AmberFin iCR Software is an end to end system that ingests a range of video formats, pre-processes and encodes the video, performs quality control and then delivers the files in the necessary formats to a range of delivery options. The feature set is so broad that it would take weeks to understand and assess the individual features, so I focused my time with the company in several key areas.
In terms of ingest, the system is one of the few that can input footage and convert it to Avid DNxHD and QuickTime format for Final Cut Pro, getting editors up and running as quickly as possible. The system can also start processing and encoding during ingest, which obviously shortens overall processing time. In addition, AmberFin uses industry standard capture hardware and storage, so users arenâ€™t locked into buying expensive proprietary systems like some of their competitors.
Video preprocessing can make or break video quality. AmberFin uses broadcast-quality sharpening and softening pre-processing filters inherited from former parent company Snell and Wilcox to improve overall compressed quality. During the demo, AmberFin shared the results of a study performed by research house User Analytics that demonstrated that 84% of viewers surveyed found AmberFinâ€™s quality superior to their â€œleading competitor,â€? who was not named.
The iCR system has very accessible and comprehensive quality control functionality. Users can program in their own error parameters, and the system will flag files with these errors, within an interface that makes it simple to quickly view the fault, and pass or fail the file. The system generates an XML report of the problems found, complete with time codes and frame thumbnails. Not all systems have integrated quality control, and few perform it as efficiently as iCR.
It was an impressive demonstration, and itâ€™s not surprising that AmberFin boasts some of the biggest names in the video business as clients, including Turner Broadcasting, British Telecom, the NBA and Warner Brothers.