Grass Valley has shown a preview of future 8K support in its Edius 7 non-linear editing software at InterBEE in Japan. The demonstration follows announcements that the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo will be broadcast in 8K, which is 16 times the resolution of HD.
The 8K support is made possible by Grass Valley’s HQX Codec, which dramatically improves editing response time and is the key technology behind realtime editing. The recently-released Edius 7 currently supports 4K editing, and has a native 64-bit architecture. It is compatible with all major file formats and can edit in realtime without rendering.
“Edius is a robust realtime editing tool – 8K is an extension of this. In fact, a vital component of HQX codec is that it allows for 8K image processing in realtime. With the development of HQX codec, we have quite a few opportunities to bring 8K capabilities to the forefront,” said Atsushi (Alex) Kataoka, director, IT Media Solutions and Product Management at Grass Valley.
It is not yet determined when 8K support will be added as standard to Edius, although he believes it will most likely be in the next version (8), “but we can already provide the 8K codec to interested companies.”
Supporting realtime 8K does require high-speed hardware. “We used a 24-core (48 thread) dual Intel Xeon workstation PC, with an SSD as system drive and video storage for our InterBEE demo, but the system requirement could be smaller,” he added.
The HQX intermediate codec has variable bitrate and alpha channel support, has been in development for several years, and is the key to being able to handle 8K. “We developed the HQX codec for Edius, but it is also available for Video for Windows and QuickTime, and can also be used in other video software. An SDK for the codec is also available for direct integration,” said Kataoka.
“HQX is a DCT base with intra-frame compression, and optimised for both speed and image quality. By supporting multi-thread processing and newer instruction sets for the CPU, it allows processing of 8K images in realtime,” he explained.
“At the present time, we are working with a software company in providing our HQX codec for Edius for cloud capabilities. This is a very exciting opportunity and one that can mean bringing broadcasting migration to the cloud,” he said.
By David Fox