By Randi Altman
Issue: March 1, 2004


Do you work at an agency in Dallas or Portland, need a telecine transfer but traveling to LA or New York isn't an option? Do you have clients requesting this particular service, but not nearly enough to warrant a million-dollar investment? Something called Up Satellite Sessions, from the minds at Santa Monica's Ascent Media, offers an alternative.

Up Satellite Sessions uses a secure satellite connection, provided by Ascent's Network Services division. These sessions allow clients to work with Ascent Media colorists at Company 3, Riot Santa Monica and Encore remotely, in realtime. Charlieuniformtango in Dallas was a beta tester and the first post house to work with this service.

"It's a full telecine color transfer session," says Perry Tongate, a rep at Charliuniformtango (www "The session takes place at the Ascent companies, they uplink it via satellite and we downlink it at our facility." All that's needed on Charlieuniformtango's end is the receiver and monitor, which is calibrated by Company 3 to make sure everyone sees the same thing.

To further ensure that everyone is seeing the same images, "these colorists have set up a monitor that receives the same feed that we receive on our end," explains Tongate. "So they are looking at their regular workstation monitor and the one that's receiving the downlink for any discrepancies."

Charlieuniformtango engineer David Hannah says the sessions have been very efficient and seem to go faster. "Everybody tends to be a little more accurate about what they want." He adds that "the next day, they get a tape from Company 3 and we go into our finishing room and online the spots."

Hannah discusses the beta process: "A big part was testing the theory and the timing of moving the data from Company 3 to Ascent's uplink facility and then to us. But more than the theory was tested." They needed to see if clients would accept working remotely. "That was the big test," he says.

"Our clients have really seen the value in it," says Tongate. It saves Charlieunformtango from having to buy price prohibitive telecine technology and "and it exposes Company 3 into other markets." About 12 Charlieuniformtango clients have used the technology, including projects for GSD&M for Southwest Airlines and Publicis for BMW. Ascent Media will soon open sites in Chicago, Minneapolis, Portland, Seattle, Boston, Miami and Atlanta. And Up Satellite will soon be available from Co3/NY and Riot Manhattan.