Imagine Communications Selenio Network Processor (SNP) platform and Magellan SDNO Control System now have new software feature releases. The SNP update also launches a feature licensing system that allows users to pay for only the functionality required for their specific workflows, a primary reason users choose to adopt virtualised software. Imagine has also developed a new high-availability shared storage system for broadcast and production facilities, Versio IOX Express NAS.
The SNP is a 1RU, network-attached device containing four independent processors, each of which can adopt characteristics and functionality defined by software, which Imagine calls ‘personalities’. While many media processes are moving to full-software implementations, SNP has a space- and power-efficient option for common signal processing functions, cutting power consumption for these applications by a large margin.
Wider IP Networking Use Cases
SNP functions currently shipping include synchronisation, SDI/IP conversions, colourspace processing and conversions including HDR, video scan format conversion (SD/HD/UHD), and production multiviewers. In the multiviewer use case (SNP-MV), each processor block handles nine signals onto one or two UHD canvases, scaling to 36 PIPs, with full ST 2110-20 inputs and outputs.
SNP-MV supports HDR sources and HDR displays and conversions into a common format, translating as needed between HLG, PQ, Slog3 and traditional SDR. The latest version of the software enables rotated portrait-format outputs for multiviewer applications that use vertical displays.
In order to match live shots with graded production footage, the SNP platform’s conversion personalities also now support user-supplied 3D CUBE LUTs to give full control over colour processing and HDR conversion. The new software also supports extra frame rates (23.98, 24, 25 and 29.97) for UHD and 1080p, and adds support for 8K signals.
HDR Conversion and QSFPs
The IP networking industry has begun installing 400GBE ports in core switches. The new SNP release includes support for DR/FR (datacentre/fibre) style 100G quad, or 4-channel, small form-factor pluggable transceivers, QSFPs. This new system supports connection of four SNP units to a single 400G network switchport through straightforward optics, resulting in high system density. 100G and 400G optics for longer fibre hauls are also becoming more common and more cost-effective, extending the reach of the working campus across tens of kilometres.
The next software release for SNP will add processing personalities for JPEG XS compression, a high-performance, low-latency contribution format. JPEG XS is expected to improve contribution and backhaul circuits and serve as a practical, effective way to deliver high resolution content to and from the cloud, thereby supporting cloud-enabled workflows for productions.
Magellan SDNO – SDI and IP Routing Control
For control, the latest Magellan SDNO release builds on the AMWA NMOS protocols introduced on SDNO last year. Imagine is now using NMOS in nearly every project deployment to integrate ST 2110 endpoints from other mainstream vendors. This means customers can customise their systems to feature the cameras, switchers, audio and replay equipment that their creative teams prefer.
The new SDNO release extends the Live Manager applications PathView and AlarmView, which give dynamic insight and interaction with the networked media ecosystem. LM-PathView outputs a dynamic signal path display for both SDI and IP routing environments. When users drag and drop sources and destinations onto the visualisation canvas, Magellan graphically completes the entire signal path including logical and virtual waypoints. Optionally, multi-level signals are also displayed.
IP networks enable the construction of very large facilities with large routing databases. The new SDNO release includes enhancements to the salvo, template and database editors, simplifying adding, searching and editing the database. While non-blocking designs are generally a goal, recently Magellan SDNO also introduced bandwidth management support for spine/leaf topologies, supporting both Arista-based and Cisco-based networks. This makes operational routing possible even in potentially blocking topologies.
This updated software is released and available. Existing SNP installations can be upgraded with new software during scheduled maintenance.
Scalable High-Availability Shared Storage
Versio IOX Express comes in 2RU or 1RU configurations
Imagine's new shared storage system for broadcast and production, Versio IOX Express NAS scales with affordable pay-as-you-go expansion. Versio IOX Express includes tools for both onsite and remote system management. Systems are sold in bundles of predefined capacity and bandwidth and are delivered with software and hardware that are ready for immediate deployment, to reduce the complexity and effort of onsite time.
For 24/7 broadcasters, Versio IOX Express serves as a flexible option through its ability to scale capacity or bandwidth without having to take the system off air. The systems use the EditShare EFS file system and are built on Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) enterprise-grade hardware to sustain prolonged operation in demanding environments. True shared storage access avoids the need to carry out lengthy asset transfers, making it a good choice for fast-turnaround environments such as news and sports.
Parity Stack and RAID Protection
With combined parity stack and RAID protection, Versio IOX Express can assure a fast client recovery time of less than 20ms to support uninterrupted service to on-air playback servers or editing applications. RAID stores the same data in different places on multiple disks or drives to protect data in the case of a drive failure.
Versio IOX Express 2RU system
The parity protection function protects against data loss due to disk unit failure or damage, calculating and saving a parity value for each bit of data. The parity value is computed from the data at the same location on each of the other disk units in the parity set. Should disk failure occur, the data on the failing unit can be reconstructed using the saved parity value and the values of the bits in the same locations on the other disks.
Users define their own bundles, selecting capacity and parity stack topology to suit their needs. Users can choose from a single device relying on the internal RAID-6 protection, a 1+1 configuration with stack mirroring, or a high-availability N+1 single-stack parity architecture. Options include configurations supplying up to tens of gigabits/second of assured bandwidth across the network, even during degraded or rebuilding modes, delivering the performance required in high-pressure applications.
Versio IOX Express NAS is available now. www.imaginecommunications.com