Eye to Eye on Delivery and Distribution


A notable aspect of the 2010 IBC and 2011 NAB conference sessions was the rapidly increasing focus on IP streaming. Fibre-optic delivery to the home has yet to be turned into widespread reality but transport speeds over existing electrical infrastructure continue to accelerate. Cloud-based storage and distribution services offer a solution to the contention problem that arises when a large number of viewers choose to access the same content simultaneously. The following is a summary of significant new developments in the distribution and delivery product categories ahead of the next round of new and enhanced kit that can be expected at IBC 2011.
Digital Rapids has introduced version 2.0 of its TouchStream portable encoding and live streaming unit. This adds support for the company's Broadcast Manager multi-encoder management software, enabling remote monitoring, management and control of multiple TouchStream units from a central location. Additional new features include enhancements to HTTP Live Streaming for Apple iPhone and iPad devices and improved Microsoft Internet Information Services support. TouchStream appliances are available in SD and HD models with selectable output configurations to reach viewing devices such as mobile phones and tablets, personal computers and IPTV set-top boxes.
DVEO (broadcast division of Computer Modules Inc) has introduced the MPEG Gearbox RF/IP as the latest addition to its line of SD/HD (up to 1080i) MPEG-2 to H.264 transcoders or MPEG-2/4 to MPEG-2/4 scalers. Gearbox receives satellite and terrestrial RF signals, transcodes them to MPEG-2 or H.264, and outputs them to any number of IP devices. The resultant streams can be viewed with standard IP capable set-top boxes, streaming video, television receivers, smart phones, or software clients such as VLC or MPlayer. Four to six 720p HD streams, up to three 1080i HD streams, or 10 to 15 SD streams cam be transcoded from MPEG-2 to H.264 or vice-versa. Gearbox transcodes streams into H.264 format up to a maximum bitrate of 12 Mbit/s per stream, and MPEG-2 streams up to a maximum of 15 Mbit/s per stream. It can also mix and match MPEG-2 and H.264 streams. The unit can output to ASI and other physical formats at the same time. The input can be simultaneous choices from 8VSB, DVB-S/S2, HD-SDI, QAM, DVB-C, DVB-T, DVB-ASI, or GigE.
Grass Valley has introduced as an option for its Ignite platform, MediaFUSE. This is an automated system designed to make the repurposing of content for Web and mobile distribution more efficient by consolidating multiple production steps into an integrated workflow. Using it, broadcast content, including alternate stories and extended-play content, can be processed rapidly. MediaFUSE includes hardware for encoding and transcoding content into more than 40 formats, including Flash, 3GP, Windows Media, H.264 and MPEG-2/4, as well as common software tools for preproduction, production, postproduction and management of extended play content. Ignite and MediaFUSE support on-demand and live WMV streaming, with ad and content replacement when interfaced to a supported ad traffic management system via BXF.
Haivision Network Video's Viper is designed for capturing, streaming, reviewing, distributing and publishing multistream HD and computer graphics content. Viper allows recording and streaming of multistream content through a high-resolution touch panel. It supports dual DVI or DVI with HD-SDI inputs and encodes HD H.264 at full frame rate without need to upload content files to a server.
Sencore's TXS 3453 can perform MPEG-2 to H.264 and H.264 to MPEG-2 SD and HD transcoding as well as trans-rating of MPEG-2 or H.264 streams. It includes ASI and MPEGoIP transport stream inputs and outputs and can compress the output to very low bit rates. The TXS 3453 offers up to 16 channels of transcoding or trans-rating in a 1RU rackmount platform.
Snell's IQ Modular 3G range of fibre-optic interfacing modules combines electrical-to-optical conversion with processing functions such as video synchronising, audio embedding and audio extraction. Occupying a single-slot, these work with both coax and fibre and allow HD expansion and 3 Gbit/s (1080p) signal delivery. Snell's Centra control and monitoring platform provides comprehensive monitoring of signal status, enabling monitoring of optical power budgets and triggering alarms if levels fall below a preset threshold.
Telecast Fibre Systems' Telethon is a 3G multichannel wavelength manager and HD/SDI transport system. Introduced at NAB 2011 in April, it handles 3G signals with no increase in price while remaining backward compatible with earlier 1.5G versions. Occupying 1 RU, Telethon 3G is designed for HD studio operations, field productions and HDTV distribution on corporate or educational campuses. It uses a hybrid optical and electrical multiplexer system that combines the CWDM wavelength management functions of the company's Teleport 3G with the digital signal capacity of the Python 3G digital video transceiver system. The Telethon accepts electrical digital signals ranging from 19.4 Mbit/s to 3 Gbit/s uncompressed HD/SDI and optical signals of up to 3 Gbit/s each, multiplexing them for transmission in either or both directions. Up to 16 optical signals can be accommodated on one fibre.
Thomson Video Networks' ViBE VS7000 video system is a fully integrated IP video processor for applications such as Web TV as well as traditional IPTV. It supports all major codecs and formats including MPEG transport streams, Adobe Flash, Apple HTTP Live Streaming, and Microsoft Smooth Streaming. Video resolution up to 1920 x 1080 can be handled in progressive and interlaced modes. Features include support for multiple output formats per channel, automatic loudness control, integrated load balancing, browser-based operation and support for external interfacing.
Viewcast's Niagara 4100 allows HD content streaming to broadband and mobile networks. It is a complete plug-and-play solution that enables users to capture and distribute audio and video to IP and mobile networks in multiple formats and at multiple bit-rates. The Niagara 4100 is capable of simultaneously streaming in multiple resolutions at multiple data rates and multiple streaming formats, including MPEG-4, Adobe Flash H.264, Windows Media (Silverlight compatible) and Apple HTTP Live (iPhone). It comes standard with front panel A-B-C buttons that can be preconfigured independently to activate a variety of streaming profiles. Key functions can be accessed from the front-panel or remotely via the built-in web interface. The Niagara 4100 is self-contained in an impact-resistant shell, precluding the need for a keyboard, monitor or mouse. All rear-panel connections are recessed for maximum protection.

Tags: iss055 | digital rapids | dveo | grass valley | haivision | sencore | telecast fibre | thomson video networks | viewcast | N/A
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