Imagine Communications Extends Transcode & Storage for OTT and Multiscreen

Imagine zenium

Imagine Communications has built a new high-density adaptive bitrate transcoding application on Selenio One, their software-defined linear transcoding platform, in order to expand the number of high video quality ABR and linear channels that broadcasters, network operators and video service providers or VSPs can deliver over existing infrastructures.

The new Selenio One software works for VSPs, including cable operators, telecommunications companies and satellite TV providers, who need to keep up with requirements to deliver video to more diverse Internet-connected devices. The application, on display at IBC2016, uses standard hardware powered by Imagine Communications transcoding software, making it possible for VSPs to expand the channel-carrying capacity of their delivery networks on demand, and for service providers to move all compression operations to a common, software-based platform.

This extension to the Selenio One platform supports HEVC/H.265 and AVC/H.264 encoding in both ABR and linear transcoding formats at very high densities, enabling VSPs and other media companies to realise significant space and power savings. The first release of the product can support up to 180 HD ABR or 360 HD linear channels per 4-RU server. Source formats supported in the first release are MPEG-2 or H.264 and HEVC/H.265 or H.264 on the output.

Suited to high-density terrestrial, satellite and primary distribution transcoding with ABR transcoding for OTT multiscreen applications, this extension to Selenio One serves as a single system for VSPs that want to launch more channels, move from MPEG-2 to H.264, add HEVC/H.265, or run a multiservice lineup with linear transcode and OTT/ABR delivery.

Imagine Communications launched the Selenio One platform earlier in 2016 at the 2016 NAB Show. The initial product release focused on high video quality H.264/MPEG-2 transcoding using PCIe video acceleration with integrated software multiplexing and processing. The functionality of the Selenio One platform may be customized through the selection of video processing engines, an approach that makes all compression operations more consistent through a common, Linux-based architecture and control system.

Imagine iox shared storage2

All products built on Selenio One are powered by Zenium, a software framework that is also the basis of several other Imagine ommunications systems. Zenium uses a micro services approach to implementation that allows users to distribute cloud-native components across multiple platforms. Zenium-powered platforms, including Selenio One, integrate new software as it becomes available and adapts to different uses, from appliance to data centre to cloud.

This new Selenio One can also add flexibility to systems by allowing COTS platforms to be optimised for software-only and GPU-accelerated encoding and, according to Imagine Comunications, contribute to the specialised video processing and acceleration capabilities of modern processors.

Optimising Shared Storage for OTT, Cloud & Playout

Imagine Communications’ IOX Storage is a new approach the company has developed for shared storage, optimised for its Versio playout and automation, and Telurio OTT and cloud DVR systems.

Media companies can use Versio IOX Storage and Telurio IOX Storage to expand the performance, scale, flexibility, reliability and collaborative capabilities of their storage operations. Organizations working in complex, high-performance content distribution environments can closely configure storage resources to meet the exact needs of each operation in the workflow, including production, playout and distribution. Both systems are showing at IBC2016.

Imagine Communications says existing storage systems are reaching limitations in their ability to meet recent demands for higher-quality content and multiplatform distribution. Media companies that are developing more sophisticated workflows therefore want to shift their operations to more adaptive and flexible environments. Versio IOX and Telurio IOX Storage were designed on an IT foundation for software-based environments built on commercial off-the-shelf platforms.

Imagine Versio IOX Storage

Working through such platforms, users can improve the performance, reliability and cost-efficiency of their current workflows more easily, and then evolve or adapt the associated storage resources and operations to accommodate future market requirements later on.

Versio IOX and Telurio IOX Storage are built on a tiered architecture that may be tuned to suit the storage requirements of specific applications, according to different workflows within an organisation.

Versio IOX Storage is designed for the playout and channel-creation requirements of broadcast and production facilities, including news, sports and live-event applications. It establishes sharable, scalable storage across the content lifecycle, combined with digital asset protection. Initially configured to extend an existing SAN environment, Versio IOX Storage could be evolved into a NAS appliance for various applications that can match, or exceed, the performance and cost efficiency of current SAN systems.

In terms of capacity and bandwidth, Versio IOX can scale up to 5PB of usable storage and 48 Gb/s bandwidth as requirements grow, without disrupting existing media operations or interrupting on-air operations. To support high availability, RAID-601 protects against drive, controller and storage chassis failures to support continuous broadcast operations regardless of multiple, simultaneous failures. Versio IOX allows unattended drive failover and rebuilds, and supports remote monitoring and diagnostics with a web-based GUI.

It supports both Ethernet and Fibre Channel connections, with 10s of Gb/s of assured streaming bandwidth, even during periods of degradation or during the rebuilding of failed drives. As a single, shared-storage repository for access to content from ingest to production to playout operations, Versio IOX Storage does not use file copying procedures, resulting in a fast-turnaround editorial environment and a shorter time to air. To limit capital expenditures, it works with existing systems and supports a pay-as-you-go expansion model.

As an expansion path for existing customers, Versio IOX Storage is completely compatible with Imagine’s Nexio Farad storage – including functions such as RAIDSoft striping for increased bandwidth and Intrinsic Mirroring for high availability - and can be added directly to existing installations.

Telurio IOX Storage is more specialized, designed for the storage requirements of video service providers and other companies running OTT and cloud DVR services. It is a scalable, high-availability system for storage of continuously recorded channels for time-shifted and catch-up TV.  With flexible capacity, Telurio IOX Storage can support tens, hundreds or thousands of recorded channels with short or long retention windows.