NAB 2011: ViewCast Unveils Niagara 4100, Focuses on Video Total Lifecycle

ViewCast’s latest addition to its Niagara media-encoder lineup, making its North American debut at the NAB Show, is the Niagara 4100, a self-contained system that is made for sporting events. With a compact form factor, the portable system will ingest high-definition or standard-definition SDI video and has independent AES/EBU and balanced and unbalanced audio inputs.

“We thought of some practical field applications for the 4100,” says Jeff Kopang, VP of marketing for ViewCast. “It has recessed connectors, so you can set this up on its end. When you’re out in the field, you can hold it by the pop-up handle and set it down on its back without damaging the connectors.”

The Niagara 4100 comes with ViewCast’s SimulStream technology, so it can stream a variety of formats simultaneously, including Windows Media (Silverlight-capable), MPEG-4, H.264, Adobe Flash, and Apple HTTP. With eight A, B, C buttons on the front panel, users can preset various encoding profiles before going out on the road.

“Once in the field, you can connect your camera and your network, push one of the A, B, C buttons, and start an encode with separate profile configurations,” Kopang says. “The A, B, C buttons make it easier for laypeople to operate.”

With an external battery supply, the Niagara 4100 is compatible with Anton/Bauer battery packs, so it can be used to stream remotely.

“It also has our professional-grade features,” Kopang says, “including scaling, cropping, de-interlacing, inverse telecine, closed-caption rendering, and bitmap overlay.”

Also new for ViewCast at NAB will be the Osprey 710e HD capture card. An HD and SD card much like the 700e, the Osprey 710e can switch on-the-fly between HD and SD resolutions, but it includes AES digital audio capability.

“We had a lot of requests to add that AES audio capability to the capture card,” Kopang explains. “Other than that, the features are similar to the 700e card.”

Consolidation, monetization, and 3D will all be hot topics at the NAB Show, Kopang predicts, adding that most important to the ViewCast business is the future of asset management and publishing, especially as it relates to total lifecycle management of video.

“Our ViewCast Media Platform allows you to control live encoders, record content back to a central repository, edit it with on-the-fly workflow management, and then publish it,” he says. “I think total video lifecycle management solutions are what a lot of companies are looking for. We’ve gauged our platform and portfolio toward that.”

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