Elemental Technologies has demonstrated the first full frame rate encoding and delivery of 4K Ultra HD using HEVC (High-Efficiency Video Coding). The company had previously demonstrated live 4K encoding at 30p (at the Osaka Marathon in October), but higher frame rates are required for action-filled content, such as sports.
The latest milestone was achieved using an Elemental Live video processing system (which can handle 4Kp50 or 60). The 4Kp60 AVC/H.264 video was streamed via a Gigabit Ethernet link in an MPEG-2 transport stream at 80Mbps, which Elemental Live encoded in HEVC at 14Mbps constant bit rate (a similar bitrate to that used by some cable companies for delivering HD today), and viewed on a Planar 84-inch 4K monitor.
“Unlike cinema, live sports are best viewed at higher frame rates. In 2014, we expect live sports to drive 4K Ultra HD adoption by those programmers and pay TV operators seeking to deliver a more compelling sports entertainment experience,” said Aslam Khader, chief product officer for Elemental. “With our HEVC implementation and software-defined architecture, Elemental gives customers a viable path to deliver Ultra HD TV services.”
As so little source material was available shot in native UHD, Elemental used a Red Epic camera and a Canon 300mm lens to capture the action (including slow motion replays) in 4K during a US Major League Soccer match between the Seattle Sounders and the Portland Timbers (pictured).
Elemental also demonstrated its HEVC implementation for 4K at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas last week.
Going over the top
Elemental has also been named the multiformat and OTT video processing market leader across multiple regions by research released from SNL Kagan.
In its report, SNL Kagan ranked vendors by region in terms of capacity for live high definition (HD) and standard definition (SD) streaming as well as installed file processing. All major encoding suppliers were requested to participate in the survey. Elemental secured a first place market position in the North American, Latin American and Caribbean and Western European regions and was top-three in all other regions.
Elemental customers include the BBC, Comcast, ESPN, Eurosport, Foxtel, HBO, NHK, Telefónica and Warner Bros. Customer applications include conversion of large content libraries for online viewing, live linear delivery of broadcast television content, and live video streaming of sporting events, such as the upcoming Winter Olympics in Sochi.
By David Fox