Digital Rapids is now shipping its new Flux HD video capture and pre-processing hardware, plus a previously unannounced new version of the Stream software for the company’s encoding and live streaming systems.
New features in version 3.3 include enhanced Apple iPad and iPhone encoding, script command insertion, open caption overlay, Vobile VideoDNA fingerprinting support and more.
As to Flux HD hardware-based realtime video pre-processing features ‘groom’ the input signal to be more ‘compression-friendly’. The result is superior visual quality and the most efficient use of bandwidth in the compressed output, while leaving the host system’s CPU free to encode more simultaneous multiformat outputs. Additional hardware features including video adjustments, advanced scaling, format conversion with cadence detection (including Inverse Telecine), colour space conversion and graphic overlay enable high-quality transformation of incoming sources and the addition of branding such as logos.
Available in two models, Flux HD PCIe boards are the first capture cards optimised for encoding and streaming to feature dual-link and 3Gbps SDI support. The all-digital Flux-6510 includes SD, HD, dual-link HD-SDI and 3G-SDI video input support. The Flux-6550 card offers the same capabilities plus analogue inputs including component (HD or SD), S-Video and composite video. SDI embedded audio is supported on both cards, while the Flux-6550 also includes AES and analogue audio inputs.
Upcoming capabilities for realtime down-conversion of dual-link and 3G-SDI inputs leverage new facility infrastructures and allow easy repurposing of dual-link and 3G-SDI sources without the workflow inconvenience and expense of external format converters. Flux HD boards also provide a future-proof path to emerging applications empowered by 3G-SDI, such as 1080p/60 and 1080p/50 distribution, advanced JPEG2000 mastering and 3D production.
Flux HD cards are bundled with the tightly integrated Stream LE software. Version 3.3 of the Stream software offers a host of new features and enhancements for Digital Rapids’ StreamZ, StreamZHD and DRC-Stream encoding solutions. Version 3.3 expands the functionality and flexibility of the optional iPhone encoding and segmenting module with enhanced support for the iPad; increased control of encoding and output parameters; support for audio-only streams with associated image files; and parallel output to multiple servers or Content Delivery Networks (CDNs) for redundancy.
It also adds the ability to insert script commands into ASF outputs. Script commands can be inserted from a file for applications with pre-determined timing, or on-the-fly through Stream’s web Services API during live encoding. Scripts commands can be used to communicate actions to be performed by the receiving application or player, and trigger events such as advertising insertion or replacement.
A new open captioning plug-in overlays visible captions onto the video during encoding and streaming. The open captions can be created from SCC or STL caption files, or from closed captioning data in the input video source. Support for Vobile VideoDNA content identification technology enables VideoDNA fingerprint files to be generated from media content automatically within encoding or transcoding workflows. The resulting fingerprint files are used with the Vobile Content Identification Platform to enable content owners and publishers to more effectively monitor, protect, manage and monetize their media online.
A new standby mode enables faster start of encoding upon subsequent triggering, plus faster failover with the Digital Rapids Broadcast Manager multi-encoder management software. Other new features in version 3.3 include Windows 7 support; expanded GPI trigger functions including pause and resume; and a variety of minor enhancements. The Stream 3.3 software is available in two software configurations – the core Stream LE and the advanced Stream FE with expanded workflow automation, integration capabilities and format support.
“Demand for the Flux HD hardware has been exceptional since its introduction earlier this year, and we’re pleased to be delivering it. With the outstanding quality enabled by Flux HD’s hardware-based image processing and a future-proof path to 3G-SDI production and distribution workflows, Flux HD cards are ideal for the encoding and streaming applications of both today and tomorrow,” said Darren Gallipeau, product manager at Digital Rapids. “Meanwhile, the new features and enhancements in version 3.3 of the Stream software further reinforce its robust, industry-leading feature set.”