If you are editing with Final Cut Pro X for broadcast and you've been asked to supply a file for programme delivery, what specifications do you need to follow? Hamburg Pro Media have made life easier with the AS-11 Suite which will export your finished master complete with all the metadata needed.
Supplying programmes on tape to broadcasters was always a hit or miss affair, so with many, many different codecs, resolutions and meatdata requirements, file delivery insn't any easier.
In January 2012, the Digital Production Partnership announced that broadcasters in the UK including The BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Five, Sky, S4C and UKTV would accept digital files based on an agreed format. One would assume that these standards might be adopted by other broadcasters across Europe too.
The Advanced Media Workflow Association in the US joined with the DPP to produce AS-11, a common agreed specification for file delivery. The UK specifications are are a subset of that new standard.
Hamburg Pro Media has launched the AS-11 Suite, a collection of utilities for Final Cut Pro X that help with the importing of MXF media and the exporting of AS-11 MXF files for delivery to broadcasters.
The AS-11 Suite consists of 3 parts:
MXF reader, importer, interpreter and access Plug-In for the QuickTime system framework.
Export of AS-11 MXF files according to the Specs of the Digital Production Partnership.
AVC-Intra Codec to encode and export AVC-Intra.
Apart from getting the correct mechanical specifications right, the metadata configuration is where a lot of time will be spent by editors entering and correcting the data. This is one area where FCPX shines and with some clever entry translations from Hamburg Pro Media, they have been able to make the process happen from within FCPX without having to go through another application.
The suite is priced at a rather hefty €1,790 which means that it's aimed at production companies who make runs of series or facility houses who would offer an export service. Although this might seem expensive, it is a lot cheaper than having to hire a Sony HDCAM or SR deck for a week along with the associated puchase of tape stock.
Good to see FCPX in action doing what it does best, the creation, editing and export of file based media. Please send us an email if you have used this software to get your work on UK television!
For more information, have a read of the excellent Workflow Guide
which gives detailed instructions on how the AS-11 Suite delivers files for broadcast from FCPX. Nice to see a decent length of bars and the traditional clock still make the cut.