NAB 2017: Imagine Introduces Pure-IP Selenio Network Processor
Imagine Communications (SL1516) is introducing the Selenio Network Processor (SNP), an all-IP-capable processing solution optimized for handling uncompressed UHD signals based on the SMPTE 2110 specification for transporting media over IP networks. Designed to usher in a new era in live production, the SNP enables production companies to optimize both studio and mobile facilities to take full advantage of the performance, agility and efficiency benefits of IT-based infrastructures, while at the same time upgrading operations to support UHD picture quality.
The availability of standards-based IP-to-IP processing capabilities, an industry first, provides media companies with the opportunity to streamline their production facilities, helping to reduce costs and complexity associated with supporting SDI and hybrid SDI-IP workflows, including cabling, power consumption and the need to move signals between IP and SDI domains.
“This is a milestone achievement for Imagine Communications and the media and entertainment industry,” says Mark Senecal, VP of product management, Imagine Communications. “SNP provides our customers with the technology that’s needed to transition their production facilities to a hybrid SDI-IP model or to pure-IP operations, while at the same time positioning their businesses to seamlessly integrate new technology and introduce new capabilities as market dynamics dictate. That’s the power that IP brings to live production and our customers are taking notice.”
Earlier this year, Swiss broadcast service provider tpc (technology and production center Switzerland ag) revealed the construction of a mobile production vehicle that will utilize Imagine’s new processing technology and is expected to be the first in the industry to support uncompressed HD and UHD signals over IP based on the SMPTE ST 2110 standard. SMPTE 2110, now being finalized, is the culmination of the IP standards roadmap endorsed by the Alliance for IP Media Solutions (AIMS). The tpc mobile production facility is designed to support HD and UHD formats, and is capable of interfacing with a variety of SDI and IP inputs. SNP and SMPTE 2110 allow the company to process uncompressed high-quality UHD and HD video signals to meet all customer preferences without requiring a mezzanine compression scheme or relying on nonstandard, proprietary interconnection hardware.
An IP-to-IP signal processing platform, the SNP provides the gamut of capabilities required in today’s evolving mobile production industry, including HD-UHD up-and-down conversion and color space adjustments, as well as managing the High Dynamic Range (HDR) adaptations and conversions required for integrating UHD and HD signals. Imagine Communications’ SNP also provides important synchronization and timing functions, overseeing the integration of new signals into the production environment and helping to assure the optimal timing of SMPTE 2110 signals for interoperability with all other compliant equipment.
The Imagine SNP is optimized for UHD production through support for redundant 100-Gigabit Ethernet network connections, each capable of delivering eight uncompressed UHD signals in each direction. Support for these high-capacity network connections, which are now commonplace in IT-based environments, eliminates the requirement to compress UHD signals and improves overall efficiency, as well as contributes to space and power-consumption savings and preserving picture quality and system latency. The standards-based SNP easily integrates with commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) IP routing and switching equipment, providing media companies with the flexibility to work with a variety of technology suppliers for signal routing and management.
The high-density SNP utilizes four integral processing blocks, each of which can be assigned a separate application and can be reprogrammed on the fly. The versatility of the SNP helps enable production companies to respond to the requirements of the current job, and then quickly reconfigure to tackle future assignments. The multipurpose nature and quick-configuration capabilities of the SNP can significantly reduce equipment requirements. The SNP system derives its exceptional processing capabilities from the latest generation of FPGA technology, coupled with Imagine Communications’ Zenium pure microservices-based software platform, allowing unprecedented density of signal processing functionality within a compact 1-RU package.
The SNP is a critical addition to Imagine Communications’ end-to-end next-generation solution portfolio. It can be paired with other UHD- and IP-ready solutions, including the EPIC MV mutiviewer, a next-generation monitoring and control system, and Versio modular playout, to form the heart of a state-of-the-art operations environment that is designed to easily integrate new capabilities and evolve in lockstep with market requirements.
In addition to featuring the SNP at its booth, Imagine Communications will be participating in the 2017 NAB IP Showcase, a cooperation of multiple standards organizations and AIMS that is dedicated to demonstrating the interoperability of the SMPTE 2110 specification and highlighting the creative and business-building benefits of IP technology.