Ascent Media

Ascent Media

Infobox Company
name = Ascent Media Group LLC
type = subsidiary
foundation = 1999 via three-way merger
location = Santa Monica, California
industry = post-production, broadcast media
parent = Discovery Holding Company
homepage = []

Ascent Media Group LLC provides creative and technical media services, including post-production work, for the media and entertainment industries. Customers include studios, producers and networks. Ascent Media is based in Burbank, California. It is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Discovery Holding Company.

Ascent Media offers "integrated outsourcing solutions for the technical and creative requirements of its clients, from content creation and other post-production services to media management and transmission of the final product to broadcast television stations, cable system head-ends and other destinations and distribution points."

Ascent Media has two operating divisions or groups: []
* Creative Services: "post-production" video and sound services; media management services
* Network Services: distribution and control including satellite uplink/downlink

Ascent Media was formed from several companies including the Todd-AO Corporation which won the Academy Award for Sound for several motion pictures.


Ascent Media is primarily composed of "13 companies acquired from 2000 through 2004, including The Todd-AO Corporation, Four Media Company, certain assets of SounDelux Entertainment Group, Video Services Corporation, Group W Network Services, London Playout Centre and Sony Electronics' system integration business."

* 1999: Ascent Media formed through the acquision of three postproduction companies: Todd-AO Corporation, Four Media Company, and certain assets of SounDelux Entertainment Group using Liberty Media stock valued at more than $400 million US dollars.
* 2005: Ascent Media announces deal with Sony Pictures Entertainment to convert Sony's library of more than 4,000 films and many of its vintage TV shows into digital files. "As envisioned by Sony and Ascent Media, files that are now delivered manually to distributors such as the Starz Encore pay-TV service would be transferred instead as digital files over a secure network." []
* 2006: Discovery Holding Company acquires AccentHealth to be overseen by Ascent Media. Discovery Holding's press release reported, "Delivered to over 11,200 medical waiting rooms nationwide, AccentHealth's programming and sponsor messages are delivered to over 19 million health conscious consumers each month." []


Creative Services

Ascent's Creative Services group provides postproduction sound and video services to "complete the creation of original content including feature films, mini-series, television shows, television commercials, music videos, promotional and identity campaigns, and corporate communications programming." [] "The group manipulates or enhances original visual images or audio captured in principal photography or creates new three dimensional images, animation sequences, or sound effects." [] Sound services include music recording, sound editing, and audio mixing.

According to SEC filings, Ascent Media "markets its creative services under various well-known brand names, including: Blink Digital, Company 3, Design Music Group (DMG), Digital Media Data Center, Digital Symphony, Encore Hollywood, FilmCore, Level 3 Post, Method, Modern Music, One Post, POP Sound, R!OT, Rushes, Soho Images, Soundelux, Sound One, St. Anne's Post, Todd-AO and VisionText.

Key services provided by Ascent Media's creative services group according to SEC filings [] include:
* Dailies - "Clients require daily screening of their previous day's recorded work in order to evaluate technical and aesthetic qualities of the production and to begin the creative editorial process."

* Telecine - Telecine "is the process of transferring film into video.. During this process, a variety of parameters can be manipulated such as color and contrast."

* Digital intermediates - "Ascent Media's digital intermediates service provides customers with the ability to convert film to a high resolution digital master file for color correction, creative editorial and electronic assembly of masters in other formats."

* Creative editorial - "After principal photography has been completed, Ascent Media's editors assemble the various elements into a cohesive story.."

* Visual Effects - "Visual effects are used to enhance the viewing audience's experience by supplementing images obtained in principal photography with computer-generated imagery and graphical elements."

* Assembly, formatting and duplication - "Ascent Media implements clients' creative decisions, including decisions regarding the integration of sound and visual effects, to assemble source material into its final form. In addition, Ascent media uses sophisticated computer graphics equipment to generate titles and character imagery and to format a given program to meet specific network requirements, including time compression and commercial breaks. Finally, Ascent Media creates multiple master videotapes for delivery to the network for broadcast, archival and other purposes designated by the customer."

* Distribution - "Once a television commercial has been completed, Ascent Media provides broadcast and support services.."

* Sound supervision, sound design and sound editorial - "Ascent Media provides creative talent, state of the art facilities and support services to create sound for feature films, television content, commercials and trailers, interactive multimedia games and special live venues." Ascent Media's services include ADR (automated dialog replacement, actors lip-sync their performances) and Foley (sound effects performed and recorded while watching the picture such as footsteps, props, and cloth movement).

* Music services - Ascent Media's offerings include "original music, music supervision, music editing, scoring/recording, temporary sound tracks, composer support and preparing music for soundtrack album release."

* Re-Recording / Mixing - The "final component of the creative sound post production process is the mix (or re-recoding)" which "involves the process of combining multiple elements, such as tracks of sound effects, dialogue and music to complete the final product."

* Sound Effect and music libraries - "Through its Soundelux brand, Ascent Media maintains an extensive sound effects library with over 300,000 unique sounds.." Ascent also "owns several production music libraries through its Hollywood Edge brand."

* Negative developing and cutting - "Ascent Media's film laboratories provide negative developing.., including negative developing of 'dailies'.." "Ascent Media also provides negative cutting services.

* Restoration, preservation and asset protection of existing and damaged content - "Ascent Media provides Film Restoration, preservation and asset protection services."

* Transferring film to analog video or digital media (Transform Services) - Film is color corrected, adapted to the size and aspect ratio and transferred to media for distribution to the home video, broadcast, cable or pay-per-view television markets.

* Professional duplication and standards conversion - Process of creating sub-masters and "changing the frame rate of a video signal from one video signal, such as the United States standard (NTSC), to another, such as a European standard (PAL or SECAM)."

* DVD compression and authoring and menu design - DVD services including "creative menu design, special feature production, project management, encoding, 5.1 surrounding editing and quality control."

* Storage of original elements and working masters - Vaulting Services to store master videotapes and film elements in a controlled environment protected temperature and humidity.

* Syndicated television distribution - Provide "AMOL-encoding, close-captioning, commercial integration, library distribution, station list management and v-chip encoding."

According to Ascent Media's website, Creative Services offered include: Broadcast Design and Titles, Color Correction, Cutting Rooms, Film Compositing and Opticals, Graphics and Compositing, High Definition Remastering, Linear Editorial, Linear Editing, Non-Linear Editing, Live Presentation, Motion Control, Non-linear Editorial, Non-linear System Rental, Post-Production, Production Equipment, Production Office Space Rental, Production Stages, Studio Production, Video & Audio File Compression, Web Site Design and Development

Sound services include: Audio, Audio Design, Audio Layback, Dynamic Multi-Language Origination, , Music - Pre-Records and On-set Playback, Music Composition, Transfer, Voice Over Recording.

According to Ascent Media's website, the now merged into Creative Service Media Management Services offered included: DVD Recording, Film Output, film Scanning, Format and Standards Conversions, Interactive Authoring, Materials Tracking, Metadata, Negative Cutting and Matching, Positive Film Printing, Scratch & Dirt Repair, Subtitling, Transform Services, Video Tape Duplication.

Network Services

"The Networks Services group provides the facilities and services necessary to assemble and distribute programming content for cable and broadcast networks via fiber, satellite and the Internet to viewers in North America, Europe and Asia. Additionally, the Networks Services group provides systems integration, design, consulting, engineering and project management services." []

Key Services provided include:
* Network origination and master control - Playback and origination to cable, satellite and pay-per-view networks. Currently over 200 feeds running 24 hours a day, seven days a week are supported by Ascent Media facilities.

*Transport and Connectivity - Satellite earth station facilities staffed 24 hours a day can be used for uplink, downlink and turnaround services.

According to Ascent Media's website, Network Services offered include: Call Center Services, Comprehensive Library/Traffic/Archive Services, Conditional Access Management, Consulting, Systems Engineering and Integration, Customer Co-Location, Digital Video Compression, Earth Station Design, Installation and Support, Equipment Rental, Field Service and Mission Critical Technical Support, Help Desk Technical Support, IRD Rollout Program Management & Logistics, Local Loop Fiber Services, Logistics Services / Spares Management, Mobile Unit Design & Implementation, Motion Compensation Standards Conversion, Narrowcasting/Business Networks, Network Operations/Monitoring & Control Services, Network Origination, Off-Site Assembly & Wiring, On-Site Installation, Test and Training, Satellite Antenna Installation & Re-Location, Satellite Space Segment, Satellite Transmission: Downlink, Satellite Transmission: Uplink, Scheduling Services, Server Record / Playback, Service Contracts, Store & Forward, Strategic Consulting Services, Syndication Services (long form), Syndication Services (short form), Systems Engineering & Project Management, Systems Integration, Terrestrial Interconnect, Trans-Atlantic Fiber, Trans-Pacific Fiber, Transportable Ku-Band Uplink, Video On Demand (VOD), Video Switching and Videotape Record / Playback..........

External links

* [ SEC Information statement on Discovery Holding Company, Inc. including information on Ascent Media]
* [ Ascent Media website]

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