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17/12/2003

APT WorldNet Skylink used for 'Lord Of The Rings' finale

With the launch of the third and final film in the 'Lord of the Rings' series, Belfast-based codec manufacturer APT have revealed the part they played in the movie’s production.
APT’s new 5.1 TCP/IP WorldNet SkyLink, developed in conjunction with the engineering team at Skywalker Sound (a division of Lucas Digital Ltd. LLC), was brought into action to help transfer audio from one London location to another. Its employment on such a high profile project delighted APT, which only launched the full production version of the WorldNet SkyLink at NAB earlier this year.
The WorldNet SkyLink concept has been generating plenty of interest among the film and postproduction communities since the announcement of APT/Skywalker’s first prototype back in 2002. The unit aims to give film directors and producers the ability to review work being mixed anywhere in the world, regardless of where they are based. This means that a director on location no longer needs to be present at the mix to give his approval or suggest changes to the mix during the work-in-progress phase.
The new unit uses APT’s industry standard compression algorithm Enhanced apt-X to provide a secure method of transferring 5.1, 6.1 or 7.1 multichannel audio plus SMPTE Timecode over a variety of data links. Consisting of complimentary encoders and decoders, WorldNet SkyLink operates in several different modes including 'store and forward', using secure FTP transmission, real time streaming or 'pseudo-streaming'. The inclusion of ‘store and forward’ facilities provides the added benefit of eliminating time differences.
The WorldNet SkyLink was introduced to Lord of the Rings by Simon Bohannon of London-based h2o Enterprises, a division of Sphere Studios, which specialises in secure content delivery using ISDN and the Internet. h2o were asked to supply ISDN links so that the audio being recorded and mixed at various facilities around London could be linked back to the Lord of the Rings production office at the Dorchester Hotel.
Bohannon said: “We used the APT WorldNet SkyLink to transfer audio so that composer Howard Shore, who was working at the Dorchester, could hear engineer Pete Cobbin’s latest mixes from Abbey Road. Thanks to the loss-less nature of the apt-X algorithm, the sound was incredibly good and everyone was very complimentary about the unit and what we were able to achieve.”
(GB)
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