User Interface

Cinedeck’s workflow flexibility starts with software and much of the development is a collaboration between our end-users and the Cinedeck design team. And, with a company philosophy dedicated to innovation, Cinedeck is proud to present ground-breaking features like File-based Insert Editing.

“YOUR WORKFLOW, YOUR WAY” is achieved through user interface options tailored for your specific needs. Use two or more UI applications together to create a custom workflow. For example, combine the Remote Control Application with the Deck Control UI to achieve a custom scheduling server that works with or manages one or more tapedecks, telecine systems, or other hardware controlled via RS422. Or, blast through your production with an 8-Input UI then use the File to File Transcoding Application to get your proxy material up to 10x realtime.

Click through the UI snapshots below to get a better understanding of what Cinedeck offers in its software applications. Cinedeck also offers the option to log into a live deck to explore Cinedeck’s User Interface at your own pace.

8-INPUT MODE: Double the Number of Record Channels on ZX45

Cinedeck  ZX45 typically has four inputs for HD or SD recording. With a quick mode and firmware change, you can have up to eight independent record channels, effectively cutting your encoding costs in half. Eight-input mode is included as a standard feature on ZX45.

In 8 Input mode, each channel can still be set up with different frame rates and encoder settings. The four upper channels shown are currently in record mode, indicated by the red record border.

The four channels below are in standby – ready to record. The yellow border indicates the window or channel selected for control.

Each channel can be expanded to allow full configuration and management. Also, you can gang some or all channels, to trigger record and stop events simultaneously. For more information on setting up a channel for record, visit the Input Page and the Master/Proxy section.

FILE-BASED INSERT EDIT: Let go of tape entirely

    File-based Insert Edit Cinedeck

    In Deck Control mode, Channel 1 is set to slave and the Record Mode is set to “Insert Baseband.”

    *** Note: The Cinedeck application screen at left shows the user interface in Deck Control / Insert Baseband Video mode, setup for control from Avid’s Digital Cut tool for file-based insert edits.


    File-based Insert Edit Media Composer Set up

    If you’ve done an insert edit to tape using Media Composer’s Digital Cut tool, completing an insert edit on Cinedeck will be straight forward since Cinedeck recorders emulate an SRW5500 VTR.

    Auto configure deck communications, set the in and out point on Media Composer’s timeline, set the required tracks as you normally would and start the insert.


    File-based Insert Edit Record

    Since the Cinedeck is being controlled by Media Composer, the in and out points set on Media Composer’s timeline will populate the Cinedeck’s timeline. Edit points are indicated by the blue up-arrows on the timeline while the red down-arrow indicates the play/record head position.

    Once the Digital Cut tool is set up and you’ve started the insert, the border around the Cinedeck interface blinks red to note “preroll”, then turns solid red for “record”, indicating the new frames from Media Composer are being written over the existing frames between the in and out points.

The industry has changed dramatically with file based workflows. However, the need for insert editing tied many file-based workflows to tape, simply because VTRs have been the only appliance that could perform the task of replacing video and/or audio into a completed program, without having to re-render the entire timeline on an editor. That’s no longer the case with Cinedeck’s File-based Insert Editing. Deliverables that need extensive rendering or multiple steps and passes to be consolidated into file form, no longer need to be completely redone. Fixes and changes are now easy!

Simply put, Cinedeck allows you to replace a single frame or multiple frames of video, an audio stem or track, or multiple audio tracks and video simultaneously, in a closed and flattened file on the most popular editing intermediates including DNx, ProRes, AVC-I, XDCAM and JPEG2000. Additionally, Cinedeck’s File-based Insert Edit feature also supports Uncompressed and DPX files to assist special effects workflows that require excessive rendering times. Cinedeck’s revolutionary File-based Insert Editing is wrapper independent and supports Prores, DNx, AVC-I, JPEG2000 and XDCAM files created anywhere.

Cinedeck systems can be controlled by Avid Media Composer, Adobe Premiere, Final Cut, SRW Tapedecks and Protools over RS422 for File-based Insert Edit File-based Insert Edit is a game changer allowing a fully tapeless workflow from start to finish. File-based Insert Edit Brochure

PROJECT MANAGEMENT AND FILE NAMING: Unrestricted and extremely flexible

    Cinedeck operation is very project-centric. The basic workflow is to create a new project, assign one or more channels to that project and then adjust the settings for that project.

    If multiple channels will be operated simultaneously using the same settings, those channels would normally be assigned to a single project so settings are changed globally across all channels. Any channel(s) which need to be operated independently or which need different settings, would be assigned to independent projects.


    The Manage Projects menu, at the bottom left of the main Project Manager page, provides access for creating new projects and managing existing projects, including importing and exporting.

    The input thumbnails, to the right of the manage project menu, are used to select the channel or channels to be assigned to the selected project. (Two channels are shown currently assigned to the BigFish project)


    In addition to basic project management, the main project management page provides access for adding project based metadata.


    The Path & File Name Templates page is the window into folder and file naming and provides independent control over the primary and redundant file destinations, master and proxy file names, Tape ID, etc.. If required, more specific file destinations can be set independently for each master and or proxy using Project Path Override on their respective encode settings pages.

    The BigFish project (shown) utilizes custom encoder names via the %E wildcard as well as %A, a global wildcard for one of the many user definable global and project based lists and variables.


    User wildcards are static variables used to hold project based folder and file naming data. A common usage might be a show number or project ID.

    The content (expansion) of a user variable can be any alpha-numeric text and each user wildcard has a title which can be named to make it more recognizable when the naming template is viewed and edited.


    The Scenes and Sub-scenes Lists each can contain multiple naming elements which can be easily selected during a recording session using keyboard shortcuts.

    Scene names can be as simple as Scene1, Scene2 or more descriptive such as Kitchen or Office.


    Sub-scenes, just like Scenes, can contain multiple naming elements which can be easily selected during a recording session using a keyboard shortcut.

    Additionally each scene and sub-scene can have metadata such as Day/Night, Slate and Roll Number associated to it.


    Each project can utilize several user lists. Like scenes and sub-scenes, each user list can also contain multiple naming elements that can be easily selected during a recording session.

    These lists provide extreme flexibility for creating explicit and accurate file and folder names at the press of a button.


    Global Wildcards are also static variables. They work like user wildcards but are system based instead of project based, making them available across all projects.

    The content (expansion) of a global variable can be any alpha-numeric text and each wildcard has a title which can be named to make it more recognizable when the naming template is viewed and edited.

Cinedeck recorders allow for extremely easy and flexible project management, folder and file naming. Folder and file names can be customized to precisely what you need so they exactly match the requirements of your specific workflow. Additionally, Cinedeck’s project management tools allow you to:

  • Record in any folder – Automatically create folders or select existing folders
  • Export and Import Project Settings and copy settings across channels
  • Global naming or fully independent file and folder naming per file
  • Create names by combining variables (Wildcards), manual typing and copy & paste

For example, create path and clip names using the customizable wildcards noted below as %P (project), %I (input), etc… Each new project starts with a default Cinedeck wildcard template with pre-populated settings. You can edit the templates as needed and also create your own custom wildcards to suit your naming needs.

  • Path = \%P\%I\%E = D:\Demo\input1\master
  • Path = \%P\%I\%E = D:\Demo\input1\proxy
  • Clip Name = %P_%I_%E_%t = Demo_input1_master_001.mxf
  • Clip Name = %P_%I_%E_%T = Demo_input1_master_185621.mxf
MCC APP: Control multiple channels with one easy to use interface

    In this screen shot, the first two channels are selected for gang control and are in record mode. Each channel display contains timecode and status information as well as user defined channel and deck names. At the bottom of each channel selector, the current file name, drive and file path are displayed.

    The lower section displays scheduled events. Events are set per channel and include a project to determine all of the required settings for the event. Additionally, events can have a file ‘Break’ command included to allow scheduled recordings to be separated into time-based segments.

    The column at the right has user defined channel groups. Creating on is as easy as selecting one or more channels and creating a new group. Selecting an existing group, highlights and selects the saved channels.

    At the bottom of the screen are the group controls for record, stop and manual file break.


    Setup of the remote application is simple. 

    For each channel position, an IP address and channel number is needed, to identify a specific channel on a specific deck.

    A deck name and a channel name can be set for each channel position.

    The control application version shown has the capacity to run eight Cinedeck channels but the application can be customized to control a virtually unlimited number of channels.

Cinedeck’s new multi channel control application is IP based and utilizes the AMP protocol which means you can control multiple Cinedeck channels across multiple machines from anywhere. In addition, like the Cinedecks, this control application is designed to be customized based on specific workflow requirements.

The Cinedeck MCC app is completely independent from the Cinedeck main application and since it is IP based, it can run on any Windows based desktop, laptop or tablet. Additionally, multiple instances of the application can be running, providing selected channels to specific users.

ADVANCED DECK CONTROL: Discard expensive tape stock and tape decks

    Quad Deck Control replace 4 SRW5500

    Every Cinedeck channel can be connected to a different device and each channel can be set up in either master or slave mode.

    In this quad view of a 4-channel Cinedeck, the upper quadrants (V1 and V2), are both setup in RS-422 master mode, allowing each channel to control another machine via RS-422.  In the lower quadrants (V3 and V4), both channels are set to slave mode for control by external devices. Further, V3 is in standard RS-422 slave mode while V4 is set to respond to VDCP protocol over RS-422.


    Deck Control

    This is the single channel view of Cinedeck’s Advanced Deck Control in master mode, to control another device via RS422.

    Since Cinedecks can emulate SRW 5500 VTRs, all the transport controls and status indicators one would normally have access to on a tapedeck, appear in the inner window of the Advanced Deck Control user interface.


    This view shows the user interface for Cinedeck’s Advanced Deck Control in slave mode. Note at the top right, just to the left of the record button, the tab indicating that 422 mode is on and in slave mode. This mode allows standard controllers as well as  specialized devices such as a Clipster, Spirit Telecine Controller, or Avid Media Composer, to control Cinedeck via RS-422.

    Additionally, Cinedecks support the AMP and VDCP protocols so many systems such as vision mixers and asset management applications can take advanced control over a Cinedeck.

Cinedeck’s ability to emulate an SRW VTR means all the work previously done on tape can be completely file-based, from start to finish. For instance, Avid Media Composer can control a Cinedeck for Digital Cuts. Going a step further, Cinedeck’s Insert Edit allows the replacement of video and audio in a closed file, as you would insert into a tape. Changes are easy and your deliverables remain strictly file-based – no lay-offs to tape just to re-encode back to files.

Every Cinedeck channel emulates one VTR, each potentially with unique master and proxy format, frame rate and codec settings so a 4-channel Cinedeck replaces four or more tape decks! And, each channel can be controlled independently using a variety of protocols; RS-422, AMP, VDCP. Remote communication can also be setup to allow control by Clipster or even a Spirit Telecine Controller.

INPUT OVERVIEW & SETTING: User-friendly deisgn

    Input & Encoder Overview

    The input overview page provides a complete, detailed snapshot of your channel setup including input and encoder settings which are selected on the master/proxy encoder pages.

    Additionally, project selection and setup are accessed from the Overview page.

    Beyond the included Project Name, Scene Names, Tape and Reel ID, etc., all of which are also hotlinks to their respective settings pages, each channel can have both a custom label and custom input name to make channel identification easier and these custom labels and names can be used in folder and file naming.

    Located on the bottom of the input overview page with the customizable input names and labels are thumbnail previews of the incoming video on each channel.


    Signal Input

    The input page allows you to select settings for the input source for a specific channel. Even better, selecting “auto detect” makes basic setup a snap. Audio is selected manually.

    Depending on the platform and software available, a user can record up to 8 independent sources on a single deck with different resolutions, frame rates, formats and audio type.

    Toggle the arrow on the top right to select, view and adjust each input or use the “copy to other channels button” on the bottom right to copy settings between channels.

    Select “Audio Delay” to set channel specific audio delay in millisecond increments, to compensate for incoming video that is delayed because of outboard processing.

The first page displayed when entering system setup is the Input Overview, which provides a snapshot of all the settings for the selected channel. From the overview page, it’s easy to see and compare all your record channels as all relevant information is displayed and the input screen can be toggled between inputs via the “Next/Prev” control (top right) or by selecting a preview thumbnail at the lower left.

The input page provides basic input settings access for recording any of the standard SD, HD, 2K and optionally 4K resolutions and frame rates. And, it can handle 8 bit, 10 bit and in some cases 444 color depths. Audio sources are SDI, AES and there are options for analog audio. Other input settings include selecting the recording behavior when a signal is lost or a dropped frame is detected.

MASTER-PROXY: Simultaneous recording per channel

    Master Encode Settings

    On the master encode page, select from the various codec choices available on each platform. Settings act as filters so each selection can change or restrict the next setting or function. Once the codec is selected, a quality and wrapper can be selected from the available options.

    More information on codecs available on the Model Comparison chart.


    Proxy Encode Settings

    On the proxy encode page, users are able to select proxy encoder options in the same manner as the master. Some settings such as timecode are determined by the master settings.

    On RX, the proxy encoder is limited to H.264 when in dual input mode, while on the ZX series, all supported proxies are available.

Depending on the platform, a Cinedeck can encode up to 8 channels of HD or SD, each with master and proxy files. This and the related multi-file encoding for 4K, is the hallmark of Cinedeck’s flexibility in file-based workflows. From left to right, choose your master or proxy codec, quality and wrapper. Encode settings can be set globally for multiple channels, independently per channel or copied from one channel to others.

Toggle between channels with the arrows at the top right. Once you’ve selected your video encoder settings, you can select your audio, timecode, number of writes (whether or not you need redundant files), your primary and secondary record destinations (e.g. to SSDs or shared storage), and finally whether you’d like to burn data or color LUT into your video. With all the settings on one page, it’s easy to confirm at a glance whether everything is set up correctly.

ANALYSIS TOOLS: Onboard tools for on-the-spot QC





    Edge Detection





All Cinedeck come standard with a variety of on-board analysis tools to help ensure the video you’re encoding is up to your standards. You have all the tools you need, right at your fingertips, so you can continue your encoding project uninterrupted by router switching or moving to a different workstation for basic checks like video level.

PLAYLIST AND CLIP MANAGER: Easily create playlists and manage clips

    Cinedeck Clip Manager

    Clip manager provides access to clips for playback and file management. The view is filtered left to right. Select a drive at the left, navigate and select folders in the middle and files can be viewed and managed on the right, in a thumbnail view or list view.

    The find media menu button located on the bottom left contains several methods for loading content into the media database.

    Important to note is the database is not aware of content being managed using applications outside the Cinedeck environment so if, for example, folder content is changed using Windows Explorer, performing a scan will refresh the view to only show content actually available.


    Playlist Editor

    The buttons at the top left (Beach | preview) indicate the current playlist name and toggle between the editing interface (shown) and a preview / play window.

    Not intended to be a replacement for a true non-linear editor, the interface has all the necessary information easily accessible including clip name, timecode, in and out, etc. The editor can display timecode based on clip timecodes or playlist timecode.


    Playlist Manager

    A playlist is a virtual clip which contains multiple clips and sub-clips. In fact, a playlist is nothing more than an XML file which points to the required content to allow various sequential playback and export functions and the playlist manager simply provides access to opening and managing playlists.

    From the Cinedeck Playlist Manager you can also select multiple playlists to be played back.

Cinedeck’s Clip Manager maintains an SQL database of media content. New recordings are automatically added to the database while other files, previously recorded or files generated by other systems, can be added to the database manually so they also are accessible in clip manager.

The playlist editor is a basic non-linear editing interface, designed primarily to create simple compilations of clips and sub-clips for playout. Cinedecks support a wide range of codecs and wrappers which can be mixed in a playlist.