Ascent Media Develops Remote Monitor Calibration Tool

Ascent Media has developed a new software-based tool that facilitates remote collaboration in post production work by making it possible to align monitors located in different sites. Monitor Watch can be applied to a broad range of commercial, feature film and television applications where post production artists and their clients in different cities need to be sure they are seeing the same image on their respective monitors.

“Remote collaboration tools are tremendous boon to post production, allowing artists to collaborate, fluidly and immediately, regardless of their location,” said Stefan Sonnenfeld, President and Managing Director of Company 3, an Ascent Media company. “Monitor Watch is an important addition to that toolkit allowing our clients to have absolute confidence in the integrity and accuracy of the images they are viewing.”

Ascent Media has begun to implement Monitor Watch in its UP Satellite service which allows clients to oversee commercial telecine work ongoing at the company’s facilities in New York and Southern California from host sites located in cities across the United States. The company also projects its use in digital intermediate work for feature films, in visual effects production, and in screening digital dailies for film and television .

“Monitor Watch ensures that the picture the client sees at the host site matches with 100-percent accuracy the picture the colorist sees in his suite,” said Ascent Media Vice President of Feature Film Services Steven B. Cohen.

Ascent Media recently held a demonstration of Monitor Watch for members of the American Society of Cinematographers and the International Cinematographers Guild to show them how the system could help cinematographers participate in DI work while working on location.

“We can locate this system anywhere in North America that lies within the footprint of UP Satellite, or anywhere in the world where we can link with another satellite system,” Cohen said. “It is very easy to calibrate a monitor through the Internet so that the DP sees exactly what the colorist sees at the Ascent facility.” Ascent Media is currently developing means to use Monitor Watch in remotely calibrating large-screen DLP projection systems for the screening of digital feature film and television dailies, Cohen added.

Monitor Watch was developed by Rick Girardi, Chief Engineer for Ascent Media’s Company 3 facility in New York. “Monitor Watch allows an engineer to remotely evaluate and if required align a Sony BVM-series monitor. Basically the system consist of proprietary software created at Company3, a highly accurate color probe which is attached to the front of the monitors CRT and feeds data back to the software, a communications link to the monitors control port and a network and video connenction between the remote facility and both our N.Y and L.A. facilities.”

“Previously, monitor alignment had to be done by a qualified engineer on-site,” explained Girardi. “Being able to accomplish alignment remotely guarantees the continuous accuracy of the monitor image, which is critical to high-end post production work.”

Ascent Media’s UP Satellite services is quickly transforming the way post production work is done by allowing creative people to work together without having to be together. The service has been introduced in nine U.S. cities with more sites planned and has been enthusiastically received by advertising agencies, production companies and other users of high-end telecine services.

About Ascent Media Group
Santa Monica, California-based Ascent Media Group, Inc. is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Discovery Holding Company (NASDAQ: DISCA, DISCB), which through its Creative Services, Creative Sound Services, Media Management Services and Networks Services groups, provides creative and technical media services to the media and entertainment industries. Through more than 70 facilities in the regions of Southern California, New York, London and Singapore and at locations throughout the world, Ascent Media provides effective solutions for the creation, management and distribution of content to major motion picture studios, independent producers, broadcast networks, cable channels, advertising agencies and other companies that produce, own and/or distribute entertainment, news, sports, corporate, educational, industrial and advertising content.

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