What must have your equipment intake

Following the request of our readers about managing their digital files by MAM, we will expand the theme parties. In this first I discuss how that captures the intake or material system.

Luis Pinto *

The first step is a seemingly simple decision, however it is the cornerstone that will define their initial and future purchases: what codec will handle your files. This depends on how much money should invest in their general systems, and individuals who are related to the MAM. What follows, we describe below in general terms.

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To develop this work necessary to have a desktop software that makes capturing, transcoding and streaming media, so that allows for the intake and importing content from various sources and formats. Should be a very easy to use software, showing a friendly interface, all controls and windows needed for manual operation.

I consider it important that the software you choose allows you to do these things:
1. Image capture lossless (speaking of size, quality and bitrate).
2. Capture and start streaming instantly start it.
3. That does not require any activation period, or caching, or loss of image.
4. And last, not least, it should be completely stable continuous operation hours 24 / 7 days.

It is very important for the proper management of their files, the equipment intake is compatible with various formats and allows connection to a wide variety of inputs (analog composite signal, component, HDMI and HD-SDI) as in the real world we find a universe of connections, from capture cards from leading manufacturers, to name a few; AJA (Kona 4G, 3G, LHi, LHe), Blackmagic Design, Matrox and DELTACAST, among others.

Each of these cards allows us to manage file formats such as MPG, M2P, AVI, F4V, MXF, MOV, XDCAM, MP4, MPEG TS, WMV, P2. Video Codecs: Apple ProRes, Avid DNxHD / JFIF, MPEG-2, DV, DVCPRO, DVCPRO50, DVCPROHD, no compression, H.265 / HEVC, H.264 / AVC, AVC-Intra, IMX, VC-1. Audio file formats: WAV, M4A. Audio codecs: PCM, AAC, WMA. Transmission formats: WMV mms, H.264 or MPEG-TS 2 as in RTP, UDP, RTMP. Your computer must be compatible with the technology you already have or you want to purchase.

we also find that supports Directshow cards or webcams; as an alternative and solution to new ways of consuming video (OTT), since users must be able to record and broadcast directly from an IP transmission.

Efficient use of resources is key to the performance of your program regularly that we provided servers capture of dedicated high-end video, but there are now native software OSX or Windows 64 bits that have nothing to envy these large and expensive equipment. However, it is important to note that a team of low performance hardware, it will not meet the needs of hard work, that is demanding in terms of ingest channels, speed data transfer and durability over time work.

Be aware that the computer you plan to purchase or acquire must be in service for at least 5 years before it begins to require some form of replacement or service; this, in general terms, is defined as projection purchase. INTAKE teams found that many entries can capture Full HD video or SD cards available as there is in the intake station. There are functions that are very useful, depending on the operation, he said, do not buy what is not being used but projected purchase according to your future needs.

At times the intake system not only replace an entire rack of VTRs, but also can offer much more versatility codecs. Likewise, your ability to save files directly to the storage system and integrate with network management systems audiovisual content (MAM) will bring enormous benefits to workflows.

Basically there are four scenarios where such software is required, it is key to identify with them:
1. Working in TV studios: Users are charged with capturing on the fly and record live camera signal; This allows technicians to start, pause, stop and divide individual channels or all channels simultaneously.
2. Scanning and Archiving: The computer is connected to a video tape recorder (VTR) and to define entry and exit points to make a batch capture. Users can re-record on tape a video file in the same way. We understand that is material from a tape.
3. Scheduled Recording: You can schedule recordings or even control routers video commonly used (AJA, Harris, Kramer, Blackmagic, Quartz, Jupiter and Snell), apply halls IN / OUT, meeting signal monitoring, news centers, etc. .
4. legal copy and monitoring: Capture live broadcasts DVB or IP sources. Where the extraction machine supports EPG (electronic program guides) and allows you to create a schedule with the result.

Multichannel recording can generate a huge amount of files. The ability to control these files is what I call an audiovisual content management. That files are you can name templates automatically using a user-defined names, it is very valuable at the time of management, well check this before getting into a program intake.

Amid all this process, you or your team can realize that charted above as suitable plan, it falls short in everyday reality and that is the precise moment when you have to just grow. Never stop to think that this process of putting everything under the tutelage of a MAM involves regular activity against your files and how to store them.

If your operation requires such programs, user profiles and project files must be saved with certain system configurations, so you dont have drawbacks.

Consequently, anyone can be trained to use it without difficulty as a standalone system. It is important that all actions can be recorded and critical operations can be password protected. MAM software must allow control and monitor remotely all workstations in a local network. To achieve this integration, you can have an API (application programming interface) based on TCP / IP.

File processing is a key component of the system and integrates the following functions:
• Rescaling UP / DOWN Convert (change the aspect ratio and resolution) from the signal / file to the file input / output transmission
• Multicaptura audio and streaming from an SDI source or TS
• Reallocation of audio channels
• Subtitling from entry to the file or transmission
• Recording VITC / LTC File, and detection of timecode jumps
• Overprinting logo, text or time to the file
• Recording a network location with local cache

These are somewhat advanced for content management that require workstations to relay signals in different scenarios with different characteristics options, I mean, a chain of channels transmitted from one point to America in general, so you must issue the same video signal with audio and subtitles according to each country, or the combination of different capacity according to will the end user, (example: I hear it in English and I want it with Spanish subtitles or Portuguese).

Even if you just think to organize and classify your file ... I cataloging and metadata adding thereto suddenly put closed captioning, subtitles, tags, making it accessible online, or for that reason it available daily and hand access editing rooms or to reissue it, choose a product that fits your needs and budget. The decision you make today will depend on what you should do to supplement your system and improve the IT environment for MAM.

To conclude this installment, the intake system must be characterized by its quality, accuracy, responsiveness and reliability. Assess your options under these criteria and will certainly find the equipment to your needs and budget.

Note, for the preparation of this writing, referencing me at the following website: http://www.metus.com/metus-mam/

* Luis pinto is an advisor to the magazine TVyVideo + Radio.

Quoting products and technical services for Latin America

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