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V-Nova & NGCodec Deliver real-time UHDp60 Perseus Plus HEVC encoding on a single FPGA

  • V-Nova PERSEUS™ 2 is the only next generation CODEC format that improves performance and reduces computational requirements
  • NGCodec RealityCodec™ delivers real-time HD HEVC encoding on a single FPGA, significantly reducing encoding cost for the best quality
  • Combined solution, to be showcased at IBC 2017, delivers best in class bitrate reduction & encoding costs to encode real-time UHDp60 on a single FPGA.

London, UK and Sunnyvale, CA, 7 September 2017V-Nova Ltd. & NGCodec® today announced the development of a joint FPGA encoding solution, which will deliver best-in-class UHD video bitrates and encoding cost reductions up to fifty times (50x) when compared against software HEVC - solution running on Amazon Web Services (AWS). The solution will enable broadcasters, operators and service providers to benefit from the most advanced video compression in a very cost effective form factor, reducing the encoding footprint and saving on appliance, power and cloud instances costs. The solution will be showcased for the first time at IBC 2017, on the NGCodec stand #5.B21 and V-Nova stand #11.B30u.

The award-winning V-Nova PERSEUS™ 2 codec addresses the real bottlenecks of IP video delivery, allowing for better viewing experiences across all data networks. Designed to provide enhanced platform support, the solution enables operators to quickly benefit from the core efficiencies of the encoding solution. This is particularly valuable for new broadcasters offering video-hungry services, from HD and UHD TV to social media applications, to benefit from its efficiencies. PERSEUS 2 extends support of H.264 environments to also cover HEVC and VP9 base layers, while maintaining full compatibility with the rest of the delivery workflows, including DRMs, streaming protocols like HLS and DASH, ad-insertion and other processes. Coupled with the Content Delivery Networks (CDN) savings associated with bandwidth and profile reduction, PERSEUS 2 is the most efficient and cost effective codec for next-generation service deployment today.

NGCodec RealityCodec HEVC/H.265 encoders run on FPGAs instead of CPUs in data centers. FPGAs are programmed at the hardware level and hence provide 10x more performance than CPUs. By leveraging FPGAs in public data centers like AWS, encoding costs can be significantly reduced whilst still providing very high compression efficiency.

Leveraging PERSEUS 2’s ability to drastically reduce video encoding requirements alongside the highly performing NGCodec’s RealityCodec, the joint solution will enable broadcasters, operators and service providers to uniquely run a high frame rate UHD encode (UHDp60) in real-time on a single FPGA. This translates into real operational savings, reaching up to fifty times (50x) for an encoding instance in the cloud for an equivalent broadcast-quality result.

“V-Nova PERSEUS 2 has been designed to be the cross-media codec; it consistently delivers best in class performance, regardless of the source file, network or end device,” said Guido Meardi, CEO and co-founder, V-Nova Ltd. “The next generation of PERSEUS supports more platforms than ever, including FPGAs, making it perfectly suited for NGCodec’s RealityCodec encoders. NGCodec RealityCodec is outperforming software encoders at the highest quality settings. The combination of our technologies is able to encode UHD in real-time at 60fps on a single AWS F1 instance, providing dramatic operational savings to help the industry maximize today’s infrastructure and making a business case for new services.”

“V-Nova PERSEUS 2 provides impressive bitrate reductions compared to standard codecs in any given environment,” said Oliver Gunasekara, CEO & Co-founder, NGCodec. “Collaborating with V-Nova means that our joint solution can deliver the best performance at a fraction of the standard costs – a groundbreaking development for the industry. For example, a combined PERSEUS 2 + RealityCodec solution running in a single AWS FPGA instance will provide adaptive bitrate 4K encoding at game-changing low costs and bitrates.”

To book a meeting with NGCodec at IBC Hall 5.B21, please go to https://ngcodec.com/ibc

To book a meeting with V-Nova at IBC Hall 11.B30u, please contact darcie@platformcomms.com.

 

About V-Nova

V-Nova Ltd. is a London-headquartered technology company providing next generation compression solutions to address the ever-growing media processing and delivery challenges. V-Nova provides solutions spanning the entire media delivery chain, including content production, contribution, storage and distribution to end users.

V-Nova’s award-winning PERSEUS™ is the only cross-media codec format and delivers on the promises of next-generation image and video compression, today. Using PERSEUS technology, media and entertainment companies can now monetise unmet consumer demand for higher definition video everywhere, on existing devices and infrastructure, by a simple software upgrade.

PERSEUS is available in multiple formats. PERSEUS Pro, for mathematically lossless and visually lossless professional production and contribution applications. PERSEUS Plus, for high compression efficiency in content distribution to end users, web publishing and cloud applications.

V-Nova’s shareholding comprises of a diversified group of strategic partners in TV & Media, including the satellite operator Eutelsat and leading entertainment company Sky plc. For more information please visit www.v-nova.com

 

About NGCodec:

NGCodec® has been in passionate pursuit of next generation video compression since 2012. With the support of investors including Xilinx, NGCodec’s agile startup team has created Reality Codec™, a compressor-decompressor technology optimized for ultra-low latency, high-quality applications. Headquartered in Sunnyvale, California. Learn more at http://ngcodec.com @NGCodec.

 

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UHD Alliance Defines Premium Home Entertainment Experience

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UHD Alliance Defines Premium Home Entertainment Experience

Today the UHD Alliance released details of its new logo program. You can read the press release here. This is great news for consumer and I recommend anyone purchasing a TV who cares about image quality to purchase a set with this logo.

The key spec requirements are:

Devices

Image Resolution: 3840x2160
Color Bit Depth: 10-bit signal
Color Palette (Wide Color Gamut)
Signal Input: BT.2020 color representation
Display Reproduction: More than 90% of P3 colors
High Dynamic Range SMPTE ST2084 EOTF
A combination of peak brightness and black level either:
More than 1000 nits peak brightness and less than 0.05 nits black level OR More than 540 nits peak brightness and less than 0.0005 nits black level

Distribution (content)

Image Resolution: 3840x2160
Color Bit Depth: Minimum 10-bit signal
Color: BT.2020 color representation
High Dynamic Range: SMPTE ST2084 EOTF

Content Master

Image Resolution: 3840x2160
Color Bit Depth: Minimum 10-bit signal
Color: BT.2020 color representation
High Dynamic Range: SMPTE ST2084 EOTF
The UHD Alliance recommends the following mastering display specifications:

Display Reproduction: Minimum 100% of P3 colors
Peak Brightness: More than 1000 nits
Black Level: Less than 0.03 nits



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Bitstream analyzer - A key tool for video encoder development

Use Deep Video Analysis for Optimization

Development of a video encoder is an iterative process. Over time, incremental improvements yield better and better performance. Metrics relying on mathematical measures of rate and distortion are commonly used to quantify these improvements. Visual inspection of compressed sequences is necessary as mathematical measures of distortion do not fully capture all aspects of perceived visual quality. Bitstream analyzers also play a crucial role in the development of video encoders as they enable to visualize individual syntax elements of a bitstream as well as intermediate steps in the video reconstruction process. At NGCodec we use Macs and the Intel® Video Pro Analyzer is a natural fit since it supports HEVC and runs natively on Mac OS X.

Understanding precisely where bits are being spent is important to locate regions of an image where encoding algorithms could be improved. The heat map view allows quick visualization of the bit distribution within a picture. In addition to commonly used color coding the Intel Video Pro Analyzer further displays an actual bit count for each Coding Unit (CU), which helps put things into perspective. Once “hot” areas are localized additional views detailing mode usage, prediction and residuals are used to understand the underlying cause of the high bit count. With this understanding, alternate encoding strategies are developed, tested and further analyzed.

Figure 1 Heat map with bits/CU overlay

Figure 1 Heat map with bits/CU overlay

Sometimes unexpected artifacts may appear in a compressed video. It may be difficult to explain how they come about by simply looking at decoded pictures. Using the Intel Video Pro Analyzer it becomes easy to determine the source of artifacts. On one occasion we faced unexplained artifacts that were present in a picture consisting of only intra blocks. The detailed Prediction Unit (PU) view, including 3 versions of the reference samples used for prediction (raw, padded, and filtered) was instrumental in understanding the phenomenon. Once the phenomenon was understood it was possible to design encoding strategies that avoided the issue.

Figure 2 Detailed intra prediction view with reference samples in 3 different stage

Figure 2 Detailed intra prediction view with reference samples in 3 different stage

So in summary we evaluated several HEVC bitstream analyzers and ultimately purchased multiple seats of the Intel Video Pro Analyzer because:

  • It allows us to deliver superior video encoding algorithms  
  • It runs natively on various OS platforms, including Mac OS X
  • It has extensive support for HEVC profiles, including 10-bit and 4:4:4 profiles
  • It efficiently processes large resolution files, including UHD/4K
  • It has a rich feature set that enables detailed low-level analysis of HEVC bitstreams

You can learn more about the Intel Pro Analyzer including downloading a free 30-day trial from here.

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