into a Dolby Vision-certified encoder or encoding service that knows precisely how to handle it.
9. Live is going to be expensive.
As mentioned above, you can’t currently
stream Dolby Vision live, although the company is working in that direction. Both HDR10 and
HLG live production workflows and distribution
networks are currently available. For example,
at NAB, Globecast and Harmonic partnered
to demonstrate the first ultra-high-definition
(UHD), high dynamic range (HDR), OTT-man-aged platform as a service (PaaS) for delivery
of linear content over the internet to connected
TVs. VIVE Lifestyle Network used the platform
to deploy its new service at NAB.
As I mentioned earlier, to produce VOD video,
VIVE used a Red Epic camera. For live and live-to-tape, VIVE used a Sony HDC-4300 (~$62,500),
which plugs into the Harmonic-powered encoding system shown in Figure 5 on page 58. The
system output five layers of HDR video with a
peak rate of 25 Mbps, which is distributed via
Globecast Networks (Figure 6). During our conversations, Harmonic reps claimed that their
Electra VS was the only single-rack unit encoder capable of outputting multiple layers of HDR
in real time.
There have also been multiple live trials
with HLG, mostly in Europe, but also in Canada.
Whether HDR10, HLG, or ultimately Dolby Vi-
sion, you should expect live HDR production to
require much newer and much more expen-
sive production gear than what you can use for
10. The laws of nature still apply.
As we all know, having great-looking video is
useless if you can’t deliver it to your viewers, and
4K HDR should consume anywhere from 15 to
25 Mbps. Checking Akamai’s State of the Internet report for the fourth quarter of 2016 (go2sm
.com/akamaistate2016), the average connection
speed in the U.S. is 17. 2 Mbps, with 42% of viewers above 15 Mbps.
Those are encouraging numbers, but a useful reality check comes from Netflix’ ISP Speed
Index, which measures primetime ISP performance in multiple countries ( go2sm.com/isp
speed). For March 2017, the top performer was
Comcast at 3. 94 Mbps. To be clear, not all Netflix
customers were requesting 4K files, so this could
be more of an average number than an indication that 4K streams weren’t getting through.
Still, before you invest in creating the service, be
sure you can deliver it to your viewers.
Jan Ozer ( firstname.lastname@example.org) is a streaming
media producer and consultant, a frequent contributor to industry
magazines and websites on streaming-related topics, and the
author of Video Encoding by the Numbers. He blogs frequently at
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