Video Breakthroughs
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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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Fantastic overview of HTML5 video features and forthcomings from OVC 2011 conference. Must read !

Fantastic overview of HTML5 video features and forthcomings from OVC 2011 conference. Must read ! | Video Breakthroughs | Scoop.it

Fantastic overview of HTML5 video developments and forthcomings. Overview of OVC 2011 conference dedicated to open media development.


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BXF explained : The new open SMPTE schema standard levels the playing field

BXF explained : The new open SMPTE schema standard levels the playing field | Video Breakthroughs | Scoop.it

For years, broadcast automation systems and business systems needed manual access and conversion interface applications to convert metadata to/from their respective systems. The multitudes of proprietary interfaces are difficult to keep up with, especially as system upgrades and enhancements were added to either side.

BXF-based applications and their open-standard schema save on costs.

 

The new SMPTE 2021 BXF 1.0 schema standard is one of the biggest advances in broadcast automation in this decade. The holy grail of automation has always been to provide a system that uses a central database for metadata between traffic and master control. Since centralizing a database between business systems and master control/operations is easier said than done, the next best thing is to standardize on a communication schema for the exchange of mission-critical data.

 

Technology standards are needed to organize varying systems and technologies. While manufacturers offer the promise of tight integration between varying systems, they still offer varied proprietary systems. BXF changes that. The new open SMPTE schema standard levels the playing field for manufacturers. By enabling their systems to work within the protocol's framework, manufacturers can assure broadcasters of getting nonproprietary full-feature metadata conversions and messaging systems.

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An upcoming ATSC standard supports interactivity

An upcoming ATSC standard supports interactivity | Video Breakthroughs | Scoop.it

The killer app of computer interactivity, when considering popularity, is probably the Web browser. But interactivity requires more than just a browser; a rich user experience requires access to live and cached multimedia content as well as static pages. This month, we'll look at how these capabilities will be supported in an upcoming ATSC standard :

- Local interactivity with non-real-time services

- Receiver customization provides personalization

- Mobile devices support interactivity with other tools, too

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Update Alert: DaVinci Resolve 8.1: FCPX support, lots of little things

Update Alert: DaVinci Resolve 8.1: FCPX support, lots of little things | Video Breakthroughs | Scoop.it

The engineers over at Blackmagic Design continue their mad dash to update and upgrade DaVinci Resolve. The end of last week saw the release of Resolve 8.1. This comes after the huge 7 to 8 upgrade we saw earlier in the year but this incremental update to 8.1 adds some pretty significant features itself.

 

Probably the headline feature is support for Final Cut Pro X’s new XML format. Secondary to that but equally important to those using Resolve in a grading facility is better Avid Media Composer roundtripping and some FCP7 XML updates. Plus you can even use Resolve 8.1 as a go-between to move from FCPX to FCP& or maybe Media Composer to FCPX! That is if that need ever really arose. Read on for a list of changes and some experiments with roundtripping.

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European public broadcasters take to HbbTV

European public broadcasters take to HbbTV | Video Breakthroughs | Scoop.it

Momentum behind the HbbTV hybrid standard designed to unify broadcast and broadband services behind a common user interface is gathering pace in Europe outside the UK with trials or deployments by several major public broadcasters. Even in the UK, HbbTV is gaining some ground, having been adopted there by the Digital TV Group (DTG), responsible for digital terrestrial broadcasting, in the 7th edition of its D-Book. This defines the interoperability specification for UK digital terrestrial television, and by endorsing HbbTV, the DTG has created some confusion since the country appeared to be adopting an alternative platform, YouView. This is a consortium backed by the BBC, ITV, Channel Four, Channel Five, BT, TalkTalk and Arqiva, aiming to launch its proposed hybrid broadcast and broadband platform in February 2012. As provider of the UK’s terrestrial infrastructure, Arqiva now appears to have a foot in both the YouView and HbbTV camps, so the future course of UK hybrid DTT services is unclear.

 

Outside the UK, though, Europe is rallying behind HbbTV, with NPO (the Dutch public broadcasting organization) conducting HbbTV trials on the Canal Digital satellite DTH platform and on the Ziggo cable networks, according to Dutch magazine Totaal TV. The Canal Digital trials are kicking off with Sony Bravia connected TV sets that have built-in satellite tuners as well as HbbTV support. Other leading CE manufacturers, including Philips and Samsung, plan to pile into the burgeoning Dutch hybrid market with HbbTV enabled TVs by the end of the year. The services will include an HbbTV “red button” that will enable interactive services combining linear and Internet content to be unified within personalized EPGs.

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Ultra High Definition Television (UHDTV) nearing reality

Ultra High Definition Television (UHDTV) nearing reality | Video Breakthroughs | Scoop.it

Ultra High Definition Television (UHDTV) took an important step towards becoming reality when experts reached agreement on most of the pertinent technical characteristics of this exciting new standard for television. UHDTV marks a leap forward beyond the current standards for High Definition Television (HDTV).

 

The experts, which include scientists and engineers from around the world, have been working together for several years in the ITU Study Group on Broadcasting Service (ITU-R Study Group 6) to jointly develop and agree on the technical specifications that will successfully create ‘UHDTV’.

 

A demonstration of UHDTV was provided by the Japanese public service broadcaster NHK at ITU earlier this month. The screen displayed a staggering 33 Million pixels, compared to a maximum 2 million pixels for the highest quality HDTV screens on offer today.

 

In September 2011, a trial UHDTV link was arranged between London and Amsterdam and plans are under way to cover part of the 2012 London Olympic Games in UHDTV for screening at public venues around the world.

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MPEG-4 AVC systems : A recent extension directly supports 3-D presentation.

MPEG-4 AVC systems : A recent extension directly supports 3-D presentation. | Video Breakthroughs | Scoop.it

MPEG-4 AVC offers many tools for coding video and higher coding efficiency than MPEG-2. The growing number of AVC applications is facilitated by a broad set of profiles, which group together different feature sets. A recent extension to AVC is Multiview Video Coding (MVC), which offers content producers the ability to code different views of the same production, directly supporting 3-D presentation.

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Un browser sur tablette qui envoie directement des vidéos streamées sur votre TV connectée

Un browser sur tablette qui envoie directement des vidéos streamées sur votre TV connectée | Video Breakthroughs | Scoop.it

PacketVideo a annoncé aujourd'hui que son application Twonky Beam, qui permet de visionner des vidéos en streaming, est désormais disponible pour les tablettes iPad d'Apple et celles sous Android. Grâce au navigateur Twonky Beam, vous pouvez parcourir des contenus vidéos en ligne sur votre tablette et les visionner directement sur une TV connectée à l'Internet, sans qu'un câble soit requis pour cette transmission.

 

Fonctionnalités du navigateur Twonky Beam :
o Gestion des vidéos – pour envoyer une vidéo sur votre grand écran et utiliser votre tablette comme télécommande afin, par exemple, de régler le volume ou mettre le visionnage sur pause.
o Organisation des files d'attente et enregistrement des contenus – vous pouvez trouver des vidéos et en ajouter autant que vous voulez à la file d'attente des contenus à envoyer, les faire passer en tête de la queue ou les enregistrer comme favoris pour un visionnage ultérieur.
o Lecture sur tablette et visionnage en un clic – pour envoyer directement sur votre TV des vidéos encapsulées dans un article d'actualité, tout en poursuivant sa lecture sur votre tablette.

 

Démo en vidéo : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IMambsaOAHw&feature=player_embedded

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AMD enters the broadcast TV market with new FirePro SDI-Link cards

AMD enters the broadcast TV market with new FirePro SDI-Link cards | Video Breakthroughs | Scoop.it

AMD is releasing the new FirePro SDI-Link cards—revealed on September 9th in Amsterdam, Netherlands—that offer video production studios real-time, GPU-accelerated post production and broadcast pipelines requiring Serial Digital Interface(SDI) input and output. In layman’s terms, these cards allow video from video cameras or servers to be processed and sent along very quickly, which is useful in settings such as video production and live TV broadcast studios.

 

The key element in the video transmission is the SDI interface. SDI is a family of video interfaces that production studios use to transmit uncompressed and unencrypted video data, and optionally can carry embedded audio and time code data as well. Typically, coaxial cables are employed, which can be up to 300 meters long—plenty long enough for most any TV studio. These cables then hook up to a workstation computer via PCI Express (PCIe) SDI cards and are then processed on specialized graphics cards (the GPUs).

 

During live broadcasts, studios require a solution that can take video from these SDI cables, run post-production such as flashy 3D motion graphics effects or interactive weather maps, and send it off for broadcasting… all with as little latency as possible. To do this, the GPU and SDI cards have to communicate with each other very quickly. This is where the new FirePro SDI-Link cards come into play.

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Quality Control Roundup: Catch the Mistakes Before they Go Live

Quality Control Roundup: Catch the Mistakes Before they Go Live | Video Breakthroughs | Scoop.it

Do you QC?

 

Read this to learn what quality-control software is, how even low-volume producers can integrate it, and what it can do for your videos.

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Why Apple HTTP Live Streaming is not effective

Why Apple HTTP Live Streaming is not effective | Video Breakthroughs | Scoop.it

A 15-year-old packet delivery system is buried within HTTP Live Streaming. It's time to rebuild it from the ground up.

 

Is old technology holding us back when it comes to searching for the promised land of efficient HTTP streaming? While the current hype surrounds HTTP delivery as being less costly—and by assumption, more efficient—than traditional streaming, the question is one that the industry should consider, in light of the advances in both HTTP Live Streaming (HLS) and fragmented MPEG-4 (fMP4) that have been announced recently.

 

The more mature (or long-in-the-tooth, depending on your perspective) technology on the market is MPEG-2 Transport Stream (M2TS), which makes up the packaging protocol for content delivery in HLS.

 

HLS has gained huge popularity, in no small part because it’s the only way to stream to the iOS devices. Let me be the first to say that MPEG-2 Transport Stream is a tried-and-true technology that has been used extensively for broadcast transmission over the past decade. Yet its age makes it a bit of a millstone that seems to be holding back advances in the over-all HTTP streaming marketplace.

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H.265 : The Next Big Video Squeeze

H.265 : The Next Big Video Squeeze | Video Breakthroughs | Scoop.it

Digital video is in the process of getting another major haircut — a development that promises to provide tremendous relief for bandwidth-constrained mobile networks, as well as for the delivery of ultra-high-definition TV.

 

The High Efficiency Video Coding specification, also referred to as H.265, will be even more efficient than H.264 MPEG-4 Advanced Video Coding. HEVC-based commercial products could arrive starting in 2013.

 

According to industry experts, HEVC could shave off 25% to 50% of the bits needed to deliver video that looks as good as H.264.

 

“It seems like every decade we come out with a better compression standard,” said Sam Blackman, CEO of video-processing systems vendor Elemental Technologies.

 

HEVC is being designed to take advantage of increases in processing power in video encoders and devices. The developers of H.264 had elements they wanted to include, “but the computational costs were considered too high 10 years ago,” Blackman said. “You’ve also had research over that time to improve the standard for the next time.”

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Skyfire Lightens Up Online Video by Transcoding in the Cloud

Skyfire Lightens Up Online Video by Transcoding in the Cloud | Video Breakthroughs | Scoop.it

“Client-aware cloud” is one of the buzzwords that Intel was pushing at IDF 2011, and despite the chipmaker’s ulterior motive for wanting to see synergy (read: “vendor lock-in”) between (x86-powered) cloud clients and (x86-powered) cloud servers, there’s definitely something to larger idea that the cloud should know something about and tailor data for the clients that are connected to it. HTTP proxies like Amazon’s Silk and Opera Mini before it (not that these are the same thing) are part of this client-aware cloud trend, as is Skyfire‘s new Rocket Optimizer 2.0 service.

 

Skyfire is probably best known as a maker of mobile browsers, and specifically as the company that snuck porn Flash onto the iPad via some clever transcoding and a proprietary browser. But in an echo of Google’s 411 strategy, in which the search giant launched a free directory service in order to gather the voice samples that would later power Android’s voice recognition features, Skyfire has been using the data that it gathers from its 10 million iOS and Android users for a larger R&D project.

 

That project is Rocket Optimizer, the 2.0 version of which launched on Tuesday. Optimizer is aimed not at consumers but at wireless carriers, where it takes tower- and mobile device-specific data and uses it to transcode and optimize video data on-the-fly to fit users’ screens and network conditions. As with Silk, all of Rocket’s real-time video transcoding and resizing is done in the cloud.

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BBC R&D - Dual Screen Experiences: the Secret Fortune Pilot and the Sync API

BBC R&D - Dual Screen Experiences: the Secret Fortune Pilot and the Sync API | Video Breakthroughs | Scoop.it

In that earlier blog post, I mention that technologies exist that are already being used to synchronise media on mobile devices to television programmes, such as audio fingerprinting and watermarking, video fingerprinting and watermarking and delivering synchronisation information via the Internet. The advantage of all these solutions is that they require no modifications to the set-top box or television. A common disadvantage is that content on other devices can only follow what happens on the television, and not vice-versa. In the longer term, we believe that a technology like Universal Control offers very significant advantages in this regard, but we recently took advantage of an opportunity to work with colleagues from across the BBC to investigate some of these existing methods of synchronisation, to see what kinds of "dual screen" experience might be possible today.

 

Our most significant contribution to the work has been an API to permit the developers of dual-screen applications to ignore the details of specific synchronisation technologies. It provides a standard interface, behind which any number of information sources may be working (individually or together) to provide the application with information about what programme the user is watching (if any), and what events are occurring in it that might trigger synchronised behaviour. This approach helps the BBC avoid getting locked into using the technology of a specific supplier, and helps "future-proof" applications: as new synchronisation technologies become available, little or no extra effort is likely to be required for existing applications to be able to make use of them. (Of course, one of the sources of information could be a Universal Control server on the set-top box...)

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Content supply chain management software makes secure, file-based B2B exchanges a reality

Content supply chain management software makes secure, file-based B2B exchanges a reality | Video Breakthroughs | Scoop.it

The global economic crisis has had some interesting effects on the media business, one of which is the continuing decentralization of many production and post-production processes that have traditionally been handled in-house. Driven to reduce costs and empowered by newly digital, file-based workflows, large media companies are increasingly outsourcing functions such as editing and language dubbing/subtitling to freelancers and small “mom-and-pop” outfits — many of whom are highly specialized and geographically dispersed. The ability to exchange high-value media assets securely and efficiently with business partners outside the enterprise has always been important, but the task has become more complicated as these boutique enterprises join the workflow.

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Ice Cream Sandwich supports WebM streaming, MKVs

Ice Cream Sandwich supports WebM streaming, MKVs | Video Breakthroughs | Scoop.it

Here’s a small nugget about Android 4.0, also known as Ice Cream Sandwich, that hasn’t gotten much play yet: The mobile OS now natively supports the playback of MKV files as well as streaming of Google’s WebM video format (hat tip to Richard Lawler). The changes were announced through an updated list of supported media formats on the Android developer website.

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VidiGo's Dutch Army Knife of Broadcast Tools

VidiGo's Dutch Army Knife of Broadcast Tools | Video Breakthroughs | Scoop.it

"It all started with graphics," says VidiGo CEO Hans Krouwels. The Amsterdam-headquartered software company was founded with the idea that the production workflow could be simplified without losing quality. It now offers a range of products that cover the complete workflow of a professional TV production.

 

First came VidiGo Graphics, graphics engine for internal mixing of graphics with HD/SD-SDI input. After partnering with Adobe, VidiGo brought Adobe Flash to broadcast: With VidiGo Graphics, stations can use all the tools in Adobe Creative Suite 5 (Illustrator, Photoshop, and Flash Professional) and then render the files for on-air consumption in VidiGo Graphics.

 

"We realized we had a huge opportunity," says Krouwels. "We created VidiGo Graphics, based on Adobe Creative Suite, to run on standard PCs, allowing stations to maintain the same quality as high-end systems, at a fraction of the cost and many times the speed and flexibility." Since creating VidiGo Graphics, the company has added VidiGo ToolBox, VidiGo Live, VidiGo Works and VidiGo PlayOut.

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HbbDVD Techdemo (DVD via HbbTV)

This is a technical preview of "HbbDVD" technology, which enables watching DVDs via HbbTV with full support for:

* Menus
* Chapters
* Audio languages
* Subtitles

It currently works only for HbbTV but could be ported to HTML5, too.

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MXFserver : One server for AVID Media Composer, Apple Final Cut Pro and Adobe Premiere

MXFserver : One server for AVID Media Composer, Apple Final Cut Pro and Adobe Premiere | Video Breakthroughs | Scoop.it

- Shared operation on media files with Bin Locking for Avid and FCP

- Virtual media files: no copies, no double media, full security

- Edit with all stations directly on Sony XDcam, Panasonic P2 and Quicktime files in any codec supported by your edit system.

- AMA for AVID network wide available. Faster AMA then in normal use.

- MXF project based. Easy archiving to LTO5

- Professional access rights management with reporting. Can also take ADS

- ProTools and Pyramix audio support - Scalable system

- Fully shared editing on the Omneon MediaGrid

- EVS compatible

- Uniform MediaBrowser

 

Read on combination with Harmonic MediaGrid here : http://bit.ly/rdPJ2M

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Pay TV operators have a role in second-screen ad sync

Pay TV operators have a role in second-screen ad sync | Video Breakthroughs | Scoop.it

Real-time synchronised advertising for the second-screen, where interactive and probably targeted ads are delivered to coincide with commercial breaks on the main TV, are a threat and opportunity to broadcasters, as we have reported previously. It is now becoming clear that Pay TV operators could play an important role in determining whose second screen apps people are watching when those commercial breaks arrive, and therefore whether it is the channel owners or competing third-parties who can monetize this new ad inventory. The platform operators could even create their own companion apps and become another player around the second-screen advertising table.

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Rovi DivX Plus Streaming solution : New challenger to established adaptive bit rate solutions

Rovi DivX Plus Streaming solution : New challenger to established adaptive bit rate solutions | Video Breakthroughs | Scoop.it

Rovi Corporation believes there is still room for another adaptive bit rate (ABR) streaming technology and intends to prove it over the next few years by taking market share for its newly launched DivX Plus Streaming solution. The company’s Chief Evangelist, Richard Bullwinkle, believes this new flavour of ABR will not only gain favour with online video content stores and device manufacturers, but overtake the popular formats deployed today, notably Apple HTTP Live Streaming, Adobe HTTP Dynamic Streaming and Microsoft Smooth Streaming.

 

The company thinks it has a winning combination of better video quality, trick-play and audio features to match DVD and Blu-ray discs, low processing footprint, wide device reach, cross-brand interoperability, and the creation of a non-Apple ecosystem that is friendly to CE vendors who compete with that company.

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SyncTV, Brightcove, and HBO Are on the Cutting Edge of Video Apps

SyncTV, Brightcove, and HBO Are on the Cutting Edge of Video Apps | Video Breakthroughs | Scoop.it

Mobile video use is exploding and will grow quickly in the years to come. Learn how three companies -- SyncTV, Brightcove, and HBO -- have leaped in to put movies and TV shows in viewers' hands.

 

I like it quick and easy. I want to reach as many people as I can. And so do you. Which is why more and more of us are creating video apps for iOS and Android mobile devices, as well as for set-top boxes and other connected devices. But what are the secrets to doing it right?

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DRM protected DASH : Ericsson presentation describing a POC with Marlin DRM and DASH

DRM protected DASH : Ericsson presentation describing a POC with Marlin DRM and DASH | Video Breakthroughs | Scoop.it

You can read the presentation here : http://web.cs.wpi.edu/~claypool/mmsys-2011/Day3-8_DRM.pdf

 

Edge stuff !

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VidCompare : Compare cloud-based encoding platforms side by side

VidCompare : Compare cloud-based encoding platforms side by side | Video Breakthroughs | Scoop.it

An interesting comparison engine that allows comparison betwwen 3 engines among :

Panda, Sorenson Squeez Hybrid, HeyWatch, HD Cloud, Encoding.com, Zencoder, Ankoder, Transloadit and EncodingAll

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Encoding for Adaptive Streaming by Jan Ozer

Encoding for Adaptive Streaming by Jan Ozer | Video Breakthroughs | Scoop.it

Adaptive streaming technologies like Adobe’s Dynamic Streaming, Microsoft’s Smooth Streaming, and Apple’s HTTP Live Streaming, use multiple encoded files to deliver the optimal viewing experience to video consumers watching on a range of devices, from mobile phone to workstation, via a range of connections, from FIOS to cellular. Though there are differences in implementation, all adaptive technologies switch streams based upon heuristics like CPU utilization or buffer size. That is, if the player detects that buffer levels are too low, it may choose a lower data rate stream to avoid running out of data. If CPU utilization gets too high and frames start dropping, it may request a lower resolution file that’s easier to decode.

 

While most of the technology that enables stream switching is lodged in the player or streaming server, there’s lots to do on the encoding side to produce streams that switch smoothly. In this article, I’ll outline the key differences between producing for single stream delivery and producing for adaptive streaming.

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