Southern California-based Arcadian is a specialist in creating and managing workflows to produce streaming content. It offers expertise in transcoding and IMF packaging, ensuring that content is ready for delivery to consumers according to the specific protocols, formats and packaging requirements of individual streaming services. The workhorse tool the company uses to accomplish that task is Cortex from MTI Film.
“We’re a small company that works at a high level,” says Arcadian founder Joe Waltzer. “We design, build and implement streaming content workflows and the infrastructures around them. We do the transcoding, build apps and players, and manage content through delivery. We support the entire video streaming stack.”
Currently, Arcadian is working with a recently-launched streaming service to prepare content for distribution to consumers at up to 4K UHD HDR quality. “Our work is focused on post production: transcoding, conforming and subtitling,” Waltzer explains. “We provide a complete solution. Our client provides the content, we do the rest.”
Arcadian is using Cortex to transcode media at the highest quality available in the consumer market. It also relies on the platform to perform a host of related operations, such as aligning audio and subtitles, rendering deliverables and quality control. “Cortex is great at managing big 4K files and it’s much faster at transcoding than other solutions,” says John Waltzer, Arcadian’s Director of Video Operations. “It’s more than a transcoding tool. We use it for syncing and editing, as well as testing color correction and other technical features.”
Arcadian also employs Cortex for IMF authoring. The platform streamlines the production of IMF packages with presets for popular deliverables such as Netflix and HBO and intuitive tools for creating compositions, adjusting subtitles and other tasks. “Cortex is very useful for resolving common issues such as synchronization mismatches,” explains John Waltzer. “The inputs we receive are often created at different times by different teams in different parts of the world, and they aren’t always in sync. The Polish audio is one second before the Bulgarian audio, which is two seconds ahead of the French. We use Cortex to line everything up ahead of time so that the IMF comes out clean, in sync and with good inputs.”
When Joe Waltzer launched Arcadian in 2020, he and his team evaluated a variety of transcoding platforms. They were looking for a comprehensive solution for transcoding and IMF authoring, but they also were seeking a technology provider committed to their company’s success. “We wanted a partner who would put us at the cutting edge and help us keep pace with new technology,” he says. “MTI Film supports us with engineering and training, and with feature updates when we have specific requests. We’re not a large facility, we’re a boutique, but they treat us like a major studio. We really appreciate that.”