From their midtown Manhattan office, Syncro Services Digital Media processes and manages between 1,000 to 5,000 HD media files per week, most of which are 15-, 30- or 60-second commercials slated for air on network TV, local affiliates, cable networks and OTT services.
The process begins when top advertisers and media companies send their commercials in a variety of digital formats to Syncro Services for processing. With scheduled media buys and airdates looming, Syncro performs whatever post production tasks are required to prepare and deliver the finished spots to broadcasters for playout.
As part of the end-to-end process, Syncro Services often needs to create multiple versions of each spot. In some cases, 150 to 200 different post processes need to be performed in order for a particular spot to meet all of the technical specifications today’s broadcasters require. Work orders for incoming spots typically request a mix of digital versions including:
• Different standards, formats, frame rates, codecs and wrappers
• Slated and/or non-slated
• Closed captioned or non-captioned
• Subtitled or without subtitles
• Watermarked and/or non-watermarked
• CALM compliant audio tracks
While this process would be time-consuming and labor-intensive, Syncro Services’ technicians are able to move quickly and achieve a high through- put—even on their busiest days—because they’ve automated their 24/7-workflow with the Vantage Media Processing Platform from Telestream.
When Vantage first arrived in 2014, Syncro’s long-standing manual, tape-based operation gave way to faster, more accurate digital media processing. When Kometz joined Syncro two years ago, he pushed the system further by taking full advantage of the advanced decision making and media analysis capabilities within Vantage.
Working with Telestream, Kometz pushed their Vantage to a whole new level of automation. He eliminated many points of hands-on involvement by having Vantage assume responsibility for a broader range of analytical tasks including:
- Determining what versions need to be generated for each media file based on the CSV-formatted work order
- Recognizing the source file it needs as soon as it arrives in a watch folder and ingesting it for processing
- Directing the media along the appropriate work flow for processing by various Vantage modules, such as Post Producer and MacCaption
- Proactively identifying and fixing the technical issues that it can fix
- Flagging files that have technical issues or anomolies that need human attention
With their custom Vantage work flows, the Syncro team can rely on the final deliverables to meet the uncompromised quality standards that have sustained their business and reputation for close to six decades. In those rare instances when a file doesn’t pass muster in the final quality control (QC) evaluation, the workflow makes it easy for Syncro’s technicians to trace it back to the source and make the necessary modifications.
With its painstaking dedication to quality control, a Syncro technician also performs QC on the incoming media as well as any files that Vantage sidelines for visual inspection using Telestream Switch. For example, if the work order calls for stereo audio, but the file has 8-channel audio, or any other technical discrepancy, Vantage will notify the technician on duty that there is an issue that requires attention. On the final output, a digital QC evaluation is also performed to double-check that all of the work order specs have been met.
For more information and to read the entire Syncro Services case study, click here.