Automated, File-based QC: Challenges, Solutions, and a Real-World Success Story

Autor: By Penny Westlake, Director Sales and Channel Management EUat Interra Systems


Working in a file-based workflow environment, broadcasters and post-production houses come into contact with a large amount of digital assets. Obviously, efficiency is a top priority, but so is quality. Today’s television and cinema viewers expect an extremely high quality of video and audio during their entertainment experience, especially with Ultra HD and 4K on the horizon. To assure top-notch quality of assets, broadcasters need an automated, file-based QC solution that is flexible, scalable, and reliable, offering advanced capabilities such as analytics, broad format support, and ease of use.


This article will explore a few of the common challenges that broadcast and post-production operatorsencounter during the QC process, providing insight into the key features one should look for in an automated, file-based QC system. A real-world case study of Roundtable Films will shed light on how post-production houses are using Interra Systems’ BATON™ to simplify the creation of high-res content, including 4K and DPX, for film, documentary, and TV series projects.




Common QC Challenges

The auto QC process is fast, efficient, consistent, and reliable. Whencoupled with a manual review process on random and/or erroneous digitizedcontent, broadcasters and post-production houses can achieve higher levels of productivity with optimized results. Of course, that is not to say that they do not still face challenges.


There are mostly four types of checks that are done as part of a quality checking process on digitized files: checking the compliance of the generated content, timecodes, and metadata; the baseband quality in audio and video; and encoding/transcoding errors, if content is compressed.


Compliance and metadata checking is a rather straightforward process. The real complexity comes with ensuring that baseband quality of the digitized content is above the defined and agreed upon threshold level. Video issues can manifest themselves in different ways, and each one of them requires deep R&D to be detected reliably and accurately. Fortunately, there are tools to correct these errors.


The Solution: BATON™ Automated, File-based QC


Interra - Baton QC


Interra Systems’ BATON automated, file-based QC solutionmeets all ofthe industry’s crucial requirements for checking the quality of content in SD, HD, UHD/4K, and mixed workflows, providing comprehensive checks, scalability, support for wide range of media formats, and an intuitive web-based interface that simplifies quality control operations.


Choosing a file-based QC system that offers a full range of checks is highly important. BATON provides the most complete checks covering standards compliance, regulatory checks, and baseband checks in the industry, including PSE/flashiness checks. Recently, support was added to the system for text detection (including language) and recognition of burnt-in subtitles, audio language detection, detection of new audio quality noises, as well as support for the latest loudness ITU-R BS.1770 specification. In addition, BATON supports new image formats like TIFF/Targa, enhanced closed captions, and updates to DPP/ARD_ZDF compliance support.  As broadcasters and other content providers eventually migrate to 4K distribution, the system offers unmatched 4K content verification speed.


Another critical requirement for today’s broadcast and post-production operators is assuring that their file-based content meets various delivery criteria. BATON ensures ease of deployment with pre-configured test plans for DPP, Netflix, CableLabs, and a full list of delivery standards.


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TM Broadcast International

Broadcast and audiovisual digital magazine