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Video Breakthroughs
Monitoring innovations in post-production, head-end, streaming, OTT, second-screen, UHDTV, multiscreen strategies & tools
Curated by Nicolas Weil
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MulticoreWare Accelerates VP9, Google’s Next-Generation Open Video Codec

MulticoreWare Accelerates VP9, Google’s Next-Generation Open Video Codec | Video Breakthroughs | Scoop.it

Today, MulticoreWare is announcing the availability of accelerated VP9 decoding solutions for mobile and embedded devices. VP9 is Google’s Open-Source video codec, available for free as part of the WebM project. VP9 will be used for YouTube and Google Hangouts as well as other web-based video applications. VP9 is supported today in Google’s Chrome browser, with support in v28 of the Mozilla Firefox browser scheduled to be released on March 18th.

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Will HEVC/H.265 Kill the Data Center?

Will HEVC/H.265 Kill the Data Center? | Video Breakthroughs | Scoop.it

QuickFire thinks so, which is why it's introducing the T-Video Transcoding Platform V1100, a single-RU box with multiple Ethernet connectors and 11 quad-core Core i7 mobile CPUs.

Nicolas Weil's insight:

Not a direct Elemental competitor yet - but a good thing for emulation on the GPU-assisted transcoding market.

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Adobe Access and Flash Player StageVideo Demystified

Adobe Access and Flash Player StageVideo Demystified | Video Breakthroughs | Scoop.it

Color transformation and compositing can be securely performed by the hardware. This is different with H.264 decoding, since it opens room for driver vulnerabilities. As a result, H.264 Video decode is not available for DRM-protected content on the desktop.

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Video Encoding: Go for the Specialist or the Jack-of-All-Trades?

Video Encoding: Go for the Specialist or the Jack-of-All-Trades? | Video Breakthroughs | Scoop.it

When it comes to video encoding, the choice between hardware and software comes down to flexibility, latency, and cost.

 

One of the hardest choices encoding technicians have to make is deciding between hardware and software. Hardware-based encoders and transcoders have had a performance advantage over software since computers were invented. That's because dedicated, limited-purpose processors are designed to run a specific algorithm, while the general-purpose processor that runs encoding software is designed to handle several functions. It's the specialist versus the jack-of-all-trades.

 

In the past few years, processors and workflows have changed. The great disruptor has been time and the economics of Moore's Law, which famously says that the number of transistors incorporated in a chip will approximately double every 24 months. The logical outcome of Moore's law is that the CPUs get more powerful by a factor of two every few years, but more recently processing power seems to double every few months. Lately, Intel -- whose co-founder Gordon Moore coined Moore's Law -- has been adding specialty functions along with its math co-processors to equalize the differences between general-use processors and specialty processors.

 

There are many layers and elements to both a general-purpose processor and a task-specific hardware processor. The general-purpose CPU is the most common -- there are literally billions of them in all manner of computing devices -- while the more purpose-oriented processors include digital signal processors (DSPs), field-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs), and integrated circuits (ICs) that are available for various industrial appliances and widely used in cellphones. Many of the structures and elements are similar across all types, but there are considerable differences. If you are not familiar with the elements of the various types, here are the basic structures of both.

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Elemental Server Review: The One to Beat

Elemental Server Review: The One to Beat | Video Breakthroughs | Scoop.it

Like old-time alchemists who turned base metals into gold, Elemental Technologies, Inc. converts industry-standard CPUs and GPUs into the hottest H.264 on-demand encoding box I’ve tested, with incomparable speed and quality that matches the best in the business. While there are some notable deficits, including limited output format support and subpar VC-1 encoding performance, if you need a tool to accelerate your H.264-encoding, Elemental Server should be on the top of your list.

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OpenMAX (Open Media Acceleration)

OpenMAX (Open Media Acceleration) | Video Breakthroughs | Scoop.it
OpenMAX (Open Media Acceleration) is a royalty-free, cross-platform set of C-language programming interfaces that provides abstractions for routines especially useful for audio, video, and still images.

Via cnxsoft
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Streaming Video Technologies Panorama, part 2 : Server-Side Stream Repackaging

Streaming Video Technologies Panorama, part 2 : Server-Side Stream Repackaging | Video Breakthroughs | Scoop.it
There are basically two ways to sustain the extensive growth of video formats that you must, as a media distributor, serve to your different clients’ target devices : the most common answer is to choose the best in breed most-powerful encoders to prepare all the target formats during the content preparation time (see Panorama article N°1 on this topic), but you can adopt a different approach saying that you want to prepare your contents once and have the distribution part of the overall workflow take care of the repackaging and protection of the contents on the fly.

Server-side repackaging of the streams consists eventually in :
- choosing languages in audio and subtitle tracks available in the original mux (optional)
- transcoding/transrating the video content in different sizes/bitrates from a high quality video file (optional)
- applying a DRM compatible with the output format (optional)
- generating the manifest file corresponding to the target adaptive streaming technology (mandatory)
- remuxing and chunking the video data according to the output protocol requirements (mandatory)

Historically, repackaging was pushed as a quick solution for broadcasters to add iOS streams on top of existing Smooth or Flash streams. In a wider OTT/Adaptive Bitrate perspective, this alternative approach means : less files to manage in the main production workflow, less storage, less bandwidth to populate the origin servers, smaller time to contents’ online availability and easier support for new formats – shortly said, an agile path.

Potentially a risky one, but quite attractive…

Let's examine the available options on the market, to do it on your own platform or in the cloud !
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Streaming Video Technologies Panorama, part 1 : Hardware-accelerated Encoding

Streaming Video Technologies Panorama, part 1 : Hardware-accelerated Encoding | Video Breakthroughs | Scoop.it

Maybe some of you remember the Tarari Encoder Accelerator for Windows Media which came on market in 2005 as a FPGA loaded PCI board. It was a 10K$ investment but it could seriously boost your encoder performances and it was a transparent solution for all encoders integrating Windows Media SDK. That was maybe the only real reliable option to do HD encoding decently at that time. More confidential were the Ambric cards for accelerating MainConcept H.264 and MPEG-2 SDK, which were found to be working with Inlet Armada transcoding farm.

Since these days, Tarari boards vanished, Windows Media encoding has been somehow outshined by H.264 and CPU performances have made great jumps, but the needs for hardware accelerated encoding solutions is still there, mainly because :
- H.264 encoding is also hungrily crunching CPU cycles
- screen types to feed have exploded with mobile, tablets, connected TVs and all other OTT devices
- adaptive streaming requires far more versions of the same file that previously mono-bitrate encodings
- available rackspace is not endless and it’s not convenient to manage hundreds of encoding nodes
- new formats like 3D and SVC are demanding strong encoding power
- you like to play with cool high-end encoders and you have strong convincing skills when it comes to make your boss buy expen$ive hardware


So let’s take a look at the different options available on the market now !

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Telestream Helps Launch Open Source x265HEVC Project

Telestream Helps Launch Open Source x265HEVC Project | Video Breakthroughs | Scoop.it

Company teamed with MulticoreWare to help develop and promote an H.265/HEVC codec, building on the success of the x264 codec, and already claims encouraging data rate reductions for encoding.

 

Telestream reached out to MultiCoreWare for assistance with multicore CPU and GPU acceleration. Telestream also involved Jason Garrett-Glaser, lead developer of the x264 project, who provided guidance on how to best apply parallelization to the x264 codec. The three-way collaboration worked so well that Telestream decided to apply it to the next generation x265 codec.

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Elemental Software Release 2.0 Advances Unified Platform for Multiscreen Video : DASH, HEVC, Access DRM, Dolby for HLS and Smooth... [PR]

Elemental Software Release 2.0 Advances Unified Platform for Multiscreen Video : DASH, HEVC, Access DRM, Dolby for HLS and Smooth... [PR] | Video Breakthroughs | Scoop.it

Designed to support next-generation GPU and CPU architectures, release 2.0 is now available for Elemental’s suite of products for video processing, packaging and streaming live and on-demand video. The release brings together a host of features for multiscreen video delivery to create a unified platform providing substantial benefit to Elemental customers:

 

•Increased performance – With next-generation processor architectures and an optimized video pipeline, Elemental systems offerdouble the performance and density of previous generation solutions in asingle RU footprint. Increased throughput allows customers tobring multiscreen assets to market more quickly and in a smaller footprint than ever before.

 

•Comprehensive codec support – Support for multiple codecs running simultaneously on a single platform provides customers with aseamless migration path from existing video delivery standards tofuture compression technologies. Elemental solutions offer MPEG-2,H.264, VC-1 and HEVC / H.265 encoding with patented compression technology as well as support for JPEG 2000 and ProRes mezzanineassets. 

 

•Current and future standards – In addition to support for common video streaming protocols such as Adobe RTMP and HTTP DynamicStreaming (HDS), Microsoft Smooth Streaming and Apple HTTP LiveStreaming (HLS), Elemental software supports newly emergingtechnologies including MPEG-DASH, Ultraviolet and 4K Ultra HD.

 

•Advanced encryption and protection – Secure content with a variety of integrated technologies including Civolution forensic watermarkingfor both live and VOD content, Adobe Flash Access, Apple Sample-AES and Microsoft PlayReady as well as DRM solutions from NDS, Verimatrix and Widevine.

 

•Increased monetization – Support for ESAM dynamic ad insertion and Nielsen ID3 tagging give pay TV operators a path to multiscreenvideo delivery and a way to deepen audience engagement andinteraction. Media companies can also take advantage of the Adobe Primetime ecosystem for ad insertion as well as ad integration solutions from BlackArrow and mDialog.

 

•Augmented audio options – With release 2.0, robust support for audio encoding is available across the Elemental product line, includingsupport for DTS Express, Dolby Digital, Dolby E and Dolby DigitalPlus. In addition, release 2.0 features support for Dolby Digital Plus inApple HLS and Microsoft Smooth Streaming, raising the bar for audio fidelity in the streaming market.

 

•Accessibility features – Audio loudness management lets broadcasters adhere to the CALM Act and new captioning features, includingcaption burn-in, SMPTE-TT and SCC file creation let content creatorsadhere to captioning requirements coming into effect later this year.Elemental makes it easy to caption content originally aired on television and destined for delivery over the Internet. 

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DBee/BaaO Webinar Series - Technologies et Tendance Vidéo [Présentation]

Nicolas Weil's insight:

Le replay du webinar est visible en ligne :

http://web.dbee.com/dbee/20121218/index.php

 

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Elemental demos with content distribution, audio and other partners at NAB

Elemental demos with content distribution, audio and other partners at NAB | Video Breakthroughs | Scoop.it

In an impressive display of trade-show partnerships, Elemental Technologies has announced that thirteen partners were including Elemental’s video processing solutions for multi-screen content delivery in their booths this week at NAB.

 

This collaborative fest is a sign of the traction that Elemental has gained in several markets. At the end of 2011, Elemental touted the milestone of 100 enterprise customers acquired since it launched its professional product line in 2010. Among its marquee customers are Comcast, ESPN and HBO. The six-year-old Portland-based company said that its customer wins drove a 300 percent growth in revenue in 2011.

 

The NAB collaboration also reflects a diverse portfolio that includes streaming, transcoding, server, file-to-file, management and video compression products. Elemental sells into a range of markets, including service providers, broadcasters, programmers and premium brands. It positions its solutions within what it calls “the new media aftershock,” which relates to the large number of customized streams that content producers and distributors require in a multi-screen world.

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From CPU to Silicon – Video Transcoding Reaches a Tipping Point

From CPU to Silicon – Video Transcoding Reaches a Tipping Point | Video Breakthroughs | Scoop.it

In some ways, video transcoding for mobile delivery has grown a lot simpler of late. Thanks to lightweight video wrappers, we don’t need to create as many primary mobile streams as we once did. We can consolidate the heavy lifting part of the transcoding process, and leave the video wrapping to simple servers distributed around the edge of the delivery network. However, this shift in technology means we also need to re-evaluate our video transcoding tools. Instead of a CPU-based system, silicon increasingly makes more sense for the initial video transcoding process. Silicon is less flexible, but more robust than CPU-based transcoding. It’s also more cost-efficient.

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H.264 encoding - CPU vs GPU: Nvidia CUDA, AMD Stream, Intel MediaSDK and x264

H.264 encoding - CPU vs GPU: Nvidia CUDA, AMD Stream, Intel MediaSDK and x264 | Video Breakthroughs | Scoop.it
Video encoding is often thought to be the most common general public application for GPGPUs. We’ve decided to give you a roundup on performance, speed and quality of the various solutions!

Via Stéphane Barbati
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Intel and Badaboom Video File Transcoding : Quick Sync Video and Intel Media SDK

Intel and Badaboom Video File Transcoding : Quick Sync Video and Intel Media SDK | Video Breakthroughs | Scoop.it
Intel Quick Sync Video provides hardware acceleration to complete transcodes in minutes instead of hours. Badaboom uses Intel Quick Sync Video technology to transcode video files to play on the most popular devices available today.
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Wowza Media Server 3: Any-Screen Delivery Done Right

Wowza Media Server 3: Any-Screen Delivery Done Right | Video Breakthroughs | Scoop.it
Wowza revamps architecture and adds transcoding and DVR modules, offers free upgrade to Wowza Media Server 2 licensees...

Interesting features are announced for the AddOns :
* Wowza Transcoder AddOn
o Supports adaptive bitrate (ABR) for Flash, Silverlight, and Apple HLS
o Ingest from live encoders, IP cams, TV headends, and more...
o Rich content transformation features
o Leverages commodity GPU acceleration hardware

* Wowza Network DVR (nDVR) AddOn
o Single nDVR cache — any screen playback
o Support for live stream trick play: pause, rewind, resume
o Rich APIs for customization

Register for preview release here : http://www.wowzamedia.com/wowza-server-3.php
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