In Broadcast - April 2012 - 22


WWW.INBROADCAST.COM | ISSUE 7 - APRIL 2012

InFILE

ViewCast Launch High-Density Niagara 9100 Series
The latest additions to ViewCast’s Niagara line allow for multiple analogue or digital inputs when dense clusters of encoders are needed, says Tim Siglin
ViewCast’s Niagara 9100 series of live encoders are designed to allow multiple analogue or digital inputs in the form of composite or HD-SDI, respectively for those situations that call for dense clusters of encoders. The 9100 series is the latest addition to ViewCast’s flagship Niagara product line, which was launched almost a decade ago. The company worked hard to get the right mix of power and polish to complement what it sees as a performance benchmark product. From industry feedback thus far, they seem to have hit the mark. Mike Galli, ViewCast’s new Vice President of Marketing said: “We started shipping the high-density, single-rack-unit Niagara 9100 in December, ahead of schedule. We had a number of customers issue purchase orders sight unseen the month before and they were adamant about getting the analogue and digital versions of the 9100 as soon as possible.” He added: “The analogue input family starts with products called the Niagara 9100-8A the A is for analogue that has analogue composite inputs. It is powered via CPUs on an advanced motherboard with space for up to four processors. Currently we have two processors, of six cores each, for a total of 12 cores. We’re also doing research and development testing with Intel on the eight-core processors.” Galli claimed that the input density on the analogue inputs is such that the Niagara 9100-8A would be attractive to the surveillance market. Since showing off a prototype at IBC, the company also has been getting interest from cable operators and Tier 1 telecoms. The second Niagara 9100 unit is the 2D, which is a dual HD-SDI input box that provides density similar to Cisco’s Media Processor line. Galli said the 2 processor, 12 core box can generate up to 12 1080p60 outputs (or one per core) at less than 70 per cent CPU utilisation. The current systems 8A and 2D are capable of 12 D1 or 2 1080i outputs, respectively, and that ViewCast feels they can get to 8-12 1080p outputs per box when Intel expands to 8-core processors. “Our SimulStream software allows us to have lower CPU utilisation on the same platform than a product like Flash Media Live Encoder,” said Galli. “We saw about 50 per cent better utilisation versus FMLE on a Lenovo C2 workstation, using a single processor with four cores, so we feel the advantage is scalable with multiple processors.” When asked about the growth in performance of the general purpose processor (CPU) versus the graphics processor (GPU) that had figured in to the Transitions’ Best Workflows tests from late 2010, Galli said he sees CPU processor performance growing to the point at least for live encoding that there may be an advantage for CPUbased systems when it comes to densities and power consumption. Galli concluded: “We are processor agnostic, so if we saw a reason to do live encoding with a GPU, we would consider it. Clearly the GPU has an advantage when transcoding files, but for our market live encoding the difference is negligible enough to bring the GPUCPU differential into question.” ■

22

Viewcast Niagara-9100

‘Rapid Adoption’ For IntoPIX JPEG2000
JPEG2000: superior video quality for today’s broadcast industry
Today’s broadcasters understand the industry’s key words: highest image quality, flexible delivery formats, interoperability, standardised profiles for interactive video transport and workflows and a vested interest in a common high end format to archive, preserve and commercialise the avalanche of video footage generated 24/7 globally. Hence this is, in a nutshell, the success story behind the rapid adoption of JPEG2000 compression in the contribution chain. Uniquely matching today’s industry needs, standardised broadcast profiles were adopted, ensuring this wavelet-based codec its position in contribution. In parallel, these broadcast profiles also filled the industry wide need for compression standards to archive and create mezzanine formats, allowing transcoding to a variety of media distribution channels. The ongoing standardisation process of the Interoperable Master Format (IMF) by SMPTE based particularly on JPEG2000 profiles brings the adoption full-circle. JPEG2000 brings an impressive storehouse of valuable features to the broadcast process, whether ingest, transcoding, captioning, quality control or audio-track management. Its inherent properties fully qualify it for creating high quality intermediate service masters: • Post production workflows consist of several encoding / decoding cycles. JPEG2000 preserves quality throughout this process, while no blocking artifacts are created. Moreover, the technology supports all common bit depths whether 8, 10, 12 bits or higher; • JPEG2000 enables images to be compressed in lossy, visually or mathematically lossless mode for various applications. Additionally, its scalability features a ‘create once, use many times’ approach servicing a wide range of user platforms; • The technology also enables improved editing. Even at the highest bitrates, its flexibility makes it very user friendly on laptop and workstation editing systems, with a limited number of full bit rate real time video tracks. Improving computing hardware is certain to increase the number of real time layers; • Since JPEG2000 is an intraframe codec, this prevents error propagation over multiple frames and allows cutting the video signal at any given point for editing or other purposes. Easy transcoding appeals to high-end applications where workflows vastly benefit from transcoding to an intermediate version. JPEG 2000 ensures a clean and quick operation when bit rate is at a premium. Correctly transcoded HD1080p

JPEG2000 files compressed at 100Mbit/sec have been labeled ‘visually identical’ to the 2K original footage by professional viewers. Furthermore, the wavelet based JPEG2000 compression does not interfere with the final usually DCT based broadcast formats; • Several standards specify in detail how the JPEG2000 video stream should be encapsulated in a number of widely adopted transport streams such as MXF or MPEG2-TS. IntoPIX JPEG2000 FPGA-based IP-cores, is compliant with the broadcast profiles used for the IMF, contribution or archiving applications. ■


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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of In Broadcast - April 2012

In Broadcast - April 2012
Contents
Broadcast Networks Delivers for Arqiva
Swedish Hockey Safe in the Bank
Viewcast Launches Niagara 9100 Series
Cavena: Enhancing the Value of Content
Broadcast Pix Announces Video Control Center 3.0
Telecast’s Latest Innovations
Glidecam Introduces XR-Series Stabilisers
Qvest Media Live With Code One Streaming
Volicon Extends Observer Utility
Petrol Bags Add to Audio & DSLR Range
In Broadcast - April 2012 - In Broadcast - April 2012
In Broadcast - April 2012 - Cover2
In Broadcast - April 2012 - Contents
In Broadcast - April 2012 - Broadcast Networks Delivers for Arqiva
In Broadcast - April 2012 - 5
In Broadcast - April 2012 - Swedish Hockey Safe in the Bank
In Broadcast - April 2012 - 7
In Broadcast - April 2012 - 8
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In Broadcast - April 2012 - Viewcast Launches Niagara 9100 Series
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In Broadcast - April 2012 - 26
In Broadcast - April 2012 - Cavena: Enhancing the Value of Content
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In Broadcast - April 2012 - Broadcast Pix Announces Video Control Center 3.0
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In Broadcast - April 2012 - Telecast’s Latest Innovations
In Broadcast - April 2012 - 55
In Broadcast - April 2012 - Glidecam Introduces XR-Series Stabilisers
In Broadcast - April 2012 - 57
In Broadcast - April 2012 - 58
In Broadcast - April 2012 - 59
In Broadcast - April 2012 - 60
In Broadcast - April 2012 - 61
In Broadcast - April 2012 - 62
In Broadcast - April 2012 - Qvest Media Live With Code One Streaming
In Broadcast - April 2012 - 64
In Broadcast - April 2012 - 65
In Broadcast - April 2012 - Volicon Extends Observer Utility
In Broadcast - April 2012 - 67
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In Broadcast - April 2012 - 69
In Broadcast - April 2012 - Petrol Bags Add to Audio & DSLR Range
In Broadcast - April 2012 - Cover3
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