Archimedia Technology, a new company whose technology and applications bridge the gap between content producers and their archives has announced that the Archimedia Reference Player has been upgraded to add support for more mastering formats. Introduced in June, the company says the Archimedia Reference Player is the first software player to support multiple vendors' formats, allowing users to view, test, and measure archival-quality files on a standard HDTV and traditional SDI equipment.
Now users will be able to play even more mastering formats — including DPX, Digital Cinema, ProRes222 and ProRes4444, DVCPRO, and H.264 master profiles — from one vendor-neutral player. This capability will be particularly helpful for users in the production, postproduction, broadcasting, digital cinema, and Web production markets.
"At the recent DGA Digital Day in Los Angeles, we demonstrated how one can use our Reference Player to view DPX on a laptop — something that was unheard of before," said Mark Gray, Archimedia president and CEO. "We will support all current and future master formats, regardless of origin, in direct response to market needs. For example, adapting historic 4:2:0 and 4:1:1 subsampled formats such as XDCAM, DV, and MPEG-2 transport stream for modern 4:2:2 and 4:4:4 environments is part of our commitment to the industry. If users come across a mastering format that the Reference Player does not already support, they just need to send us a sample in a master wrapper, and we will incorporate it into the player right away."
Archimedia's practice of continually adding new formats by customer request is expected to have a strong impact on users dealing in 2K, 4K, and 8K resolutions as they begin working with the emerging HEVC/H.265 codec for their master formats.
All of the new formats the Reference Player supports have been validated based on samples Archimedia received from members of the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers and the Association of Moving Image Archivists. Archimedia received samples made by all major vendors, as well as open-source FFmpeg in SD, HD, 2K, and 4K.
The Archimedia Reference Player is designed so that users can open several instances of the player simultaneously with a single license in order to compare master format results from all vendors' equipment. This capability is important for QC engineers, creatives approving releases, and manufacturers designing new products such as Ultra HDTVs and home players, JPEG 2000, and other encoders.
For example, with the upgraded Archimedia Reference Player, DPX users can click on any DPX file, and the player will use a wildcard scheme to allow sequential play, scrub, jog, etc. This quality aids in vendor neutrality, QC, and production scenarios in which individual DPX files might be altered. The Reference Player can also play an external audio file along with the DPX sequence, which is helpful for evaluating sound tracks, dialog, and other audio.