to be. Things go offline, or get bumped, or whatever, and there's no room to get anything wrong when delivering for broadcast.

Any help would be appreaciated - thanks er, Cows? Cowers? Cowsters?

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Pat Horridge
Re: File Based Delivery from Avid in a post HDCAM world :(
on Sep 8, 2014 at 10:56:16 am

Been covering this a lot at VET here in the UK. Even have some courses on it.
We do it as:
SAS export done and sent to AQC (AQC tests optimised to only check specific tests)

Client watches final timeline.

QC engineer watches timeline armed with AQC result.
Final QC list presented to client for fixes / QC comments.
AS-11 ezport done. AQC of AS-11 done and metadata checks done.
final file runtime QC checked.
it works quite well even for early days.

Pat Horridge
Technical Director, Trainer, Avid Certified Instructor
Free online Tutorials at VET digital media academy online
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