IBC Printed Guide - September 2014 - 78


www.inbroadcast.com PRODUCT GUIDE | Sept 12 - 16, 2014

TICO - Light Mezzanine
Compression UHDTV & HFR
TICO is the Light Mezzanine Compression dedicated to carry UHDTV
and High Frame Rate signals over SDI and 10G Ethernet Network...
By
Jean-Baptiste Lorent,
Product Manager

C

78

onsidering the necessary
bandwidth for the next
generation of television with higher
resolution video and higher frame
rates, live uncompressed transport
across 10GB Ethernet network
or existing SDI infrastructure is
not always possible. Indeed,
uncompressed 4K video at 60fps
requires 12Gbps or more. The new
lightweight compression "TICO" is
optimal to address this challenge:
a light-weight visually lossless
guaranteeing compression at
very low compression ratio with
no impact on latency and a small
hardware cost of implementation
and mapping perfectly SDI links
and 10GbE networks.
Motivation
Bandwidth
requirements
are
growing fast as video resolutions,
frame rates and numbers of
streams to manage are constantly
increasing. Uncompressed video
distribution is becoming a real
challenge: HD 1080i60 requires
HD-SDI with 1.5Gbps bandwidth,
while 3G-SDI is needed for HD
1080p60 at 3Gbps. Unfortunately,
higher bitrates such as HFR HD
1080p120 and Ultra-HD 4K require
more bandwidth than a single
3G-SDI link could fit. (See Table 1.)
Today, existing infrastructures
limit the transport of higher quality
video as 10Gbps is practically the
upper limit to transport video over a
single link. Furthermore, broadcast
industry has just upgraded from
SDI to 3G-SDI and will face
heavy investments to transport
uncompressed Ultra-HD 4K video.
Facing this reality, the transport
of compressed video through
SDI mapping is relevant inside
production workflows considering
that it enables Ultra-HD 4K video
on existing infrastructures at low
cost.
Video over IP & SDI Mapping
IP
based
technologies
are
emerging as a strong market trend
in the broadcast industry. The
SMPTE 2022 video networking

standard defines a transport
protocol for the carriage of video
streams over IP networks. The
adoption of IP-based technologies
has the potential to bring about a
number of significant advantages.
However, it is important not to lose
the advantages of current point-topoint, SDI-based systems in terms
of familiar workflow, operational
practice and interoperability.
SMPTE 2022-5/6 enables the
mapping of raw SD/HD/3G-SDI
video streams into an Ethernet
packet. It supports the transfer
of compressed video and has
no limitation in terms of choice
of video codec provided that the
following conditions are satisfied,
in particularly for broadcast
purposes:
*	Less	than	one	frame	latency;
*	Sufficient	compression	
ratio to fit in;
*	Visually	lossless	picture	quality.
Therefore, the TICO lightweight
visually
lossless
guarantees
compression
at
very
low
compression ratio with no impact
on latency is optimal for this
challenge.
Introducing TICO Lightweight
Compression
intoPIX TICO is a lightweight
mezzanine compression codec
that has been studied to achieve

Table 1

Table 2

near lossless quality at very low
compression ratios and for a very
low hardware complexity and cost.
TICO main features are:
*	 Visually	lossless	compression		
up to 4:1 ratio;
*	 Fixed	latency	from	2	to	
8 pixel lines;
*	 Visual	quality	remains	constant		
through multiple encoding/
decoding passes;
*	 Very	low	hardware	FPGA
requirements, no external
memory and real-time
CPU capability;
*	 Support	for	full	range	of		 	
formats up to Ultra-HD 8K.
With visually lossless compressions
up to 4:1, using TICO over SMPTE
2022-5/6 through SDI mapping
enables higher resolutions, frame
rates and number of streams while
assuring visually lossless quality
and very low latency. (See Table 2.)
The potential use cases of the
TICO lightweight compression fall
into three categories: faster pixels,
more pixels and more streams.
1. HFR HD 1080p120 requires
6Gbps. A low compression
ratio of 4:1, ensuring near
lossless quality, could enable
the transport of a HFR HD
stream on a single HD-SDI link
over SDI mapping, and up to
six HFR HD streams on a
10GB Ethernet link.
2. Ultra-HD 4K at 60fps requires
12Gbps, or more depending
on the bit depth. However,
the highest speed network
environment that is readily
available is 10GB Ethernet.
Considering the necessary
bandwidth for such high

resolution video, some degree
of compression is needed
across the network. A low
compression ratio of 2:1 or|
less could deliver 4K and
with 4:1 we could deliver up to
3 Ultra-HD 4K streams through
3G-SDI mapping over a 10GB
Ethernet link.
3. TICO Lightweight compression
can also enable multiple
HD streams on a single
10GB Ethernet link: up to six
HD streams could fit at
half bandwidth.
Conclusion
To reduce the cost of new
infrastructure build out, the use of
the TICO mezzanine compression
system to extend the life of existing
major infrastructure items, such as
SDI routers and existing IP-based
networks in production islands, is
very attractive.
It is a smart way to assure visually
lossless quality, very low latency
and very low hardware complexity
and cost.
More information about intoPIX
TICO compression technology can
be found on www.intopix.com/
TICO


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