ViXS powers first 4K Ultra HD HEVC 10-Bit OTT media player

By Bob Raikes
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Vixs was showing different tone mapping strategies for HDR contentViXS has had a good time recently as it has been ahead of most of its competition with UltraHD support in the XCode 6400. The company’s next chip is in FPGA mode at the moment, with a full silicon launch planned for mid-year. It seems that the company sees that it is ready for HDR technology and can support any of the likely candidates for standardisation, but is waiting for a clear winner to emerge before committing to silicon. (we had a long discussion with the firm about Dolby Vision at IBC last year on this topic (ViXS Bullish on UltraHD and HEVC)). The firm says that it can support up to 12 bits of grey scale with its processors and had demonstrations of different ways of dealing with HDR content, by clipping and tone mapping.

ViXS had an interesting demonstration of its technology being used to analyse compressed video. There was a demonstration of four different scenes being shown on a single display. A processor was being used to rate the probability that each frame was part off a particular clip. The results were quite impressive, especially as the analysis was being performed on a stream of compressed video, rather than on de-compressed video. The processing could be used in broadcast or applications including automotive and security.

A third topic we discussed was some technology that has been developed by ViXS after a conversation with video compression specialist, Harmonic, to demonstrate switching between different codecs in an MPEG-Dash stream. Harmonic had seen that MPEG-Dash streams consisting of a mixture of H.264 and H.265 (HEVC) causes real problems for some processors, which lose a lot of time and video frames while switching. At the show, ViXS was showing streams switching with no visible artefacts (it told us that the trick is to switch very fast at the GOP border) and told us that it believes this capability is unique. Other processors can take several seconds to swap codecs.

The firm said at the show that its XCode 6400 is being used in Skydigita’s new 4K Ultra HD HEVC OTT media IP Client. The Skydigita SDB-300 box is claimed to be the industry’s first 4K Ultra HD HEVC 10-bit YUV 4:2:2 product on the market. It supports UltraHD at 60 fps.

ViXS Video content recognitionThe ViXS processor can be used for video content recognition in compressed streams.