Cobalt Digital Releases Next-Generation HEVC Professional 4K and Multichannel HD/SD Encoder Series
"The low-latency performance of our new HEVC encoders makes them ideal for ENG and remote studio contribution," said Bob McAlpine, CEO of Cobalt Digital. "With their advanced processing and next-gen compression capabilities, these new encoders are what the industry has been waiting for."
The 9992-ENC series' flagship product, the 9992-ENC-4K-HEVC encoder, represents the superset of the new encoding platform's capabilities. It takes advantage of the hardware's quad 3G-SDI and 12G-SDI inputs by accepting a full 3840x2160 signal at up to 60 frames per second and then encoding the signal to HEVC for output over IP and or DVB-ASI.
The platform on which the 9992-ENC series is built is the convergence of Cobalt's compression hardware and software design expertise with the company's popular line of FPGA-accelerated production and broadcast baseband SDI products. It is extremely scalable in terms of channel capacity and with respect to the availability of software-definable feature sets that can be licensed in the field as needed. Thanks to these feature sets, 9992-ENC series encoders offer a wide range of configurations that serve as economical entry points for multiple markets.
The flexibility of the encoding platform has enabled Cobalt to design a package of features and options that address a specific market's basic requirements while also supporting an unprecedented choice of upgrade paths that include adding encoder channels and advanced video processing features such as up/down/cross conversion. Baseband video processing options can eliminate the need for external converters and frame syncs, and straightforward field upgrades ensure a long useful life. A user can start with a single-channel 1080 60p MPEG-2/AVC H.264 encoder, for example, and add up to three additional channels of compression, turning the unit into a quad-channel encoder with the knowledge that the system can upgraded to HEVC at any point in the future if application requirements change.
The encoder card can be upgraded in the field all the way from 4:2:0 8 bit to 4:2:2 10 bit, and the base openGear card design accepts multiple hardware expansion modules as well, so the user's investment is protected when it comes to fiber and SMPTE ST 2110 SDI over IP I/O and emerging audio processing requirements such as 22.2-channel encoding.
In addition to the highly capable 12G/6G/3G/HD/SD-SDI input stage of the product, the output stage supports simultaneous output over DVB-ASI via a rich set of streaming IP protocols including Forward Error Correction (FEC) and Automatic Repeat ReQuest (ARQ) packet-loss protection schemes. Each encoding path handles up to 16 channels of embedded audio and supports all common audio codecs including MPEG-1 Layer II, AAC (all flavors), Dolby 2.0, and 5.1 AC-3, as well as pass-through of pre-encoded Dolby. The encoder features a low-latency mode, and sub-frame, ultra-low-latency performance is possible when the encoder is paired with Cobalt's companion 9992-DEC decoders.
Integration of Cobalt's extensive library of production and broadcast-centric features gives users the benefits of linear frame rate-based standards conversion and Technicolor's HDR ITM-powered SDR-to-HDR and HDR-to-SDR up-mapping and down-mapping.