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Should You Opt for Higher-Quality Video Reviews?

Published on
April 27, 2023
Steve Ferris

Should You Opt for Higher-Quality Video Reviews?

Steve Ferris
Published on
April 27, 2023
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With the announcement of Backlight’s iconik x cineSync integration, you might be wondering if cineSync’s high-quality media review and collaboration solution is something you need. After all, iconik comes with a media review toolset out of the box, but is it enough?

That depends on the level of visual quality and security you need in your media review experience.

This is where the Emmy and Academy Award-winning cineSync excels and why it is the golden standard for review for feature films, VFX, and animation.

See how cineSync was used for Dune (2022), The Matrix Revolutions, and  Ghostbusters: Afterlife.

“Why Would I Need Better Review Tools?”

Imagine being commissioned by a celebrity client to paint a large, detailed portrait of them. After quietly enduring their ego and weeks of work, your client reviews your masterpiece on their iPhone. They try to give feedback, but you know they can't see all of the intricate detail that makes your painting great.

This is exactly what happens when people review and approve projects using video playback tools that show anything less than the original file. The worst offender for this is screen sharing during video calls, but even when reviewing smaller proxy files that have been transcoded for fast online previews, as is the case with iconik, true artists know that there are some missing details. 

“How Can I Boost the Clarity of My Video Reviews?”

Professional visual content creators have two things in common. One, they live their life according to one deadline at a time. Two, they are meticulous because, in their work, every detail matters—to the extent that a single VFX artist can work a full year on a single 30-second shot for a blockbuster film.

cineSync helps on projects like this by allowing hi-res media review in its original format, in full interactive synced sessions with other review session participants. Nothing is converted, colors aren’t changed – everything in your media file remains as it should be. And cineSync also offers high-quality, high-frame-rate media reviews regardless of bandwidth. You can play media from your machine, in full resolution, at the correct speed, with no dropped frames or artifacts.

Let’s take a look at some of these abilities in more detail:

Hi-res Review

To treat work with the attention it deserves, you need high-resolution playback. Think of it like a high-powered magnifying glass that can zoom in on the tiniest details to spot imperfections or inconsistencies. This could be anything from visual noise, artifacts, or compression issues – things that may not be visible in lower resolutions provided on Zoom, Hangout, or Teams video calls. Having review tools that can identify these problems early on can save time and resources in the long run.

HDR Playback

Color grading and correction is an area where high dynamic range (HDR) playback is essential. Viewing anything other than the original file can reflect colors inaccurately, causing reviewers to miss the subtle shades and tones that can make or break a scene. By displaying the full range of colors and contrasts, stakeholders can decide whether the media meets the artistic vision and maintains visual continuity throughout the project.

Real-time Sync

When deadlines are tight, and teams are spread across different time zones, real-time sync allows creatives to collaborate in the moment to discuss changes and make decisions quickly to help the project stay on track and meet expectations. This saves a lot of time during the review process by eliminating the need for more back-and-forth messages and reducing the risk of miscommunication.

“How Much Security Do My Video Reviews Need?”

The sensitive nature of your content will determine how much security is needed. Are you working with highly-desired intellectual property or product announcements? How damaging would leaked content be for your operation? Today, iconik offers three layers of security: From standard IT security best practices to user-level security features and on to iconik Shield’s enterprise-level security.

Although iconik is very secure, cineSync can go even further. After all, cineSync has been used by media operations with the most stringent security demands, such as Marvel and Disney films, where highly secure review workflows are a must.

Reviewing Media Offline

With iconik, proxy files are visible from the cloud. With cineSync, all media files are locally stored on each machine, eliminating the risk of unauthorized third-party access. 


Iconik encrypts data that is in transit and at rest. The only data that cineSync transfers are encrypted sync commands like "go to frame 117" to maintain the confidentiality of your content. No media file ever passes through cineSync’s servers or those of an unauthorized third party. cineSync can also encrypt file transfers using plugins like Aspera. These shared files are only decrypted during the review process.


When original media is downloaded from iconik for a cineSync review, the media is dynamically watermarked with details to identify who the reviewer is.

Auto-deletion of Media After Reviews

Once the review session is complete, local media files can be deleted automatically to eliminate the risk of them being viewed by unauthorized parties.

Making Hollywood-Standard Review Tech Available for All

Iconik has paved the way for greater accessibility in media asset management, and now, the cineSync x iconik integration is extending this principle to high-end video review tools. Traditionally, cineSync has been a staple in Hollywood and the VFX, animation industries, primarily due to its origins in that domain, but the application of its unique benefits is spreading into games, manufacturing, and beyond.

More than time-based comments, annotations, and version management, cinSync also provides:

  • ftrack, Shotgun, NIM, and Aspera integrations
  • Stereo/3D and 360 lattitude and longitude support
  • Synchronized color tools
  • Zoom, masking, and aspect ratio tools
  • 3D LUT support
  • And much more

Pairing cineSync with iconik brings high-end video reviews to a broader range of creatives. This expansion not only democratizes access to advanced review technology but also unlocks new possibilities for creative efficiency because higher-fidelity detail results in better feedback and faster revision cycles.

You may be happy with the review tools that iconik already provides today, but if you recognize the benefit of adding cineSync to the mix, it’s easy to test it out. cineSync offers a free trial and even a free stand-alone desktop review player called cineSync Play, which offers a large part of the cineSync experience but with local-only review functionality. 

Do you have more questions about the iconik x cineSync integration?

Request a call to get all the answers.

Give iconik a try

Schedule a personalized iconik demo with one of our experts and start your free trial today.

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Steve Ferris
Marketing and Content Creation | iconik

Steve Ferris is content creator and marketer from Indiana, USA who is based in Stockholm Sweden with his family. Since 2019, he's been with iconik using his 20 years experience in storytelling to share the stories around iconik and media professionals.

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