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Fotokem Produces High Quality Movie Masters For New Line Cinema With FOR-A Dual-Link Switcher

(May 07, 2007)
DMN Newswire--2007-5-7--FotoKem, a full service motion picture post production facility, recently purchased FOR-As HVS-Dual Link switcher. The Burbank-based company, works extensively with New Line Cinema creating movie masters, directors cut DVDs and television versions of their feature films. FotoKem is using the HVS-Dual-Link switcher to archive and edit all of New Lines movie masters in HD-RGB 4:4:4. (4:4:4 is a sampling ratio that gives equal amounts to the luminance and chrominance channels. The 4:4:4 refers to an algorithm that holds onto all of its red, green, and blue color data for superior color fidelity, unlike the traditional 4:2:2 YUV mode, which discards half of its color data.)


Dual Link 4:4:4 video uses 2 HD-SDI channels to carry full color precision and color space (4:4:4 RGB 10bit). Standard HDTV and standard definition video formats are 4:2:2 based, providing just half the color resolution of the original image. When running in Dual Link 4:4:4 the additional color information is carried on the second HD-SDI link, establishing the full color resolution of the original film or graphics, which is ideal for chroma keying, heavy effects layering or feature film work.  


New Line Cinema produces and distributes theatrical motion pictures and its ?Lord of the Rings trilogy is considered the most successful film franchise in history. Movie masters represent a significant investment for the film company. The higher quality of the master, the longer it will last, and the greater an asset it becomes.


FotoKem editor, Gary McFarland, explained that having a switcher with 4:4:4 capabilities was extremely important for New Line Cinema: ?For a while FOR-As Dual Link switcher was the only 4:4:4 switcher out there at a reasonable price with the added ability to work in 4:2:2, NTSC and PAL.. The switcher supports 4:4:4 RGB, 1080p/24, 23.98, 1080sF/24, and 23.98 in the HD-SDI dual-link mode as well as 1080i, 24p, 720p and standard definition formats in the HD/SD modes.


That flexibility was another selling point, added McFarland: ?On a single project, we may have to use several different formats.  Many times Ill be working in NTSC, and Ill have to switch to 4:4:4. With this switcher, I can make the changeover in as little as five minutes. Other units we looked at didnt have that capability.


McFarland says Fotokems client, New Line Cinema, is pleased with the quality of work being produced with the HVS-Dual Link switcher. Recently, McFarland discovered the HVS-Dual Links ability to upconvert 4:2:2 to 4:4:4. McFarland admits he was surprised by the discovery. ?Sometimes we have to use titles and images from the 4:2:2 world, but we really need them to be 4:4:4, he said. ?At first I didnt think that the switcher could do the upconversion, but it does. Its a great benefit if you are missing a shot, and you cant get it any other way. This feature has saved us on more than one occasion.


The HVS-Dual Link switcher comes standard with a DVE card that works in 2D when in Dual Link mode.  It also offers users the option of adding an additional true 3D DVE card in the 4RU main unitwhich provides up to two channels in the single link HD mode and up to four channels in the SD mode. McFarland says having the DVE in 4:4:4 is a nice feature when he needs to blow up or reposition a shot. HVS-Dual Link also offers an optional color correct including process amplifiers and  gamma correction.


The HVS-Dual Link comes standard with eight inputs, and can be configured for up to 14 inputs (28 inputs in single link mode) when used in the dual-link mode. For Fotokem, the multiple inputs allow editors access to more scenes without having to continually change tapes. Two still pictures can be transferred from a standard compact flash card as Targa or J-PEG files and stored in frame memory in the HD-SDI dual-link mode and four in the HD/SD mode. Three channels of key are also provided as standard, including two chroma keys.


FOR-A is a major manufacturer and distributor of video and audio systems to the broadcast, postproduction and professional video markets. For more information about FOR-As product line, call (714) 894-3311 or visit our web site at

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