Media Links Gives Take on IBC: Moving Ultra High Definition Pictures Without Losing UHD.

The buzz at IBC this year was undoubtedly around “4K”. Almost every booth had a 4K demo of some sort. But relatively few had serious working solutions to one of the core problems of UHD – how do you move signals around without degrading them – can you find suitable wideband pipes that can carry 4K or even 8K pictures?

In most parts of the world, the answer is “yes” – by using the enhanced bandwidth of fibre. Many telecoms service suppliers can provide this bandwidth, but it’s generally organised for IP transmission – which isn’t the easiest of ways to transmit a SDI signal.

Media Links can provide the solution with the MD8000 codec. This can act as a bi-directional interface between all the current formats of SDI and the IP world. Because the MD8000 is modular, and can aggregate SDI interfaces, it’s entirely practical to be operating with multi-line UHD (e.g. 2 x 3G-HD-SDI) and single line (6G) within the same unit. On top of that each MD8000 frame can aggregate up to 240G in each direction – so that’s 80 x 1080p@50/60 frames channels, or 2 x 8K@120frames + 16 x 1080p@50/60 frames channels, all without compression!

This really makes the MD8000 future proof – as and when an SDI format for 8K at 120 fps appears, Media Links will be able to offer a plug in module to accommodate it. In some cases, for example switching between multi-line and single line input, this change can even be accommodated with a simple software upgrade without having to change modules.

The MD8000 can operate with a variety of compression schemes, including lossless and transparent. It is fully redundant, with hitless switching between channels. It offers very low latency, which allows it to be used in live situations, with bi-directional operation, with ease.

Commenting on this, Karsten Winterberg, Technical Director, Media Links Systems, said, “When the original design of the MD8000 was undertaken, UHD was still only a laboratory concept. We knew it would move out of the lab in time, so we designed the MD8000 to have the ability to process UHD when that happened. That’s proper future-proofing”.

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