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Colorfront unveils impressive 8K/HDR streaming features at NAB 2023

Apr 19, 2023

Colorfront (colorfront.com) – the multi-award-winning developer of high-performance dailies/transcoding/streaming systems for motion pictures, OTT, broadcast and commercials – is trailblazing advances in 8K/HDR processing which highlight the ever-growing strength-in-depth capabilities across all its product lines during NAB 2023. 

Demonstrations of Transkoder, Streaming and Dailies systems are taking place at The Conrad Hotel at Resorts World and at Amazon’s AWS booth in West Hall #1701 during the event, as news breaks about a landmark implementation of Colorfront’s 8K/HDR technology at Amazon’s Culver Theater. 

Colorfront Streaming solutions feature 8K/HDR capability for remote working:
Top of the bill in Colorfront’s presentation is the ground-breaking ‘live’ streaming of 8K footage, using just hotel broadband, in a set-up that features Colorfront Transkoder running in AWS, reading, de-Bayering and processing 8K Sony Venice 2 and Red RAW camera footage directly from AWS S3 cloud object storage, and streaming 8K video to Colorfront Streaming Player running on a Mac Mini with an HDMI 2.1 video connection used to display the results in HDR on an 8K LG 77-inch OLED TV. 

“With this breakthrough demonstration of superlative 8K/HDR quality, we are showing that Colorfront technologies are the industry-leading pinnacle in delivering powerful, leading-edge, cost-effective performance for customers – whether that’s mastering the latest IMF packages with Transkoder in the cloud, using our Dailies products with the very latest digital cinematography cameras, or harnessing our Streaming products for color-accurate live/remote working over pubic internet,” said Aron Jaszberenyi, managing director of Colorfront. 

Colorfront Streaming Player is a video receiver software for critical remote viewing, with support for professional video I/O devices from AJA and Blackmagic Design. Streaming Player has undergone significant improvements, including the introduction of a shared pointer feature with minimal latency for real-time collaboration and a new browser-based viewer option for optimized user experience. 

Additionally, there are two streaming server products available: the compact 1RU Colorfront Streaming Server appliance, and the software-only Colorfront Streaming Server Mini for Mac/PC laptops and workstations. The Advanced Streaming Gateway and Stream Manager ensure secure, predictable streaming to multiple destinations. With streaming built into all Colorfront products, On-Set Dailies, Transkoder and QC Player can all stream in 8K, whether locally or from the cloud. 

Colorfront Streaming products have been security audited and certified by several major Hollywood Studios to securely stream pre-release content via AES-256 bit encryption, enterprise Single Sign-On (SSO) user authentication, with the ability to kick-out individual viewers, plus forensic audio/video watermarking, visible spoilers, and burn-ins of individual IP address and session ID. 

Along with 8K/HDR capability, the latest enhancements include: AWS Cloud Digital Interface (CDI) input for AWS cloud workflows; NDI interface that allows creative digital artists to live-stream material directly from popular NLE, compositing and colour grading systems, without the need for additional hardware; built-in Dolby Vision content-mapping with 4.0 and 5.1 metadata; plus a host of new tools to manage invitations and assign users to streams. 

Colorfront 8K/HDR power for Amazon’s Culver Theater:
Colorfront streaming solutions have been adopted by freelance artists and boutique post houses to major Hollywood studios and OTTs. Colorfront Streaming Player was recently deployed in Amazon’s Culver Theater, the first US theatre to showcase a Samsung 8K HDR Micro LED IWA wall. 

“We are thrilled to now have the ability to playout 8K camera RAW files to our 8K HDR cinema screens directly from our Virtual Private Cloud (VPC) in AWS,” said Jonathon Lee, head of media engineering & innovation at Amazon Studios. “This has created a new paradigm for us, and helps close the loop with our global pure cloud production environment. We can now post our shows anywhere in the world in full fidelity.” 

Colorfront Transkoder gets a speedy new Mac Studio platform:
New at NAB 2023, Colorfront Transkoder, the company’s sought-after mastering, QC and deliverables solution, is being shown running a Mac Studio desktop with dual 32-inch Retina 6K Pro Display XDR monitors featuring Colorfront’s new second-head Analyzer. In this powerful, cost-effective configuration, Colorfront Transkoder optimises DCP/IMF mastering workflows, accelerated HEVC H264/H265 and ProRes read/write, and delivers rapid handling of all new RAW camera formats, like the ARRI Alexa 35 4.6K, with its ARRI Reveal colour science and ARRI Textures, plus Sony Venice 2 8K, Red V-Raptor 8K, Blackmagic RAW and ProRes RAW. 

New Transkoder updates also feature support for Dolby Vision 5.1, with a focus on metadata creation and trims for cinema targets, as well as Dolby Vision validation. Additional capabilities encompass Dolby L1 check, side-by-side split view for SDR and HDR, and additional markers for 48-nit checks. 

Colorfront is highlighting a host of additional productivity and user-experience enhancements to Transkoder, such as support the very latest DCP/IMF packages, high-throughput JPEG2000 (HTJ2K), the OpenTimelineIO interchange format and API for editorial cut information, along with new playhead controls, improved image analysis and HDR reporting, as well as auto-detection of blanking issues. 

On the audio side, Transkoder supports Dolby Atmos, and comes with new dialog-gated loudness measurement and PDF reporting tools, greater abilities to manipulate individual channels in multichannel audio tracks, as well as timeline editing and enhancements. 

Incorporating other cutting-edge advancements, Transkoder integrates Automatic Speech Detection, enabling AI to decipher spoken content and extract the corresponding text. This allows users to overlay text as subtitles or export it for other purposes, ultimately streamlining the workflow. For cloud-based workflows Transkoder provides ultra-low latency uncompressed video output via AWS CDI, as well as NDI. 

Colorfront On-Set Dailies & Express Dailies get a boost too:
Colorfront’s On-Set Dailies and Express Dailies are both updated to support the latest digital camera formats, including ARRI Alexa 35, Red V-Raptor 8K VV, Sony Venice 2 8.6K and Blackmagic Design 12K RAW, plus ACES 1.3, the latest Academy Color Encoding System, including ACES Metadata Files (AMF).

Support for third-party OpenFX has been extended to embrace Sapphire VFX plug-ins, which along with Invizgrain and LiveGrain plug-ins, enable users to add textural qualities to content. There are also new tools for handling/retiming HFR (high-frame-rate) clips, improved rendering and enhanced custom burn-in tools.

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