As one of the country’s largest broadcasters of English- and French-language pay and specialty television services, Astral operates, on its own or with partners, 20 television services, including The Movie Network/HBO Canada, Family Channel, Playhouse Disney Channel, Viewer’s Choice PPV. Processing such large amounts of content at Astral’s facilities required a means of converting files quickly and efficiently. RadiantGrid’s TrueGrid transcoding technology proved to be the perfect solution, allowing Astral Television to support multiple parallel workflows, which are used to convert the organization’s archive and production formats (GXF with Dolby E, Avid dnx, etc.) to a variety of different formats for the various file-based delivery chains.
“Online and VOD are becoming a normal part of the workflow for broadcasters like Astral, and as a result, they are going to require software able to handle the conversion for various, audio, video, closed captioning and associated metadata formats as quickly as possible,” explains Kirk Marple, president and chief software architect, RadiantGrid Technologies. “RadiantGrid prides itself in being able to offer its users the broadest range of file support available – making it an ideal choice for a situation such as this.”
RadiantGrid’s TrueGrid transcoding technology allows users to transcode files faster than other platforms. It accepts many media archive essence and ingestion container formats, including Avid DNxHD, Avid IMX50, MPEG-2 Long GOP, GXF and MXF Op-Atom and Op1a. From any of these container formats, RadiantGrid can deliver content to broadband, mobile, cable and broadcast formats and standards such as Microsoft Silverlight (VC-1), H.264, CableLabs 1.1 MPEG-2, QuickTime DVCPRO-HD, Flash On2 VP6, 3GPP and the Apple iPhone.
In addition to offering decoding support, Astral also has plans to add RadiantGrid’s GXF and Dolby E encoding options to its workflow so that the company will be able to convert files to GXF and Dolby E formats directly from post for on-air playback from Grass Valley K2 video servers. Also on the audio front, Astral plans to implement the Linear Acoustic module for Radiant Grid, which will provide a full range of file-based audio processing, such as dialnorm/compression profile adjustment and upmix/downmix.