Snell On Demand, a new media processing framework designed to provide on-demand access to Snell's award-winning image processing algorithms in file, virtualized broadcast, and digital media environments has been launched at NAB.
It marks the beginning of Snell's migration of its image-processing tools from dedicated hardware platforms to software-based applications that can be elastically provisioned in file, cloud-based, and virtualized infrastructures.
The system takes advantage of advances in cloud computing and virtual machine technologies to enable “immensely scalable solutions” from a single computing instance to a cloud-computing environment delivering a service over a network.
It will allow users to deploy processing on cost-effective commodity IT infrastructure rather than employ dedicated hardware for discrete processing operations. By providing access to Snell's signal-processing algorithms and tools as flexible, highly efficient software implementations, Snell On Demand should enable users to differentiate their service offerings for their clients and end users.
“Snell On Demand offers the broadcast and media industry the opportunity to take a major step forward in service innovation and workflow efficiency,” claimed Simon Derry, Snell’s CEO.
The services will allow Snell to put the cost/benefit equation into customer’s hands. “It's very simple – customers can choose to buy as much or as little processing resource as fits their business model secure in the knowledge that Snell products derived from the Snell On Demand framework will give them the best possible quality results from world-leading media processing tools.”
Customers can scale Snell On Demand according to their needs. To increase performance, users may add acceleration hardware or commercially available off-the-shelf products such as graphics processing units (GPUs), or they may choose to distribute processing applications across multiple virtual machines or server farms. The framework assures ease of integration with cloud providers, thus supporting delivery of Snell product solutions as a service on a network.
The first Snell On Demand product, which is on show at NAB, is Alchemist OD, a software-based version of its Alchemist Ph.C-HD (pictured) frame-rate converter claimed to offer rapid conversion of media files. For international programme delivery or integration of international content into domestic schedules, Alchemist OD is claimed to provide the world's best quality frame-rate conversion. The initial product implementation will support broadcast standards from SD to 3G 1080p, with frame-rate and format conversion between common broadcast file formats.
Snell On Demand standards conversion software can be deployed on a single server node, with optional GPUs. To further improve efficiency, the user may run parallel conversion jobs on a server farm. Because Snell offers OpenStack compatibility, the software may be implemented in either a public or private cloud.