Colorfront demonstrated how its software and hardware handles and processes 8K/HDR media during NAB 2023. Colorfront Streaming systems feature new capabilities for working remotely 8K/HDR with video. Transkoder optimises and accelerates DCP/IMF mastering workflows, and all Colorfront software is now able to rapidly process the new RAW camera formats.
Users can stream 8K footage live, using domestic-speed 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. At the Show, 8K video was streamed to the Colorfront Streaming Player running on a Mac Mini with an HDMI 2.1 video connection, which was then used to display the results in HDR on an 8K LG 77-inch OLED TV.
“With this demonstration of 8K/HDR quality, we are showing how Colorfront’s performance helps users affordably handle such tasks as mastering the latest IMF packages with Transkoder in the cloud, using our Dailies products with the new digital cinematography cameras, or setting up our Streaming products for colour-accurate live/remote work 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 that simplifies the user experience.
Two new streaming server products are available, including a compact 1RU Colorfront Streaming Server appliance, and the software-only Colorfront Streaming Server Mini for Mac/PC laptops and workstations. Streaming Server sends four channels of live 12G-SDI UHD, 256-bit AES encrypted reference-quality 4K Dolby Vision HDR video, each channel with up to 16 channels of 24-bit PCM audio, from a single 1RU server.
The system supports real-time streaming from third party applications such as Blackmagic Resolve or Autodesk Flame in 4K HDR and uses SRT, delivering multi-channel audio over public networks for remote clients who typically experience sub-second latency viewing 4K/2K/3D content either in Rec709 SDR or HDR with Dolby Vision.
The Advanced Streaming Gateway and new tools for managing invitations and assigning users to streams help establish secure, predictable streaming to multiple destinations. Advanced Streaming Gateway is a private, user-operated SRT gateway that runs on AWS cloud or a chosen data centre and streams to many destinations simultaneously when using Colorfront systems or third-party SRT streaming servers or clients.
Frame- and colour-accurate, the Gateway generates usage reporting and service telemetry and integrates with Colorfront’s Broker scheduling and management service that connects authenticated users, servers and clients, and manages sessions. With streaming built into all Colorfront products, On-Set Dailies, Transkoder and QC Player can all stream in 8K, either locally or from the cloud.
Audited, Certified and Updated
Colorfront Streaming products have been 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 remove individual viewers, plus forensic audio/video watermarking, visible spoilers and burn-ins of individual IP address and session ID.
The 8K/HDR functionality comes with enhancements such as AWS Cloud Digital Interface (CDI) input for AWS cloud workflows. An NDI interface allows creative digital artists to live-stream material directly from NLE, compositing and colour grading applications, without installing dedicated hardware. Dolby Vision content-mapping with 4.0 and 5.1 metadata is built-in with new tools to manage invitations and assign users to streams.
Colorfront streaming has been adopted by organisations and artists ranging from freelancer and smaller post houses to major Hollywood studios and OTTs. Colorfront Streaming Player was recently deployed in Amazon’s Culver Theater, the first US theatre to display a Samsung 8K HDR Micro LED IWA wall. (The images illustrating this article come from this 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 mode of work 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 MONITORING AND MASTERING
Colorfront Transkoder, the company’s primary mastering, QC and deliverables system, was shown running a Mac Studio desktop with dual 32-inch Retina 6K Pro Display XDR monitors featuring Colorfront’s new second-head HDR Image Analyzer.
In this configuration, Colorfront Transkoder optimises DCP/IMF mastering workflows, accelerates HEVC H264/H265 and ProRes read/write, and is able to rapidly process all new RAW camera formats. Among these are 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.
The Analyzer has waveform, histogram, vectorscope, split-screen, colour gamut, nit light level and audio level metering functionality. In this case, full HDR Image Analyzer functionality was integrated into Transkoder’s second-head monitor output.
Another Transkoder update is Dolby Vision 5.1 support with a focus on metadata creation and trims for cinema targets, and on Dolby Vision validation. Its capabilities encompass Dolby L1 check, side-by-side split view for SDR and HDR, and additional markers for 48-nit checks.
Colorfront has made user-experience upgrades to Transkoder as well, like up-to-date DCP/IMF packages, high-throughput JPEG2000 (HTJ2K), the OpenTimelineIO interchange format and an API for editorial cut information. New playhead controls, improved image analysis and HDR reporting, and automatic detection of blanking issues are added to improve ease-of-use.
On the audio side, Transkoder supports Dolby Atmos, and comes with new dialogue-gated loudness measurement and PDF reporting tools. Users have more options for manipulating individual channels in multichannel audio tracks, plus timeline editing and enhancements.
Transkoder now integrates Automatic Speech Detection, deploying AI to decipher spoken content and extract the corresponding text. This allows users to overlay text as subtitles, or export it for other purposes, simplifying the workflow. For cloud-based workflows, Transkoder produces ultra-low latency uncompressed video output inside the AWS Cloud via AWS CDI (Cloud Digital Interface), as well as NDI. www.colorfront.com