NAB 2017: Elemental To Showcase Advanced Video-Processing Solutions, Stream Live 4K Video From Space
Elemental Technologies (SU2202), an Amazon Web Services company, is introducing video-processing technologies, and its equipment will be deployed for a NASA-produced live 4K video stream from space during Super Session “Reaching for the Stars: Connecting to the Future with NASA and Hollywood.”
The solutions offer pay TV providers, content programmers, broadcasters and enterprise customers the ability to quickly, easily and economically build and scale advanced video workflows to deliver highly differentiated viewing experiences.
Updated technologies for accelerated workflows and optimized distribution:
Enhanced premium live encoding — New systems increase performance and throughput for real-time encoding of live video and audio via Elemental Live. The entry-level L100, as well as the L300, L500, and L700 Series are all new for NAB 2017, with the L700 capable of supporting advanced 4K workflows such as 4Kp60 plus 4Kp30 simultaneous transcoding.
Portable, smaller-footprint live encoding — The company’s lowest-cost Elemental Live solution is the new L000 series, a single-channel video encoder tailored for cloud contribution and offering value-driven performance for HD and SD applications in public, education, and government workflows. At 10 in. wide by 9 in. deep, it is ideally suited for environments where portability, power consumption, and hardware footprint are essential requirements.
Performance upgrades for high-speed transcoding — A refreshed Elemental Server product line features more-powerful hardware for increased performance and higher density for file-based video processing. The new Elemental Server S100, S300, and S500 Series solutions can transcode large content libraries in less time to deliver faster turnaround for ongoing updates to video-on-demand (VOD) catalogs.
New software enhances speed of delivery and improves asset management:
Frame-accurate live-to-VOD capabilities — The newest version of the Elemental Delta video-delivery software supports near-instant creation of catch-up TV or clipped VOD assets from a live stream, simplifying production of broadcast-quality content for faster delivery and reduced cost.
Enhanced support for robust VOD libraries — A single Elemental Delta node is designed to support up to 1 million assets, simplifying deployment of large VOD catalogs while facilitating management of live-to-VOD asset lifecycles. Elemental Delta users will now be able to build massive VOD libraries with extended time-based availability, limited only by storage.
Software advancements for next-generation requirements:
High-dynamic-range functionality — Elemental Live and Elemental Server now offer comprehensive video-processing capabilities for HDR content, transforming any input into HDR 10 or hybrid log gamma format for broadcast or VOD delivery. HDR channels can now be brought to market faster with a mix of existing standard-dynamic-range (SDR) and HDR content, including promos, advertisements and program content; existing static and motion-graphic overlay assets can be reused to allow a single-motion graphic workflow for both SDR and HDR broadcast channels.
Enabling content contribution on-premises and to the cloud:
Live video-over-IP delivery — Advancing Elemental’s capabilities for delivering live VoIP transport, Elemental Live will add support for receiving JPEG 2000 (J2K) transport over the TR-01 IP protocol, enabling another high-quality contribution format to be used to deliver live contribution feeds to on-premises or cloud-based Elemental Live software.
Improved video quality — Elemental will introduce support for ingest and egress of high-quality codecs, including HEVC 4:2:2 10-bit and 8-bit and AVC High 4:2:2 Intra Profile, both on-premises or in the cloud, as well as delivering updated algorithms for more-versatile two-pass VBR encoding and improved J2K decoding efficiency, ensuring the highest-quality video outputs for small- and large-format playback devices.
Advancing cloud-driven workflows:
Deeper integration with Amazon Simple Storage Solution — New enhancements to Elemental Cloud enable live channel playout from the cloud with content sourced from Amazon S3, offering the ability to create new channels instantly for resiliency or proof-of-concept, deploy new channels anywhere in the world using standard automation processes, and including fully cloud-based channel deployments.
Cloud-based ingest services — Elemental will showcase a range of integrations with cloud-based solutions for ingest, including AVC and HEVC codecs using RTMP and RTP with forward error correction, as well as integrations designed to promote J2K TR-01 contribution, allowing standard contribution sources to be ingested into cloud services.
Amazon Elastic Transcoder — Elemental will display this highly scalable, easy-to-use, and cost-effective service for content owners and content producers to convert media files from their source format into versions that will play back on devices like smartphones, tablets, and PCs. This is achieved through a highly scalable, easy-to-use and cost-effective service with all aspects of the service managed transparently and automatically.
“The pace of change in video technology continues to accelerate, and our new software-driven video processing solutions are designed to keep customers well ahead of evolving requirements and ready for what comes next,” says Aslam Khader, chief product officer, Elemental. “The capabilities we’ll unveil at NAB will simplify the work of delivering top-quality viewing experiences across broadcast and multiscreen workflows so content providers can focus on creating, delivering, and monetizing their outstanding work.”
Streaming at NASA Session
The Super Session is scheduled for 10:30 a.m. on Wednesday in Room N249 of the Las Vegas Convention Center (LVCC).
The panel is co-produced by NAB Show, NASA, and Amazon Web Services (AWS) and will explore how advanced imaging and cloud technologies are taking scientific research and filmmaking to the next level. The live feed from 250 miles above Earth will be encoded by AWS Elemental encoding software aboard the (ISS) and on the ground at Johnson Space Center.
During the session, a live 4K stream will enable NASA astronaut Dr. Peggy Whitson on the ISS to converse with AWS Elemental CEO/co-founder Sam Blackman, who will be at the LVCC. In conjunction with the event, NASA astronaut Dr. Tracy Caldwell Dyson and NASA Imagery Experts Program Manager Rodney Grubbs will take part in an LVCC-based panel discussion featuring Hollywood and technology leaders Bernadette McDaid, head of development, VR & AR, Bau Entertainment; Khawaja Shams, VP, engineering, AWS Elemental; and Dr. Dave McQueeney, senior principal investigator, IBM Watson Group. The panel will be moderated by Carolyn Giardina, technology editor, The Hollywood Reporter.
AWS Elemental will deliver the live stream of the event via an AWS workflow that includes AWS CloudWatch, Amazon Route 53, and the Amazon CloudFront Content Delivery Network (CDN) for public access in both 4K and HD. Roberts Communications Network is providing the satellite-downlink truck for the transmission from Johnson Space Center to the LVCC. Christie is providing full-resolution 4K projectors for in-room display during the Super Session.
The event will be available to the public for multiscreen viewing in live 4K and downconverted HD video. A VOD asset will be available after the event in lower resolutions on the NASA TV Channel and in both HD and 4K; 4K-capable devices will be required to view 4K content.
Elemental Solutions in Action
Elemental is also featuring its application in delivering Australian Open tennis. Seven Network served up every match live with the launch of the freemium OTT live sports offering, with viewers streaming more than 64 million minutes live. Seven partnered with Elemental and Amazon Web Services for an end-to-end live workflow and a first-of-its-kind integration between Elemental and AWS.
On-premises Elemental Live encoders, in a portable rack kit with full redundancy, streamed 16 court streams from Seven’s Melbourne Park production. Elemental Live encoders also inserted Video Advertising SCTE triggers for downstream Dynamic Advertising Insertion (DAI) with partner Yospace, as well as video slates, effectively creating 16 TV channels in addition to Broadcast.
Delivering 1080P high quality video reliably at scale, required redundant Amazon Direct Connect networks to an Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (VPC) hosted on AWS. The VPC hosted a scalable origin architecture using NGINX web servers for delivery over Amazon Cloudfront CDN. In Seven’s Broadcast Centre, Elemental Conductor orchestrated Broadcast simulcast 24×7 streaming encoding with the network’s existing Elemental Live headend and Akamai CDN.
In addition, SKY Mexico has deployed Elemental’s software-based video solutions as the processing engine for Blue To Go Video Everywhere, its premium OTT video service.
SKY Mexico launched Blue To Go in 2014 with Elemental at the core of its live-streaming workflow and has scaled up with Elemental solutions as its viewership and content portfolio have grown. Available to subscribers of SKY Mexico’s satellite–pay-TV services, the OTT service now boasts the capacity to stream as many as 30 live events simultaneously to connected devices across the country.
The Blue To Go live-streaming workflow is orchestrated by Elemental Conductor video-management software. Elemental Live encoders ingest content from SKY Mexico’s satellite links, process and deliver it in multiple bitrates to content-delivery networks for live streaming to the web, Android, and iOS devices. Subscribers to a range of SKY Mexico satellite–pay-TV packages can gain access to hundreds of live events per month from around the world, including exclusive performances and sports programming such as the English Premier League, La Liga Espaňola, the NFL, concerts, series and more.