Telestream, a provider of digital media tools and workflow solutions, has announced the release of Episode 6.2 multiformat video encoding software. New and improved API features expand Episode integration and control capabilities with third-party systems.The free version 6.2 update adds high-end ProRes 4:4:4:4 and AVC-Intra format support for professional workflows. New Microsoft Smooth Streaming and Apple HLS streaming formats improve the viewing experience for end users through a new Developer API Kit. In addition, Mac-based Episode video encoding products are now OS X Lion compatible.
“Telestream is committed to adding ongoing features and formats to meet our customers’ multiformat encoding needs,” said Barbara DeHart, vice president of marketing at Telestream. “Powerful new API features make it even easier for third-party developers to integrate Episode’s extensive format support into their workflows.”
System integration and control expansion plus new Developer API Kit
A new XML-RPC interface for Episode Engine and a faster, more robust Command Line Interface for all Episode products expand third-party integration and control capabilities. The Command Line Interface includes new functions and significant speed improvements when submitting jobs and requesting job status. These improvements enhance Episode system integration and increase responsiveness and stability, which is especially important in high-volume video transcoding environments. The new XML-RPC interface for Episode Engine provides a standards-based network interface for easy integration with third-party systems.
The Episode Developer API Kit is a new service offering that gives Episode Engine users access to technical engineering support for their API integrations. The Developer API Kit also provides early access to the latest Episode features.
“New API features in Episode Engine, including the ability to execute custom scripts, make just about any encoding workflow possible,” said Nicholas Stokes, founder of XPlatform Consulting. “I’ve used the new Uploader, Mail and YouTube API tasks to automate encoding and distribution, and everything worked perfectly. The ability to submit EDL sources eliminates the need to use legacy tools and middleware to accomplish tasks like the removal of slates and counter from master sources, which can now be completed with Episode Engine. I also appreciate all the new Command Line Interface documentation which has proved extremely helpful – demystifying just about everything that can be done programmatically.”
New support for adaptive streaming formats
Support for Microsoft Smooth Streaming and Apple HLS streaming formats, including encoding, packaging and automated delivery of each, are now available to Episode Engine users through the Developer API Kit. These HTTP-based adaptive streaming formats provide end users with a high-quality viewing experience. By dynamically monitoring local bandwidth and video rendering performance, Microsoft Smooth Streaming optimizes the playback experience by switching video quality in real-time. Developed to support Apple QuickTime and iOS devices, Apple HLS allows the streaming session to adapt to users’ available bandwidth.
New format support for professional workflows
The addition of Apple ProRes 4:4:4:4 is an important professional format for digital film and visual effects workflows due to its high-quality, color precision and embedded alpha channel. Version 6.2 offers native ProRes 4:4:4:4 input support for all Episode products, plus output support for Episode Mac OS products.
AVC-Intra 50 and 100 are important emerging formats for camera acquisition, post-production, media archival and distribution workflows. AVC-Intra 50/100 input and MOV output are available for all Episode encoding products. Additionally, AVC-Intra MXF output format support is available for Episode Pro and Episode Engine.
New image sequence input capability now enables submission of DPX, TIFF or TGA image sequences for transcoding to the wide range of output formats supported by Episode encoders. DPX sequences are widely-used production and interchange formats used in film and high-end post-production environments. Image sequence input support is available to Episode Engine users through the new Developer API Kit.
Additional new features include MPEG-2 VOD encoding parameters in the MPEG-2 transport stream option which is available in Episode Pro and Episode Engine. Plus, 24-channel audio support is now available for all Episode products.
Additional new features
New EDL conforming capability allows Episode Engine to be used in more advanced ‘packaging’ workflows. Tasks such as playlist conforming as well as ad insertion and removal are easily accomplished with this new standard feature in Episode Engine.
A new Timecode Conversion filter allows Episode to carry timecode through to encoded outputs, even when complex conversions have changed the encoded output frame rate. Several options – such as scale, round off, and keep count – allow users to select different methods of timecode calculation. This new filter is available in all Episode products.
The Episode suite of cross-platform software encoders offers extensive video and audio file format support and scalability from a single desktop application to a distributed encoding cluster for post-production, new media, web and mobile encoding environments. Combined best-in-class video processing, full 10-bit support and hands-on control with frame-by-frame video preview allow users to generate excellent picture quality. Episode is an all-in-one encoder that includes extensive presets and filters plus the ability to add bumpers, trailers and watermarks to enhance and protect video content.
Episode 6.2 is available as a free update for existing users and is now available for online purchase at www.telestream.net/episode as well as from Telestream’s worldwide network of resellers and distributors. The Episode product line includes: Episode, priced at $495; Episode Pro, priced at $995; Episode Engine, priced at $3,995. For more information or a free trial, visit www.telestream.net.