Thomson Auto-Balances Server Loads

Thomson Video Networks is a spin-off from the encoder division of Technicolor. It specialises in video encoding, decoding and compression. The company was promoting its ‘Behind Every Screen’ approach for ‘an all-encompassing video delivery infrastructure’, which combines on-premises and cloud-based resources to support broadcast and OTT streaming of SD, HD and UltraHD content.

The Mediaflex Suite is part of Behind Every Screen. It is a service-driven management solution that can be used by operators to monitor, configure and dynamically change their channel line-ups, for both broadcast and multi-screen services. It works in conjunction with a product that Thomson was highlighting: the Vibe VS7000 multi-screen encoding system.

The VS7000 is a software-based system, for web TV, OTT services, IPTV and cable delivery. At TV Connect is was operating in virtualised mode; Thomson was showing it, with the MediaflexOS operating system, creating a cluster of virtual servers and load-balancing between them automatically. A brand new feature is the ability to use these virtual servers for live content; the VS7000 can tell Mediaflex the servers’ capacity, so Mediaflex knows the type of encoding to use. The end result is no drop in video quality.

Also on show was the Fuze-1 playout system, which combines the traditional functions of “a channel in a box” with high-quality encoding and transcoding, for broadcast and OTT delivery. The Fuze-1 can add a branded overlay to content, for applications such as advertising insertion and disaster recovery.

The Vibe XT1000 was also on show: a new transcoder for OTT, cable and telco applications. It is based on an Intel Core i7 processor and can encode up to 180 SD or 54 HD channels at the same time.

MPEG-2 and MPEG-4 formats are supported, as well as a range of audio codecs. A modular design is used; the XT1000 can hold up to nine hot-swappable audio or video processing modules, each enabling up to 20 SD or six HD channels – or a mix of both. The PSU, fans and IP switch are also redundant and hot-swappable. Load-balancing between modules is supported.