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Deluxe – Level3 Post



Level 3 Post, part of the Deluxe group of companies, purchased a 2-channel Cinedeck ZX20 in June of 2016. In October they upgraded to a 4-channel unit and purchased several seats of Cinedeck’s software application, cineXinsert. We recently caught-up with Level 3 Chief Engineers, Martin Hernandez & Barbara Good and IO/Data Supervisor, Noah Chamow. “We were looking to update legacy hardware and it was a challenge to find a consistent, reliable configuration. When we looked at Cinedeck we thought it would be a good fit for our IO/Data department. “We liked the idea that Cinedeck behaves like a tape deck in many ways with fully interoperable RS422 and its ability to insert edit into a file,” says Hernandez.“ “Since bringing it in, Cinedeck has turned out to be a fantastic solution. Making multiple deliverables in a single pass is huge for us.” Level 3 leverages Cinedeck’s simultaneous master/proxy encode feature to save a massive amount of time. Chamow notes, “With Cinedeck we now capture multiple files at once. The amount of time Cinedeck saves in ingest and transcoding is a big deal for us – especially when you consider that we’re constantly doing tape capture from multiple systems. In some cases it saves us three times real-time for each file.” He continues, “I never realized the power of Cinedeck’s EDL function – it allows us to connect and control our existing decks to Cinedeck and have all 4 channels simultaneously recording a stream. “This allows us to encode up to 8 files at once with a single VTR pass. There is literally no other way to do that in real-time.“ “We use this workflow on one of our prime-time shows to make four files at once, each with a different audio configuration and start time. With one pass and we get a ProRes, DNx175, DNx36 and an H.264 that requires a timecode burn-in as well as a watermark,” Chamow explains. Barbara Good notes another value-add, “Cinedeck has a number of well-designed features, but the dropped frame auto detect function is especially important.” Good comments, “We evaluated other solutions, but there was no guarantee that there wouldn’t be dropped frames when encoding a stream. The auto-detect feature stops the record if a dropped frame is detected so we can ensure that every file encoded is clean.“ Hernandez continues, “Cinedeck is significantly less expensive than an HDCAM-SR and a single unit replaces multiple tape decks. We still do a lot of tape work, but we’re not bringing in anymore tape decks. It’s a perfect hybrid solution for the IO/Data department because of its robust deck emulation features.” When asked about cineXinsert, Cinedeck’s standalone software application, Chamow says, “We recently did a capture with the wrong audio configuration. Music was supposed to be on channels 3 & 4 but when we checked the file it was only on channel 3. I simply loaded the file, inserted the music track into channel 4 and was done. We also use the cineXinsert for a lot of slate changes. It’s a valuable tool for last minute creative changes and fixes.” Stephanie Rezentes, Level 3’s Managing Director adds, “We’re excited to continue advancing our capabilities at Level 3 and giving our teams new tools like Cinedeck that can be used to deliver the best quality work to our clients.” Cinedeck has been used to deliver shows like “American Crime”, “Legends of Tomorrow”, “The Flash”, “Nashville”, “APB”, “Powerless”, “The Ranch”, “Lucifer”, “The Odd Couple”, “Zoo”, “Stuck in the Middle”, Kirby Buckets”, “Bull” and “Always Sunny in Philadelphia”.
  • About Level3 Post Based in Burbank, California, Level 3 Post provides comprehensive post production services for episodic television. Powering its top talent with advanced technologies and streamlined digital workflows, Level 3 delivers top-quality color management, editing, 4K and HDR mastering to high profile shows from major studios and content providers. Level 3 is part of the Deluxe group of companies that includes Encore, Company 3, EFILM, Method Studios and more, giving clients streamlined access to an unparalleled network of creative services. Deluxe Level 3 Post 2901 W. Alameda Ave. Burbank, CA 91505 818.840.7200