Spin Digital uses AJA Corvid 44 12G and KONA 5 PCIe cards to update their Spin Enc Live software encoder with 8K VVC encoding capabilities to manage 8K HDR footage at 60 fps.

AJA spin enc live real time vvc hevc encoder

Media processing specialist Spin Digital develops compression software for high-resolution, HDR, HFR and MR video. Currently, the company is at work on 8K video production systems as demand for the format picks up around the world. With its headquarters in Berlin, Germany, the company also maintains an office in Japan, a region driving 8K workflow adoption for broadcast.

Spin Digital’s high performance video and audio encoding/decoding systems and media players are used in applications from broadcasting to VR live streaming, in 8K up to 120 fps, displaying 16K content on video walls, and others.

Keeping an eye on industry needs as it expands its capabilities, the company has been following progress on the Versatile Video Coding (VVC) codec, also known as H.266. The team recently announced a VVC update to its live production encoder Spin Enc Live, which is a software product based on standard server platforms, and the associated SDK, Spin SDK.

8K VVC Encoding

Spin Enc Live initially launched as an 8K 60 fps encoder for live production supporting HEVC (H.265). With the recent update, Spin Enc Live is now capable of 8K VVC encoding. Depending on the user’s needs and preferences, they can opt to use HEVC, or choose VVC to manage 8K HDR footage at 60 fps.

AJA kona 5 1

KONA 5 PCIe card

The HEVC/VVC encoders include a real-time temporal filter that aims to increase visual quality for content with camera noise. Also, VVC includes dedicated tools for better compression of SCC (Screen Content Coding) content, such as remote desktop, gaming and CG imagery. Support for SCC has been added and optimized for UHD live operation. These two features make the encoders, especially VVC, more versatile, achieving more efficient compression for a wider range of content.

To handle SDI input, Spin Enc Live is integrated with AJA Corvid 44 12G and KONA 5 PCIe cards. Equipped with quad 12G-SDI connection in a compact format, Spin Digital’s encoder can capture uncompressed signals for all types of video and audio processing. Corvid 44 12G serves as the main capture device for live production, while those using desktop systems use KONA 5. Both are fast, compact 8-lane PCIe 3.0 I/O cards.

“We developed the latest update for Spin Enc Live and Spin SDK partly due to customer demand, but also because we see VVC as the next generation of encoding technologies. Currently, the VVC encoder achieves a 25 percent reduction in bitrate, while maintaining pristine visual quality,” said Spin Digital CEO Mauricio Alvarez Mesa.

“We carefully selected components for our system, including the AJA Corvid 44 12G and KONA 5 cards, which are especially good for live 8K applications. They help us to capture 8K video at 60 fps with 10-bit HDR and the associated audio with very low delay and high reliability.”

Encoding Quality with Metadata

AJA spin digital

Spin Enc Live suits companies pursuing 8K live streaming for concerts, events and other venue-based productions. Developed for reliability, it has supported continuous live streaming for over 20 hours a day for a range of projects. Spin Digital has also been working with museums and planetariums to deploy Spin Enc Live to help them upgrade or adopt 8K displays. Across all these applications, efficient video compression, high quality and support for high frame rates are required.

“8K video doesn’t make sense if it's marred by compression issues and poor image quality,” said Mauricio. “Our system stands out through our software implementation approach, which focuses on optimizing performance so clients can achieve real-time 8K encoding without compromising on quality.

“With Corvid and KONA cards for input into our encoder for processing, we can capture frames without worrying about hidden or unexpected processes. The cards have also demonstrated excellent HDR signal input, whether dealing with PQ or HLG HDR formats. We can effectively capture the metadata from the cards and transmit this metadata through our encode.”

Future Formats

AJA Corvid 44 12G and KONA 5 also allow more scope for Spin Digital’s customers who work in unconventional high-resolution formats – for example, panoramic images that involve stitching together four 4K camera outputs to generate a 16K by 2K image. Users can input 2x2, 4x4 or 1x4 configurations, and can also capture 16 channels of audio within one SDI link and 16 further channels within another for high-end 3D audio formats.

AJA corvid 44 12G

AJA Corvid 44 12G

That includes the 22.2 format used in Japan as the surround sound component of the new Super Hi-Vision TV standard, with 16 times the pixel resolution (7680×4320) of HD television.

Mauricio said, “We’ve been fans of AJA equipment for some time, and even use AJA KUMO 12G-SDI routers in our work with live production clients, managing multiple incoming sources. We’ve also been using the Hi5-12G Mini-Converter to help us monitor the SDI output of our 8K media player, for system testing, and it’s worked extremely well.

“We’re pleased about our participation in the AJA Developer Partner program, and also with the support they’ve given us from the start. We always get clear, timely answers to our questions, which is critical to our business.” www.aja.com