Professional format transfers – now with added Teranex!

As another volume transfer assignment nears completion we have Blackmagic’s Teranex 2D processor to thank for the quality of the 10-bit uncompressed Quicktime master files.

Screen grab showing Blackmagic Design's Media Express capture and clip management software in use

Blackmagic’s proprietary Media Express video capture and file management software during the capture process.

As this post goes to press (so to speak) we’re close to completing a volume capture of approximately 86 hours of World War Two archive film on video for the Imperial War Museum at Duxford, Cambs. The unique and rare footage of USAF operations over Europe between 1939 and 1945 arrived at SimplyDV Towers on a mixture Betacam-SP, DVCAM and even MiniDV tapes. The brief from our client at IWM was to digitise the professional-quality wartime films and more recent videotapes containing interviews with veterans to huge Uncompressed 10-bit Quicktime YUV 4:2:2 files for master file archiving and also for later use in exhibition presentations for the IWM’s soon-to-be-refurbished American Air Museum on the site.

Tape sources were played back with either our a Sony DigiBeta or DVCAM VCRs using either YUV Component analogue or (where appropriate) SD/SDI video/audio embedded connections into our new BlackMagic Design Teranex 2D digital converter & processor which did the real-time conversion of the tape content to 10-bit Uncompressed video files. From there, the data was fed to high-speed SSD drives mounted in a newly-acquired Blackmagic Design MultiDock system. The two devices were daisy-chained by 10Gbps Thunderbolt connections into our main Apple Mac capture & editing system.

On reviewing the whole job, which is set for delivery to the IWM on Western Digital 4TB USB3.0 hard drives, the Teranex 2D unit has been fantastic and far exceeds our expectations – both in terms of the quality of the uncompressed video files and also in terms of its intuitive physical and software-based controls. Throughout the assignment, which has taken almost three weeks to complete, neither the Teranex nor the MultiDock SSD store let us down at any stage.

One major advantage of generating master files as 10-bit uncompressed Quicktime 4:2:2 files is that any post-production work can take advantage of each file’s 10-bit colour-space, which facilitates greater control for editing and also colour-grading where required.

Image of Blackmagic Design's Teranex 2D

Blackmagic Design’s Teranex 2D digital converter and processor takes up only 1 rack unit.

The Teranex, which was supplied to SimplyDV by Nottingham-based Jigsaw24, takes up a mere 1U (one unit) of rack space and connects to a Mac via the latest Thunderbolt 2 connections. Here’s a close-up of the unit in the rack, just above a RS422 Serial patchbay, which is used to route control of VTRs that have 9-pin DB9 connections for deck control via the Teranex and the software.

Very soon, we plan to post a short video showing how the Teranex can be used to create upscaled 720p, 1080i and 1080p HD video files from standard definition 4:3 videotape source recordings. The results are impressive – so watch this space!

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