There is disruptive change in three dimensions in the media
industry at the moment. First, after a period of consolidation
around HD, there is growing interest in higher-quality formats.
High dynamic range can be applied to today’s HD, or it can be
part of a 4K or even 8K very high spatial-resolution system.
To deliver these high bandwidth signals, a new slew of
codecs is becoming available and implemented. These include
HEVC, which is in the legacy of the MPEG family and on the way
to replace H.264, and a growing interest in AV1. Alongside these,
there is a widely used range of proven codecs, from contribution
JPEG2000 to legacy distribution MPEG- 2.
The third direction of change is in user habits. The large
television in the living room is no longer the only source
of quality images and sound. Consumers expect to be able
to see their content of choice on a broad range of devices,
most notably phones and tablets. This demand for television
everywhere is part of a slow but sure transition whereby
younger audiences are moving from reliance on traditional
broadcasts to live or VOD streaming services.
The effect of this is that entrants to the market that
originally served new platforms—like Netflix—have become
global players, and by pushing into areas such as major
sports rights are becoming broadcasters in all but name. At
the same time, the extensive offers of virtual multi-channel
video programming distributors (vMVPDs) are becoming a
practical and rational choice for masses.
The inescapable fact is that content creators, broadcasters,
and distributors have to provide new types of flexible services
that are capable of reacting quickly to market demands.
Delivery platforms and infrastructures need to be agile to
meet changing requirements.
That is particularly true of encoding and transcoding
infrastructures, which need to be able to support a range of
different applications. New contribution circuits are now
routinely IP rather than dedicated video links: the requirement
here is for high quality and therefore high bitrate, with low
latency. In many cases there will be no compression as such,
although the original signal will need to be encapsulated 1: 1 into
a standard streaming file format for storage and processing.
We have existing standards such as SMP TE 2022-6 allowing
for SDI to be encapsulated into IP without signal compression
or SMPTE 2110 raising the interest of broadcasters. Other wise,
as noted, JPEG2000 is commonly used for IP contribution with
light compression (it is regarded as visually lossless at up to 10: 1).
While not yet common, it is likely that there will be a future
demand for camera raw files to be transported in real time.
Encoding and Transcoding
BY JIŘÍ MATELA, CEO, COMPRIMATO
EXAMPLE: LEGACY AND COMPRIMATO OTT DISTRIBUTION WORKFLOWS COMPARISON