NAB is All About Codecs

The National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) 2016 show will take place in Las Vegas between the 16th and 21st April. There will be a renewed focus on traditional broadcasting, using the ATSC 3.0 platform, and virtual reality. The Kaleidoscope VR Showcase will be held at the show.

Enensys (SU6325) will highlight its new ATSC 3.0 products, which include a ROUTE server, the ATSC 3.0 Scheduler and an ATSC 3.0 Modulator. These will sit between encoding and transmission.

Broadcasters using Enensys’s products will be able to deliver live streams directly from an encoder, outputting Dynamic Adaptive Streaming (DASH) segments, while managing ATSC 3.0 physical parameters; ROUTE session generation; ALP encapsulation; Multi PLP allocation; SFN management; STL generation; and more. The solution is based on Enensys’s High Density Chassis modular platform.

NEC VC 970 and VD 970NEC (SL15713) will show the first products in an HEVC ‘ultra-low delay’ hardware-based codec family, which can process UltraHD video in real time – a processing delay of approximately 99ms. The products can compress video to around one five hundredth of its original size and support HDR and the BT.2020 colour gamut.

The VC-970 encoder and VD-970 decoder have a bitrate of 160Mbps. Chroma is encoded at up to 4:2:2, with a bit-depth of 8- or 10-bit. They will be launched in July.

As well as the SCH801A single-chip 8k decoder (Socionext Decodes 8k), Socionext (SU13913) will show a chipset that compresses UltraHD 60fps HEVC video in real-time, using a quarter rack unit. Power requirements are 8W. Socionext says that the ‘M31’ (MB86M31) is compatible with YUV 4:2:2 encoding. It also suppotys multi-channel encoding for 1920 x 1080 and lower resolutions.

Suzohapp, an international brand specialising in component and display solutions, will show off a new control panel product using Fairlight‘s Picture Key technology, on Fairlight’s stand (N6019). Picture Key means that a tiny display can be placed on a physical button. Each of the 48 buttons (with 2mm travel distance) on the 2RU control panel contains a 61 x 59 TFT-LCD screen. This means that the button layout can be changed at will. Standard video sources, such as HDMI and DVI, can be used to update the buttons.

This is an unusual application that is made possible by the reduced costs of TFT displays – BR

Suzohapp control panel with Fairlight Picture KeyTektronix (SU5006) has announced a series of end-to-end HEVC test solutions, designed to provide insights into UltraHD workflows. They are designed to help broadcasters and service providers seamlessly move to UltraHD. Two of the tools are extensions of Tektronix’s existing MTS4000 and MTS4SAV3 test platforms, which include HEVC analysis tools and a closed caption analyser.

New features are being added to assist STB manufacturers, who need to create custom UltraHD and HEVC transport streams for testing content. These can now be created using the MTS4000.

Matrix switches and extenders for DCI-4k 60Hz 4:4:4 video will be shown by Thinklogical (SL6028). The TLX Series CATx line includes video and KVM extenders, and matrix switches from 12 to 640 ports. The products use Thinklogical’s own 10Gbps hybrid signal transmission architecture, supporting both copper and fibre cabling.

Signals are sent uncompressed, with microsecond (not millisecond) latency. Thinklogical claims that there are no artefacts, jitter or lost frames in its system.

Extension is up to 80m with fibre or 100m with CAT6a. The extenders have DisplayPort and HDMI interfaces; they can send DCI-4k at 30Hz over a single cable, or 60Hz over two cables.

Vecima Networks (SU12021) will launch Bravura, a multiscreen IP video delivery solution. It is a software-based tool which, Vecima says, provides ‘all the essential elements’ for multiscreen SD, HD and UltraHD video processing, preparation and delivery. Adverts can be inserted and multiple DRM schemes can be integrated. The system can also be used for catch-up, time-shift and PVR viewing.