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Envivio serves up Roland-Garros in Ultra HD

France’s TDF used Envivio’s Ultra HD compression technology to live stream last week’s French Open 2014 tennis championship at Roland-Garros.

France’s TDF used Envivio’s Ultra HD compression technology to live stream last week’s French Open 2014 tennis championship at Roland-Garros in what is claimed to have been the world’s first digital terrestrial television (DTT) broadcast video transmission delivered in 4K, using HEVC (H.265) compression.

Coverage of various matches from the Centre Court was broadcast by TDF in DVB-T2 format to TNT, the national DTT service, and was viewable on compatible Panasonic 4K TVs and other compatible 4K sets in France. These included screens at the RG Lab on France Televisions’ booth at the event as well as at the French Tennis Federation’s facilities on the Champs de Mars near to the Eiffel Tower transmission facility.

The 4K video was distributed encoded at 50fps using Envivio Muse Ultra HD encoding software on Envivio G5 appliances.

“Envivio has provided an outstanding contribution for the debut of live 4K HEVC video transmissions over a DTT network at the French Open tournament,” said Alain Komly, deputy director at TDF. “The sharpness and rich quality of the video is absolutely stunning, and we are excited to present this emerging technology for the first time in France.”

“Our Muse video processing software has been fine-tuned for 4K to provide the best video quality possible, while leveraging the efficiency of HEVC to optimise bandwidth efficiency,” explained Julien Signès, Envivio’s president and CEO.

Envivio Muse Ultra HD offers high quality live or file-based video encoding or transcoding and can encode up to 4K video resolution at up to 60fps. It also offers a wider colour range with the new BT 2020 standard and can be encoded in eight or 10-bits.

Channel density

The new Envivio G5 family of server appliances is based on the latest generation Intel Xeon IvyBridge processors, which significantly increases compression density and is claimed to lower operating costs.

The G5 platform supports 4K and HEVC, but also has benefits for HD, as the increased channel density should allow operators deploying Envivio Muse Live encoders on G5 appliances to deliver up to 100 high quality SD or 20 HD channels in its 2RU configuration, which should represent significant cost savings. Rack space requirements can be reduced by nearly 40 per cent and power consumption by more than 30 per cent compared to the previous generation of Envivio appliances.

“Envivio software deployed on G5 is a powerful solution that supports everything from Ultra HD to mobile in a single system and offers dramatic cost savings for service providers,” said Cyrille Berson, director of products for Envivio. “Our software-based video processing architecture provides the performance and reliability operators need, while also increasing flexibility and allowing for future upgrades.”

The full suite of its software—Envivio Muse Live and Muse On-Demand encoders, Envivio Halo network media processors, Envivio Guru network management system and 4Balancer load balancer—will run on the upgradeable G5 appliances. Redundancy capabilities are available at the application level, with source and output redundancy, as well as at the system level, with 1+1 or N+M redundancy schemes supported.

Two families of servers will be available, the G5 1000 series (1RU) and G5 2000 series (2RU).

The G5 1000 offers flexible configuration options, IP and SDI support, and redundant components to ensure reliability and can deliver up to 25 high-quality SD or five HD channels.

The G5 2000 series, which can cope with 4K, uses a modular hot-swappable multi-node architecture, for greater scalability and ease of upgrades. It has Quad-Gigabit (2×2 redundant) Ethernet I/O ports and (optional) Quad HD/SD-SDI input.

Envivio’s Muse and Halo software are transitioning to the Linux operating system, which should simplify software and network management operations in an IT-based environment.