The heart and arteries (or bloodstream) of the majority of broadcast facilities are still SDI and coaxial cables, while the rest of the world is virtualized and in cloud. The big thing in broadcast today is the transition to IP which will pave the path to pure software, virtualized, and cloud infrastructures. In this spirit, we will be previewing our software transcoder for IP video at NAB this year.
The traditional broadcast infrastructure has indeed been built on the SDI protocol, coaxial cables, and BNC connectors which sounds archaic because, hey!, it is 2017 and everything is wireless now. Of course, broadcast backbones cannot be wireless but it is clear now that SDI is past – and future broadcast facilities are built on fiber optics, Ethernet, and IP protocol. Lots of people put a lot of energy into creating standards for the next-gen broadcast: there are VSF technical recommendations, and AIMS, and ASPEN alliances to support that transition.
It is logical. The cost for Ethernet bandwidth is much better than the cost for SDI bandwidth. Ethernet switching and IP routing is more practical than SDI baseband switching, and IP will ultimately allow for dematerialized and cloud infrastructures.
Video compression is necessity
The transition to IP, cloud, and especially towards Ultra HD 4K or HFR is calling for video compression. Today, bigger facilities already have hard times moving around high number of uncompressed HD streams. UHD 4K, wider color gamut, HFR, HDR, and 360/VR video will make things even more challenging. Some would argue that uncompressed is better because it is simpler and because 10GE and 40GE fiber Ethernet is cheap. It is not. No other infrastructures created for high volume video data processing are uncompressed. Try to imagine that video infrastructure at Facebook or Snapchat is uncompressed.
One of the biggest and also among the first IP broadcast facilities has beenis built by ESPN in Bristol. They are moving around thousands of HD video streams and the people at ESPN have decided to build their campus on IP and also to compress their video streams. The core of the campus is the IP protocol, JPEG2000 compression, and MPEG2 transport stream container.
Comprimato Transcoder for IP broadcast at NAB 2017
We have developed the fastest JPEG2000 software codec. It was optimized to run fast on CPUs and GPUs and it can encode and decode Ultra HD 8K video at 48 FPS and 153 FPS respectively. This year at NAB we will be previewing our own software transcoder for IP broadcast video that is based on our GPU accelerated JPEG2000 codec.
The Transcoder is capable of transcoding 40 broadcast streams in 1080p @60FPS. All in one high-density 1RU package. The Transcoder is a pure software solution based on COTS hardware and NVIDIA GPUs.
Comprimato Transcoder is compatible with MPEG2-TS and JPEG2000 video streams according to ASPEN and VSF TR-01 specifications and it can transcode input in JPEG2000 or H.262 to output in H.264, JPEG2000, and H.262 formats. Both input and output streams are wrapped into the MPEG2-TS container.