Test Drive: Telestream Episode Pro, Part 1

DCP by Jan Ozer

Telestream Episode Pro has emerged as a top performer on the Mac, and last December, Telestream released a Windows version. It’s an affordable tool that all HD producers on both platforms need to be aware of, so I’m devoting this month’s Affordable HD to a review of this product. In this first installment, I’ll review the interface and discuss I/O, the new watch-folder functionality and the Preview window. Next time, I’ll detail performance and output quality and compatibility.

Let’s start with a couple of housekeeping notes. Telestream sells two versions of the product: Episode ($495) and Episode Pro ($995). The less expensive version lacks support for high-end formats such as MXF and GXF, doesn’t offer surround sound, and can only accept 25 jobs in the batch window. The Pro version can encode unlimited jobs, produce 5.1 and 7.1 audio, and supports more high-end formats—with some notable limits. You can scope out the differences between the two versions of Episode here. Note that one highly useful feature of Episode Pro is Nate Caplin’s Complete Training for Episode and Episode Pro DVD, which is a fast and efficient tool for getting new Episode users up to speed. read more...

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