Issue No.04 - October-December (2007 vol.14)
pp: 92, c3
Published by the IEEE Computer Society
DOI Bookmark: http://doi.ieeecomputersociety.org/10.1109/MMUL.2007.80
This article features some of the latest advances in multimedia technology.
Replay and Store Extreme Slow-Motion Shots
I-Movix released SprintCam, a slow-motion server and software that can capture, replay, and store extreme slow-motion shots in real time, with the ability to replay 250 to 5,000 images per second in high-definition quality.
The SprintCam is designed for the sports broadcasting industry. Key features include a Photron APX RS color camera with built-in memory, Fujinon Digipower broadcast lenses, a waterproof camera control unit interfaced with SMPTE fiber-optic cables, and a SprintCam BC server with 5,000 FPS SprintCam BC Linux 64-bit software (no time limitation). The system supports EVS Advanced Video Server Protocol and is completely integrated into the broadcast network in stadiums and playgrounds.
For more information visit http://www.imovix.com.
Transcoding Software Line Expanded
Digital Rapids unveiled two releases in its Stream Transcode Manager family of distributed media transcoding software. The Stream Transcode Manager LE software offers use of Stream Transcode Manager in a lower-cost configuration tailored for those without enterprise-level requirements. The full enterprise-level Stream Transcode Manager software adds a version 1.1, with features such as server-level failover, extended database integration capabilities, and clip manipulation.
The Stream Transcode Manager and Stream Transcode Manager LE software provide centralized management automation and load balancing for high-volume multiformat transcoding workflows, increasing production volume while reducing operational costs. Each Stream Transcode Manager or Stream Transcode Manager LE server works in conjunction with multiple Transcode Engines, intelligently assigning jobs for optimal throughput. Both versions go beyond standard load balancing by "learning" which Transcode Engines are most efficient for each type of encoding and allocating jobs accordingly.
Additional features common to both configurations include multiple watch folder support, job-level failover, failure alert notification, and automatic node detection for easy deployment. Stream Transcode Manager LE supports up to 10 Transcode Engines, while Stream Transcode Manager is fully scalable to an unlimited number.
For more information visit http://www.digitalrapids.com.
Keep Photos Safe and Sound
Digital Foci released Photo Safe portable digital photo storage with 40-, 80-, and 120-Gbyte hard drives and built-in memory card readers. Photo Safe is a portable hard drive that securely saves digital photos wherever the user goes.
Photo Safe provides fast copy speed. Its text/icon backlit LED screen shows key system information including operational status, battery life, remaining hard drive capacity, and active partition (Photo Safe supports multiple hard drive partitions). The copy status indicator displays percentage completed during copy, copy confirmation, and number of files copied upon completion.
Photo Safe is a low-cost alternative to the popular Digital Foci Picture Porter Elite. Both Photo Safe and Picture Porter Elite save photos on their portable hard drives. The key difference is that Photo Safe uses a simplified operating system and lower-priced backlit LCD screen for text-only display, whereas Picture Porter Elite reportedly features a 3.6-inch color LCD screen and advanced operating system for viewing photos and playing music and movies.
Photo Safe works with all popular media card formats, including CF, MicroDrive, xD-Picture Card, MMC, SD/HC Card, miniSD, Memory Stick, MS PRO, MS Duo, and MS PRO Duo.
When connected to a computer, Photo Safe also functions as an external hard drive and memory card reader.
Photo Safe is priced from $139. For more information visit http://www.digitalfoci.com.
Digital Content Management
Sorenson Media released the Sorenson SqueezeHD XCEL 2.0, an enhanced PCI-X- and PCI-E-based accelerator platform/plug-in board based on Sorenson Media's encoding and compression software technology.
Sorenson SqueezeHD XCEL uses more than 16,000 parallel computing elements to significantly accelerate key encoding tasks such as motion estimation and image transforms. Sorenson SqueezeHD XCEL works in concert with video capture cards from multiple vendors to provide effective capture and encoding in a single solution.
The Sorenson SqueezeHD XCEL 2.0 PCI-Ebased 2500 card model includes the H.264/Advanced Video Coding codec as well as MPEG-2, and offers real-time MPEG-2 encoding and greatly accelerated H.264/AVC encoding. The card is resolution independent, offering significant speedup to standard definition and high-definition formats. The Sorenson SqueezeHD XCEL 2.0 card also incorporates all features of the Sorenson Squeeze Compression Suite PowerPack, including batch mode encoding, multiple format support, Web video output, watch folders, and command line control.
The Sorenson SqueezeHD XCEL 2500 PCI-E accelerator card is priced at $6,495. For more information visit http://www.sorensonmedia.com.
HD Content Transcoded for Viewing on Mobile to Ultra HD
Ateme SA released the Kyria family of HD encoders and transcoders. Kyrion offers an MPEG-4/AVC solution to target a range of DTV applications, all using Ateme technology for high picture quality and upgradability.
Kyrion includes a live video stream encoder, an offline file encoder and a transcoder, all of which use MPEG-4/AVC encoding to enable HD video to occupy less bandwidth than comparable MPEG-2 encoding. By way of example, a Kyrion-encoded HD program transmitted at 6 Mbps reportedly provides the same level of A/V quality as an MPEG-2 HD program transmitted at 19 Mbps. According to the company, Kyrion enables broadcasters to offer more HD channels to their customers without costly network infrastructure upgrades.
The Kyrion live encoders provide a wide operating scale—from 0.5 to 25 Mbps—allowing content aggregators, broadcasters, service operators, and telcos to reach their audience on any viewing device, from mobile to Ultra HD.
Using the Kyrion transcoder, it's now possible to natively support broadcast HD on media PCs or mobile devices, which are all standardized around MPEG-4. Kyrion also allows for dynamically adjusting video encoding based on overall network demand at a given point in time.
For specific pricing and more information visit http://www.ateme.com.
Free 3D Virtual Environment Toolkit
The Croquet Consortium—a nonprofit consortium of academic and corporate partners—announced the release of Croquet SDK 1.0, a free software toolkit for developers to use in creating 3D virtual environments. The tool's 3D virtual environments can support live discussion among collaborators in real time within a 3D virtual space. Participants can view, manipulate, and revise documents, dynamic visualizations, and large amounts of data from sources such as laboratories or supercomputing centers.
The consortium's ultimate goal is to enable the creation of a series of interconnected "Croquet worlds" where people can engage in productive collaborative interactions without the constraints of proprietary computer code. The kit provides a built-in networked telephony and a late-binding, object-oriented programming language so that multiple users can jointly create, animate, or modify 3D objects and simulations. Developers can also import and share 2D Web applications and multimedia content from their own systems.
For more information visit http://croquetconsortium.org.