Masstech Enhances Management of HD Assets

Masstech will hit the IBC show in Amsterdam next month with the latest versions of its Indigo (version 8.0) and Topaz (version 7.5) asset-management systems. Both are expected to draw attention at IBC, thanks to such new features as the lack of requiring third-party middleware and the ability to support more than 160 broadcast devices.

Topaz is designed for small and midsize facilities, with pricing beginning around $70,000, including hardware for both archiving and near-line needs. Indigo, meanwhile, is designed for larger facilities, pricing starting at $120,000. Indigo includes the Topaz capabilities plus additional functions that speed asset-management workflows. Customized desktops tailored for different employees and tasks are one of the key enhancements, according to Masstech President/CEO Joe French.

“When a librarian or someone else logs into the system,” he says, “they will see only their tasks, and, when they close them out, the next person in the chain will see their new tasks.”

Other new features include unlimited usage without paying extra licensing fees for timeline virtual editing, logging, annotation, cataloguing, and partial extractions.

“Plus, there are 160 interfaces that bring the control down to the physical layer without any third-party interaction,” says French.

New features for Topaz include interfaces for Avid Interplay and Apple Final Cut Pro, as well as low-res proxy creation, enabling Web browsing of content.

French says one of the competitive advantages Masstech holds is the speed of its file-transcoding capabilities. “HD transcodes using h.264 are clocking in around three times faster than competitive systems. And the ability to transcode in faster than real time is significant when it comes to managing HD content and processing it to meet on-air delivery timeframes.”

He also says the quality of the transcodes meets the needs of the market. “There is no great benefit to transcoding quickly if the output isn’t very good and it is done without things like macroblocking.”

The systems are also API-oriented, allowing tight integration with the third-party devices. Notes French, “Our focus is on HD and speed.”

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