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Episode 6 Encoder Brings Integrated File Sharing, Cross-Platform Distributed Processing

Telestream has released Episode 6, an update to the company's cross-platform professional video and audio encoding suite. The latest release includes a revamped user interface, integrated file sharing, and expanded support for Windows, among other improvements.

Episode is a family of encoding tools designed to produce high-quality output at a high output rate, with distributed and parallel encoding capabilities and support for high-end professional codecs and a wide range of formats and file types for professional workflows and for distribution via Blu-ray, DVD, Web, and other media. The individual applications--Episode (standard), Episode Pro, and an encode farm version called Episode Engine--all support encoding to Flash 8 (FLV and SWF VP6s/VP6e) and Flash 9 (H.264); MPEG-1, MPEG-2, and MPEG-4 (with a wide range of codecs); iTunes audio and video; QuickTime (including Uncompressed, RAW, and various third-party codecs); new support for WebM (based on VP8); 3GPP and 3GPP2; AMC; DV; AVI; and various audio formats, with support for surround encoding (5.1 and 7.1). Via a separate Pro Audio option, it can support Dolby (AMR NB, AAC, and AC-3) as well, with up to 14 discrete channels of audio. Episode Pro and Engine also support MXF; Grass Valley General eXchange Format (GXF), including SD and HD formats; IMX; and MPEG-2 and MPG-4 transport streams.

Version 6 adds several productivity and workflow improvements, including integrated file sharing for sending and receiving files between users; a new graphical workflow builder with drag and drop interface elements; a general UI overhaul; and a feature called "One-Click Clustering," which is designed to simplify the creation of clusters for transcoding. Desktop and server products have also been consolidated.

On the platform front, Telestream has now made Episode Engine available on Windows systems. Episode Engine supports parallel encoding of an unlimited number of jobs, a feature designed to speed processing tasks. (Episode Pro also supports parallel encoding, with a maximum of two concurrent jobs.) And it offers "Split-and-Stitch" distributed encoding for dividing up large files and encoding them across multiple systems.

Some of the other new features in version 6 include:

  • Support for additional formats and codecs, including MainConcept's H.264 and MPEG codecs;
  • Apple ProRes 422 (10-bit 4:2:2 format) direct access on Episode for Mac OS X; and
  • Direct upload to YouTube.

Episode 6 is available now. It supports Mac OS X (on Intel hardware only) and Windows systems. Three configurations are available: Episode ($495), which supports all of the formats listed above; Episode Pro ($995), which adds support for higher-end professional codecs and two-job parallel encoding; and Episode Engine ($3,995), which includes unlimited parallel encoding and "Split-and-Stitch distributed encoding" for higher-volume projects. The Pro Audio option runs $395. Telestream offers a 10 percent discount for education. Trial versions are also available. A complete list of supported formats and codecs and be found here. Further information is available here.

About the Author

Executive Producer David Nagel heads up the editorial department for 1105 Media's education publications — which include two daily sites, a variety of newsletters and two monthly digital magazines covering technology in both K-12 and higher education.

A 21-year publishing veteran, Nagel has led or contributed to dozens of technology, art and business publications.

He can be reached at dnagel@1105media.com. You can also connect with him on LinkedIn at linkedin.com/profile/view?id=10390192 or follow him on Twitter at @THEJournalDave (K-12) or @CampusTechDave (higher education). A selection of David Nagel's articles can be found on this site.


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