MTunes, Delivering A Unique Viewing Experience in High Def
India’s music channel standardizes on Adobe Creative Cloud workflow to deliver superior quality HD video content.
MTunes is India’s first and only high definition (HD) music channel showcasing Bollywood, India’s Hindi-language film industry, music around the clock. A technically superior channel compared to its contemporaries in the music genre, it features the latest blockbuster hits and the most trending tracks of Bollywood in sparkling high definition colors and crystal clear Dolby Digital sound. Launched in 2011, MTunes promises a unique viewing experience and superior audio and video quality.
The channel previously used Final Cut Pro to edit the HD video content received from multiple producers as well as from its in-house shoots. Many of these file formats were incompatible with Final Cut Pro and required conversion to ProRes format. This made the process of video editing and broadcasting tedious and time consuming.
“Besides our in-house shoots, the media we get comes from different external sources and in different formats such as HDCAM 50, P2, or R3D,” says Kalpesh Mehta, head of technical/broadcast operations, MTunes. “We were not able to work natively as Final Cut Pro is incompatible with many of the video output formats.”
In cases when the channel received media files that are incompatible with Final Cut Pro, it either had to ask the sender to resend the file after re-encoding or transcode it before being imported into the editor’s timeline. The loss of visual quality and time was considerable. “We used to spend as much as three hours transcoding the media files and the loss of quality of such transcoded media files was significant,” says Mehta.
With its existing video and audio editing tools, MTunes was facing severe challenges in managing the workflow for large projects. The channel had to use third-party software for multiple tasks such as inserting graphics, processing audio, and exporting the final media files to the HD playout server. It needed a streamlined and efficient workflow for editing the audio and video HD content and for generating the final media files in a format accepted by its HD playout server. “We were looking for an integrated system that would work natively with different file formats to help ensure that a superior quality HD video is broadcasted efficiently,” says Mehta.
Standardizing on an all-Adobe workflow
After careful deliberations, MTunes decided to replace Final Cut Pro with Adobe Premiere Pro CC software and standardize on an all Adobe workflow. The channel adopted Adobe Creative Cloud for teams including Adobe Premiere Pro CC, Adobe After Effects CC, Adobe Photoshop CC, and Adobe Audition CC. “We realized that the video apps in Adobe Creative Cloud for teams offer incredible integration, more robust features, enhanced media management, and a greatly advanced, yet familiar user interface in which our editing team can work with higher efficiency,” says Mehta.
For MTunes, Premiere Pro CC is primarily used to import HD media into the system and edit natively without any transcoding with the help of wide range of codecs available. After Effects CC and Photoshop CC link to Premiere Pro CC in a transparent and seamless manner so that graphics can be directly superimposed on the media files. The audio is processed by Audition CC and the final media exported to the playout server.
“When we started really putting Adobe Premiere Pro CC to use, we were pleasantly surprised,” says Mehta. “The Dynamic Link capability between Premiere Pro CC and After Effects CC dramatically speeds our workflow as we can insert multiple graphic elements seamlessly into our songs or shows.”
The channel uses multiple features of Premiere Pro CC, from enhanced multicam editing and support for more native camera formats to multi-format exporting and delivery. MTunes can now export media content to various formats suitable for broadcasting to its playout server, hosting on the website, or sending preview quality clips to clients.
Broadening the expertise of the editing team
The migration to a Creative Cloud workflow went smoothly without any work disruption. Intuitive features such as the ability to use Final Cut Pro 7 shortcut keys while working in Premiere Pro CC helped to smooth the transition. Adobe also held multiple training sessions to train the MTunes team on Creative Cloud apps, specifically on Premiere Pro CC and Audition CC.
Now, with simplified access to all of the components in Creative Cloud, the editing and creative teams are always prepared and updated. Adobe Creative Cloud for teams gives the MTunes team upgrades of the software upon release of new versions, plus exclusive features between releases, enabling them to stay up to date on the video editing tools integral to their daily workflow.
Significant time savings, efficient project execution
The ability of Premiere Pro CC to ingest almost any raw camera format without transcoding has enabled the channel to migrate media from any DSLR and professional video cameras or hard disks into Premiere Pro CC much more easily. One program, Star Of The Week, was shot on XDCAM HD 422 and could be imported directly into Premiere Pro CC for editing without transcoding, preserving quality and saving time.
The amount of time saved with Creative Cloud applications is considerable. “On an average, we save about three hours per project using the video applications in Adobe Creative Cloud for teams—quite significant considering our stringent timelines,” says Mehta.
Raising productivity while lowering cost of ownership
Adopting Adobe Creative Cloud for teams proved to be an incredibly cost effective measure for MTunes. The large capital expense associated with upgrading software licenses often meant such expense was moved down the budget priority list, resulting in outdated software. Further, uninstalling and reinstalling software to move licenses around to different users was tedious and time-consuming.
The Admin Console has helped MTunes eliminate many manual processes, such as installing packaged software or maintaining version consistency. “Adobe Creative Cloud for teams has helped us raise our productivity by simplifying software administration with license management, automatic tracking, and version upgrades,” says Mehta.
For MTunes, membership of Creative Cloud for teams has significantly reduced the total cost of ownership of Adobe solutions by creating a standardized model for purchasing and deploying the most current versions of Creative Cloud applications and services. “We like paying a monthly fee for Adobe Creative Cloud for teams because it’s a much more effective approach to budgeting, especially for small- to medium-size businesses, and it eliminates lump-sum software purchases,” says Mehta. “With access to the latest Adobe applications via Creative Cloud for teams, we can take advantage of new features and support collaboration among users without cost being a barrier.”
Adobe Creative Cloud for teams helps support the channel’s rapid growth and efficiently manage the workflow of large and complex projects. “As the digital world is transitioning from SD to HD and now to 4K Ultra HD formats the need for integrated software with multiple capabilities will continue to expand,” says Mehta. “The video and audio editing tools in Adobe Creative Cloud are perfectly suited for such an environment.”
Read the MTunes case study.