Authored by Daryl Blair, Director of Sales & Marketing at InSync Technology, Ltd. The content and opinions in this post are those of the third-party author and AWS is not responsible for the content or accuracy of this post.

InSync technologies logo and AWS partner network logo

Historically, film and video content has been acquired, produced, and mastered to comply with the delivery standards applicable to the primary target audience.

As content owners and producers increasingly seek to monetize their media assets by syndicating them to broadcasters, streaming services and other distribution platforms around the world, the need to convert between different frame rates while preserving the visual quality of the source content has never been greater.

Why is standards conversion an issue?

If we just focus on frame rate, until recently the content production, post and distribution teams only had to worry about a handful of frame rate standards – traditionally 23.98, 24, 25, 29.97, 50, 59.94 and 60 Hz. Even this presents a challenge in terms of handling mixed content within a project or simply the need to format the end product for delivery via cinema, linear TV, VOD/OTT, web, and to a myriad of mobile end devices.

The introduction of high frame rate (>60 hz) and even user-generated content (UGC) has in many ways made the situation even more complicated. So today, standards conversion is no longer limited to bridging the differences between film and TV frame rates.

When we think about standards conversion, the most significant consideration is around the frame rate. This is because frame rate conversion can have a most negative impact on the quality of the viewing experience – if handled incorrectly. Reassuringly, much work has been done in this area over many years and solutions do exist to meet a range of requirements and budgets.

As you might expect, more complex conversions require more sophisticated techniques to preserve both picture quality and smooth motion playback. In the context of frame rate conversion complexity is largely about the numerical relationship between the source and output frame rates in addition to the inherent motion within a sequence. This is where motion compensated interpolation is widely regarded as providing the best results. If we can calculate the movement of an object in the scene, we can identify where that object needs to be in the new frames that we are creating, which generates suitable output pictures.

The computationally intensive nature of motion compensation has meant most converters are available as either proprietary hardware or software, which requires GPU acceleration. This is fine for many applications but does not provide the flexibility required for deployment in the cloud. Finally, the availability of motion compensated frame rate conversion, using only CPU only resources – has removed that barrier. Services can now be deployed on demand and quickly scaled based on ready access to the huge processing resource available in the cloud.

The solution

 

InSync Frame Former Software Conversion Engine graphic

InSync FrameFormer Software Conversion Engine

InSync Technology has teamed with Amazon Web Services (AWS) to bring motion compensated frame rate conversion to AWS Elemental MediaConvert – via API integration of InSync’s FrameFormer CPU-only software conversion engine.

AWS Elemental MediaConvert is a file-based video transcoding service with broadcast-grade features. It allows you to easily create video-on-demand (VOD) content for broadcast and multiscreen delivery at scale.

InSync FrameFormer is software standards conversion engine, which uses CPU only resources and notably provides the high-quality motion compensated frame rate conversion.

InSync are specialists in video conversion and FrameFormer is the result of nearly twenty years of continuous improvement and refinement of InSync’s core conversion algorithms. As a result, FrameFormer presents a mature and proven solution, which preserves picture quality and minimize any artifacts through a near seamless conversion process.

AWS customers can now access the FrameFormer frame rate conversion option from the MediaConvert console. It is available as an add-on service and incurs additional charges and, in many cases, provides superior results over other frame rate conversion approaches.  This is true where a smooth motion profile can only be achieved using interpolation. An example of this is conversion between the two main global TV standards – 59.94 fps and 50 fps. This is a common use case for media organizations who want to maintain the best viewing experience to all their markets.

Screenshot of InSync Frame Former dropdown in the MediaConvert console

MediaConvert users can select InSync Frame Former from within the MediaConvert console

InSync Technology has teamed with Amazon Web Services (AWS) to bring motion compensated frame rate conversion to AWS Elemental MediaConvert – via API integration of InSync’s FrameFormer CPU-only software conversion engine.

AWS Elemental MediaConvert is a file-based video transcoding service with broadcast-grade features. It allows you to easily create video-on-demand (VOD) content for broadcast and multiscreen delivery at scale.

InSync FrameFormer is software standards conversion engine, which uses CPU only resources and notably provides the high-quality motion compensated frame rate conversion.

InSync are specialists in video conversion and FrameFormer is the result of nearly twenty years of continuous improvement and refinement of InSync’s core conversion algorithms. As a result, FrameFormer presents a mature and proven solution, which preserves picture quality and minimize any artifacts through a near seamless conversion process.

AWS customers can now access the FrameFormer frame rate conversion option from the MediaConvert console. It is available as an add-on service and incurs additional charges and, in many cases, provides superior results over other frame rate conversion approaches.  This is true where a smooth motion profile can only be achieved using interpolation. An example of this is conversion between the two main global TV standards – 59.94 fps and 50 fps. This is a common use case for media organizations who want to maintain the best viewing experience to all their markets.

To summarize the benefits of InSync FrameFormer with MediaConvert:

Easy to access to frame rate conversion

FrameFormer is accessible directly from the AWS MediaConvert console. Accessing FrameFormer conversion and adding it to an encoding profile is straightforward and can be done in minutes.

FrameFormer is built upon AWS infrastructure, providing resilience, security, and scalability.

Maximizing revenues through global reach and compliance

It is not as simple as complying with technical standards. To reach the widest possible audience then picture quality is paramount. It is only through high-quality motion compensated frame rate conversion that you preserve a smooth motion profile, visual quality and hence optimize the viewing experience – wherever your content is being consumed.

Management and transparency of costs

You are able to access motion compensated frame rate conversion and pay for it only when required. There are no upfront costs, no additional licenses, no need to egress content from the cloud!

Users of the FrameFormer service can be assured full transparency through the MediaConvert published rate cards and usage reporting.

Support for common use cases

Frame rate conversion can be applied to support many common use cases including:

  • Conversion of legacy archive content for international sales
  • Conversion of advertisements/promos for international distribution
  • Normalization of source content during content preparation
  • Localization of packaged outputs or files based on regional delivery standards

In all of these cases MediaConvert and FrameFormer allow further monetization of content by re-use and re-purpose for any platform, region, or device.

The addition of motion compensated frame rate conversion to MediaConvert provides a valuable option for users who need to convert content but do not want to compromise on quality. If you value your content and how it is viewed – then you do want the best results!

About InSync Technology

InSync are UK-based specialists in the development of highly efficient signal processing hardware and software products, with a focus on motion compensated frame rate and format conversion (standards converters). Learn more about InSync at https://www.insync.tv/