Broadcast delivery demands low bitrate encoding or
transcoding, typically into MPEG- 4 or HEVC, although other
codecs are possible. These then need to be packaged into
transport containers. These too continue to evolve, with
DVB-T2 now common and ATSC 3.0 standardized and coming
into use in the USA and other territories.
At the same time, OTT services need very different streams.
Typically, some form of ABR (adaptive bitrate) delivery is the
norm, ensuring that the best possible signal reaches the end
user, whatever the signal path. ABR essentially requires five to
eight simultaneous and synchronised encodings of the stream
at different bitrates to provide the tiered delivery.
There are a number of different protocols for ABR, including
MPEG-DASH, Microsoft Smooth Streaming, and HLS, the
Apple format also widely used by other device manufacturers.
A major content provider may have to provide outputs in more
than one ABR protocol to meet the expectations of its audience.
In short, while the encoding and transcoding infrastructure
of a broadcast or media company is not creative, glamorous,
or particularly exciting, it has become of necessity extremely
complex. A significant number of input formats has to be
converted to a large number of output formats, in signal paths
that are potentially constantly changing.
These workflows include signal and metadata processing,
including frame rate conversion and audio shuffling. Dynamic
realtime advertising insertion also adds to the complexity. The
whole workflow has to be completely robust from the point of
creation to the point of delivery.
It is this complexity in an agile, constantly changing system
that makes it completely unsuitable for a hardware-dependent
solution. Fixed-function devices inhibit workflows. Any change
in the combination of inputs and outputs require further capital
investment, eliminating the ability of the media company to
respond to evolving demands.
SOFTWARE IS A FLEXIBLE,
Conversely, we have seen a soft ware approach changing the
broadcaster’s view of future-proof encoding and transcoding
workflows. The Comprimato solution provides a flexible, pure
soft ware platform that can be used for any element of the
process up to the entire workflow.
This solution implements codecs using the massive
parallel processing power of GPUs. In turn, by implementing
powerful GPU architectures, Comprimato makes it practical
to run multiple instances of codec algorithms simultaneously,
on COTS hardware. All the current popular codecs are
implemented, as is formatting for the various ABR protocols and
delivery packages. Metadata formatting is also incorporated.
The Comprimato Live Transcoder has been practically
implemented in software running on industry-standard COTS
By using high power GPUs, the Comprimato Live
Transcoder achieves remarkable throughput. The 1U
appliance can process as many as 70 1080p/60 streams
simultaneously, although more typically it will be used for
around 40 simultaneous streams at maximum quality. More
important, this all-in-one approach achieves this level of
performance with remarkably low latency: less than 700ms
end-to-end. Live events really are live.
The nature of IP connectivity make it simple to manage
larger configurations across multiple units, and between on-premises and cloud instances. Simple management tools mean
that new workflows can be set up in minutes. New and updated
codecs are a software upgrade, but a completely new service
could still be built, tested, proven, and online within an hour.
This software encoding and transcoding solution answers
all the challenges faced by content companies today, and it is
ready for the future where complete broadcast infrastructures
will be implemented in software on COTS hardware.
Flexible licencing models allow users to choose bet ween
capex (perpetual licence) and opex (pay as you go, ideal for
occasional or pop-up services), while running on inexpensive,
low maintenance COTS hardware or in the public cloud. The
very high density solution also saves on plant costs by needing
very little rack space, power and air conditioning.
It delivers all the streaming outputs you need, with
extremely low latency and very high quality. While capable
of accepting legacy inputs, it is inherently perfect for an
all-IP workflow, and for integration into an enterprise-wide
management and monitoring system.
Most important, it allows the media company to be
responsive to its customers, securely delivering the services
they demand, at a cost-effective price point that is closely tied
Comprimato specializes in GPU-powered software for
professional video encoding and transcoding. It simplifies live
video workflows through reliable, scalable and cost-effective
software solutions for broadcast and telecommunications
Comprimato’s software-only solutions deliver efficient and
flexible media delivery workflows. Without the need for
dedicated hardware, the total cost of encoding and transcoding
is reduced by up to 60%; latency is reduced; and new revenue
streams are enabled, including 4K Ultra HD and HDR video.
Comprimato is trusted by leading global media and
telecommunications brands including IMAX, Nokia