In Broadcast - April 2013 - 34

I N T E R N A T I O N A L

WWW.INBROADCAST.COM | ISSUE 18 - APRIL 2013

N E W S

InREPLY

Harmonic Innovates With MPEG DASH
Thierry Fautier Senior Director of Convergence Solutions,
Harmonic, fields the InBroadcast questions on transcoding,
repurposing, and MPEG-DASH technology…

34

InBroadcast: With more and
more video being streamed OTT
into the home could you provide
your insight into what operators
are looking for today from a
transcoding solution?
Thierry Fautier: Operators are
looking for transcoders that can
serve all their devices in an efficient
way. Today we encode once and
package to all the different formats
(smooth streaming, Apple, Adobe
etc). This creates more storage,
more CDN traffic and, in the end,
costs more. The new MPEG DASH
standard has the ability to encode
and package once, encrypt once
and use multiple DRM formats.
Harmonic has been an early adopter
of MPEG DASH and has started
the deployment in Europe with
Abertis for the connected TV market.
In terms of technology, there
are two schools of thought when
considering live transcoding. Firstly,
expand the existing broadcast
headend with Adaptive Bitrate
encoding. This is what Harmonic is
doing with its ProStream with ACE
product line. The main benefit of
such a solution is that operators
do not have to deploy a new
transcoding platform, leveraging
what is already in place. The second
approach is to base the transcoder
on a pure SW technology. This is
what Harmonic has achieved with
its ProMedia product line. The
main advantage of this approach
is greater flexibility, faster TTM, and
easy migration to a cloud based
architecture. One derivative of this
approach is a GPU based solution,
but Harmonic has proven with the
introduction of its ProMedia Xpress

that it can match the speed of any
GPU platform at half the power and
space and at a higher video quality.
InB: Where should operators be
locating transcoding/repurposing
– on customer premises equipment,
in the cloud, or a hybrid approach
– and what are the pluses and
minuses that they must weigh up?
TF: For live transcoding
it makes sense to locate
transcoding on the premises
as content is already available
at the headend and transport/
security issues are minimised.
For VOD, there are three possible
options: on site; off premises; or
operated in the cloud. On site
transcoding is what has historically
been done by content and service
providers, but the main drawback
with this is that there is a requirement
for technical staff as well as a
complex infrastructure. The hosted
mode is used by hosted service
providers who offer transcoding
services. The cloud model is
becoming more and more popular
as it enables a pure OPEX model
and the absorption of any peak load.
We also see hybrid models
where the customer can employ
an ‘internal cloud’ model on his
premises enabling it to transcode
as required and pay accordingly.
InB: What is your most recent
and/or latest technology/product/
service in this space?

TF: MPEG-DASH technology
has been available for
some time and we are now
approaching real deployments
with Harmonic leading the way.
The next innovation is HEVC,
and Harmonic will demonstrate
HEVC transcoding at NAB.
Finally, there is ultra HD (or 4K
format). This is a more long term
discussion, although we can safely
say the first applications will be
around the non-linear experience,
either on VOD or push VOD/PPV.
Harmonic will present technologies
that support the deployment of Ultra
HD non-linear services at NAB.
InB: Does repurposing for second
screens in the cloud/at the
headend cause rights issues for
operators and if so how do they
circumnavigate this?
TF: It is clear that–at least in the
US–video on second screens has
contractual challenges, although
this is less evident in Europe or Asia.
It seems that limiting the delivery
to the home is the compromised
a g re e m e n t m a d e b e t w e e n
content and service providers.
Some tier-1 US cable MSOs are
not put off by this, and are going
to court to defend their rights,
whilst some less adventurous
MSOs have deployed limited
channels, and consequently
rights have been granted to them.
One way to circumnavigate
this is to transcode in the
home at the STB or at GW level.
This has disadvantages–it doesn’t
work on the installed base, and more
or less limits use to the home.

InB: What impact has MPEG
DASH had to date and what is
your understanding for how this
will impact the market over the
next year?
TF: DASH was ratified in
December 2011 and is now
heavily supported by the MPEGDASH Industry Forum that has
grown to more than 50 members.
DASH has already been
recommended by the European
consortium HbbTV which has
adopted it. France and Spain are
the first two countries that will
deploy this standard for connected
televisions, with Germany and
Italy due to follow soon after.
In the US we see some traction
from mobile operators who want
to deploy eMBMS, evidenced by
recent announcements from Verizon
at the Mobile World Congress 2013.
For new services, we see more
and more operators planning to
deploy a DASH based solution
across all devices, as they believe
this to be a future-proof investment.
InB: What impact will HEVC have
on streaming OTT to devices and
what is your company doing in
this area?
TF: HEVC will divide the bandwidth
by a factor of two when compared
with AVC of the same quality.
This can be used to either decrease
the bandwidth and therefore
offer a better user experience on
mobile devices, or increase the
quality of the bitrate, offering a
true 720p60 High Definition quality.
Harmonic is working very hard
on delivering a very fast, highquality file based transcoder
that will offer a 50% reduction in
bitrate on HEVC at any resolution
including 4K. In addition, it is also
working on an OTT Live transcoder.

InB: Thank you for taking timeout
to answer our questions.

AXF Gains Ground – Front Porch Digital
F

ront Porch Digital’s Archive
eXchange Format (AXF) openarchiving technology is seeing
broad adoption among archivists
and media organisations.
Installations at organisations
such as Laboratoire Eclair, The
Netherlands Institute for Sound and
Vision (NIBG), Danish Film Institute,
Swedish Film Institute, and others,
along with support from Spectra
Logic and integration with Sony’s
Optical Disc Archive technology,
position AXF to replace legacy

formats such as TAR.
“Our aim in developing AXF was
to support interoperability among
disparate digital-content storage
systems and ensure the content’s
long-term availability no matter
how technology evolves,” said
Brian Campanotti, Chief Technology
Officer of Front Porch Digital. “The
fact that these organisations and
others have embraced AXF puts it
well on the way to achieving critical
mass and becoming the industry
standard for long-term preservation

and storage of media assets. “
He said that the standardisation
effort was nearing completion.
AXF is integrated into DIVArchive
V7.0, the latest generation of Front
Porch Digital’s CSM system.
To ensure wider accessibility,
standalone tools such as AXF
Explorer allow access to AXF
packages and media without the
need for DIVArchive.
In September 2012 Spectra Logic
became the first vendor verified to
support AXF across its entire range

of tape libraries and tape drives.
Also, Front Porch Digital and Sony
have collaborated to ensure AXF is
compatible with Sony’s Optical Disc
Archive expandable robotic library.
Customers who use DIVArchive
V7.0 with Spectra Logic products
or the Sony system will get the
benefit of long-term storage and
preservation through AXF.


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In Broadcast - April 2013

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of In Broadcast - April 2013

In Broadcast - April 2013
Contents
InNEWS: Chyron to Merge With Hego Group
InNEWS: Studiovision Lebanon HD OB Truck
InPREVIEW: Nab Show 2013 Keynote Address: Disruptive Media
InREPLY: Harmonic Answers on MPEG DASH
InGEAR: Camp Digital Hits the Road
InVIEW: Hyper-Local TV Channels
InMEDIA: Digital Nirvana’s Cloud Based Anystream IQ
InMEDIA: Keeping One Step Ahead With on Demand Video Streaming Technology
InMEDIA: Understanding Media Asset Management
InTEST: Oversight via Monitoring & Logging
In Broadcast - April 2013 - In Broadcast - April 2013
In Broadcast - April 2013 - Cover2
In Broadcast - April 2013 - Contents
In Broadcast - April 2013 - InNEWS: Chyron to Merge With Hego Group
In Broadcast - April 2013 - 5
In Broadcast - April 2013 - InNEWS: Studiovision Lebanon HD OB Truck
In Broadcast - April 2013 - 7
In Broadcast - April 2013 - 8
In Broadcast - April 2013 - 9
In Broadcast - April 2013 - 10
In Broadcast - April 2013 - 11
In Broadcast - April 2013 - 12
In Broadcast - April 2013 - 13
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In Broadcast - April 2013 - 28
In Broadcast - April 2013 - 29
In Broadcast - April 2013 - InPREVIEW: Nab Show 2013 Keynote Address: Disruptive Media
In Broadcast - April 2013 - 31
In Broadcast - April 2013 - 32
In Broadcast - April 2013 - 33
In Broadcast - April 2013 - InREPLY: Harmonic Answers on MPEG DASH
In Broadcast - April 2013 - 35
In Broadcast - April 2013 - 36
In Broadcast - April 2013 - 37
In Broadcast - April 2013 - InGEAR: Camp Digital Hits the Road
In Broadcast - April 2013 - 39
In Broadcast - April 2013 - 40
In Broadcast - April 2013 - 41
In Broadcast - April 2013 - InVIEW: Hyper-Local TV Channels
In Broadcast - April 2013 - 43
In Broadcast - April 2013 - 44
In Broadcast - April 2013 - 45
In Broadcast - April 2013 - 46
In Broadcast - April 2013 - 47
In Broadcast - April 2013 - 48
In Broadcast - April 2013 - 49
In Broadcast - April 2013 - 50
In Broadcast - April 2013 - 51
In Broadcast - April 2013 - 52
In Broadcast - April 2013 - 53
In Broadcast - April 2013 - 54
In Broadcast - April 2013 - 55
In Broadcast - April 2013 - InMEDIA: Digital Nirvana’s Cloud Based Anystream IQ
In Broadcast - April 2013 - 57
In Broadcast - April 2013 - 58
In Broadcast - April 2013 - InMEDIA: Keeping One Step Ahead With on Demand Video Streaming Technology
In Broadcast - April 2013 - 60
In Broadcast - April 2013 - 61
In Broadcast - April 2013 - 62
In Broadcast - April 2013 - 63
In Broadcast - April 2013 - 64
In Broadcast - April 2013 - 65
In Broadcast - April 2013 - 66
In Broadcast - April 2013 - InMEDIA: Understanding Media Asset Management
In Broadcast - April 2013 - 68
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In Broadcast - April 2013 - InTEST: Oversight via Monitoring & Logging
In Broadcast - April 2013 - 89
In Broadcast - April 2013 - 90
In Broadcast - April 2013 - Cover4
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