Content producers are always looking for new ways to store HD masters in more-compact files to ease storage and distribution costs and Twentieth Century Fox Television is the latest to complete a trial use Avid’s DNx HD codec to accomplish the task.
The studio decided to put the Avid technology to the test for the season’s final two episodes of Bones. The goal? To store the program in a manner that delivers the high-quality look of an uncompressed 10-bit HD file at the bandwidth of standard-definition files.
David Jeffery, Bones associate producer, says he and the production team were more than impressed with the lack of pixel degeneration, ghosting and motion artifacts.
“When the producers, director of photography, QC technician, and colorist all give the image quality a thumbs up there’s nothing left to question,” says Jeffery.
More importantly, Gary Hall, vice president of post production for 20th Century Fox Television, says the system maintained the same level of quality seen during the post-production process. “The challenge is how to maintain that quality while managing the massive data size associated with an uncompressed HD master,” he says. “Avid DNxHD solves that problem.”
Fox has not announced yet whether it will move to Avid DNxHD in the future.
Jeffery says the use of the DNxHD did not change the mastering process or cost for television delivery. "During the online process the show is laid off to a D5 tape," he says. It is then taken into color correction where the color corrected master is created and laid off to a D5.
"Our hope is that one day we could purchase an HD Symphony and handle the onlines in house," he says.