Alchemist File - Technology

Alchemist File - Technology

Discover the benefits

Stunning pictures

Alchemist File builds on our Emmy® award winning technology to bring you breath taking motion compensated image quality. Our algorithms benefit from more than two decades of research and experience into the exacting demands of format and framerate media transformation.

We understand the importance of being able to guarantee your deliverables, meet your client’s requirements and avoid having work rejected on the grounds of quality control. Being able to turn work around fast and minimize manual intervention enables you to keep your costs down.

Optimized to offer the very best image quality however complex the source

Alchemist File has been carefully optimized to offer the very best image quality however complex the source. Our solution also prevents the need for multiple transfers of the same assets by removing unnecessary conversion parameters.

Stunning pictures - first time, every time.


Our finest de-interlacer is now available.

Alchemist File offers our latest intelligent adaptive de-interlacing to provide the sharpest pictures ever. Using a robust motion detector, our technology can intelligently soft switch the optimum de-interlacing mode on a pixel by pixel basis to ensure each pixel maintains the maximum possible resolution, even supporting HDR.

Multi-dimensional motion adaptive de-interlacing

Each de-interlacing mode has been carefully engineered to focus on a particular property of real images. These include static, vertical temporal and diagonal apertures of varying gradients. The use of soft switching avoids switching artefacts which can otherwise look more objectionable than the original interlace artefacts.

Motion image

Motion compensation has just got better!

A motion estimator usually works on a local basis in the picture and measures not only the existence of motion but also its speed and direction. For framerate conversion the output of the motion compensation provide the required motion vectors for picture building.

The motion compensation used in Alchemist File has many major advances over our existing technology.

Multi-scale candidate vector generation.

We have improved the phase correlation process to use multiple block sizes in parallel; this creates a greater range of candidate vectors, and means we don’t have to trade off performance between small, detailed objects whilst still handling a wide motion range.

Gradient-based refinement.

Alchemist File allows the candidate motion vectors to vary slowly from pixel to pixel, using gradient based techniques to refine the vectors from initial constant values, this gives Alchemist File improved performance over its predecessors in areas such as zooms, rotations and perspective in a receding landscape.

Vector assignment.

The final step in motion estimation is to assign a motion vector to every pixel from the candidates, it’s imperative to get this process right. If it’s done incorrectly the vector field is noisy, small objects can be missed or behavior at motion boundaries is poor. We have developed a nonlinear filter that provides improved motion performance whilst maintaining the stability of our previous approach.

All new smooth picture building.

The picture builder is the final stage where the Alchemist XF creates new frames. It is at this stage that any problems resulting from inaccurate motion vectors, transparency, very complex motion and other transformations in the picture, may appear as annoying artefacts such as fractures. The new smooth picture building techniques eliminates the presence of such fractures.

Woman in film

New Adaptive Cadence Technology.

Introducing Adaptive Cadence Technology: the ultimate tool for handling film originated and mixed cadence media.

Our intelligent cadence detection dynamically adapts the conversion aperture to deliver beautifully sharp and fluid moving pictures.

Safeguard your business and deliver content in the exact format your clients specify without the fear of costly rejections from customers.

Download Alchemist File Understanding Cadence

Existing Alchemist customer?

Here is how Alchemist File compares to Alchemist HD.

Features  Alchemist HD (hardware) Alchemist File (software)

World class motion compensated high framerate conversion

Green tick Green tick

New improved advanced motion estimation  and picture building

Red cross Green tick

Up, down, cross conversion

Green tick Green tick
Exceptional image rescaling Green tick Green tick

New improved advanced motion adaptive de-interlacing

Red cross Green tick
FilmTools (2:3 removal, insertion, mixed content support) Green tick Green tick

New Adaptive Cadence Technology with custom cadence

Red cross Green tick
Off Speed Conversion Red cross Green tick
Audio Pitch Correction Red cross Green tick
Audio Routing Green tick Green tick
Unrivalled RGB Legalizer Green tick Green tick
Support for Wide Color Gamut and HDR Red cross Green tick
Captions (608/708) Green tick Green tick
Support for 2K Red cross Green tick
Support for UHD/4K Red cross Green tick
Support for custom frame sizes & frame rates Red cross Green tick
Software on commodity IT Red cross Green tick
Unattended 24/7 workflow Red cross Green tick
Support for compressed broadcast files Red cross Green tick

Technical Specification


File Wrapper
  • MXF OP1a
  • MOV (Apple ProRes / DNxHD / XDCAM HD/ JPEG 2000 / XDCam / DV)
  • MJ2 (JPEG 2000 only)
  • MP4 (H.264 Long GOP only)
  • MPG/TS (MPEG2)
Video Codecs
  • DNxHD
  • DV - DV25/DVCPro25/DVCPro50/DVCPro100
  • XDCAM HD (Open GOP / Closed GOP)
  • D10 (IMX 30/40/50)
  • AVC-Intra 50/100
  • AVC-Intra RP2027 50/100/200
  • DPX* 10bit
  • Apple ProRes
  • JPEG 2000 (Lossy / Lossless / DCI)
  • XAVC (I-Frame / Long GOP)
  • MPEG2
Video Formats
  • SD, HD and 3Gbps broadcast video including 1080 23/24/25/29p and psf
  • 2K/4K
HDR Conversion Modes
  • Motion Compensated Interpolating
  • 2:2/2:3/custom film cadence insertion and removal
  • 2:2/2:3/custom film cadence repair
  • Mixed video / film 2:2/2:3 output cadence
  • Video off-speed with audio pitch correction/re-sampling
  • PCM audio pass-through
  • Audio channel / stream shuffle
  • Audio gain and delay
  • AAC (48KHz only)
Video Utilities
  • Auto color space conversion
  • Aspect ratio conversion
  • RGB legalization 700/721/735
  • Luma Clipper
  • Luma / Chroma / Black Level
Operating Systems
  • Windows (64-bit) server 2012/2008 R2
  • Linux (64-bit) (RedHat / CentOS 6.5/6.6)
  • OSX 10.9 and 10.10 (Client only)
HDR Processing
  • HDR (PQ / S-Log3 / HLG / HDR10) to SDR (BT709) using SAM's Advanced Tone Mapping
  • HDR (PQ / S-Log3 / HLG / HDR10) to HDR (PQ / S-Log3 / HLG / HDR10)
  • SDR (BT709) to HDR (PQ / S-Log3 / HLG / HDR10)
  • Timecode handover
  • Closed Caption 608 / 708 SMPTE 436M support in MXF (not including XAVC)
  • Closed Caption Line 21 IMX only
  • SAM File framework Client (Win 64bit / Linux 64bit)
  • Watch Folder
  • FIMS Media SOA Framework V1.0.7.
Minimum Configuration*
  • 1 x 4 core 2.5GHz processors
  • 1 or more GPUs (Multiple cards should be matched)
System Memory
SD/HD up to 3 GPUs, 16GB
up to 6 GPUs, 32GB
4K up to 3 GPUs, 64GB
up to 6 GPUs, 128GB
  • NVIDIA DRIVER (See NVIDIA website)
  • AMD DRIVER (See AMD website)
  • AMD Driver FirePro™ (See AMD website)
NVIDIA GPU support (min. 2GB memory)
AMD GPU support (min. 2GB memory)
AMD FirePro
AMD HD6000
AMD HD7000
AMD R7 Series
AMD R9 Series
AMD Pro WX-series GPU

* Trial feature
** Conversion times will vary depending on hardware specification. 
*** Not all variants of each range have been verified by SAM Engineering.

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