NAB Perspectives: Adtec Digital’s Kevin Ancelin Stresses Service, Support in Expanding Encoder Market

With two new encoders on the market, not to mention global deployment of its 1080p platform, Adtec Digital remains at the forefront of technology innovation and heavily invested in the sports industry. At the heart of that mission is a dedication to serving its partners more efficiently and effectively. 

“We continue to grow our market share in the mobile-sports business,” says Kevin Ancelin, co-founder/SVP of sales. “We need to look at ways to continue to add value for them: expanded service agreements, service-level agreements, making sure our call centers are on 24/7, making sure they’re staffed with the right people that can handle questions and the inevitable challenges that come up in such a dynamic industry. We’ve really invested quite a bit in our infrastructure and our ability to act and react for the market’s needs.”

At NAB 2013, Adtec Digital has released EN-100, the company’s sixth-generation compression platform.  The multistream multicodec low-delay platform boasts AVC 4:2:2 10-bit, 8-bit, and 4:2:0 plus MPEG-2 4:2:2 and 4:2:0. Concurrent MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 and MPEG-2 encoding enables delivery of multiple-codec SD or HD video for use in different receiving environments. The lightweight and nearly silent EN‐100 offers SD, 2D HD, 3D, and 4K (Ultra HD) synchronous AVC encoding with legacy support for MPEG-2.

“The EN-100 is a next-generation contribution platform from Adtec, with all of our historical performance reliabilities, service support, and value,” says Ancelin. The 100 can go to a live event, and it can feed the fiber for the basic tier-one [sports network], and, if you want to push out to a CDN, it can adapt four profiles for direct streaming to the CDN, and then the CDN turns the content around for viewing on phones and devices. We believe this is the world’s first contribution encoder that integrates contribution-quality video and over-the-top streaming at the origination source.”

The company also unveiled EN-30, a two‐channel multicodec HD and SD contribution and distribution encoder supporting ATSC, DVB, ISDB‐T, and ISDB‐Tb via ASI, IP, or QAM platforms.

Ancelin notes several of the buzzwords overheard at NAB 2013, including 4K and HEVC. Adtec Digital is currently involved in various tests of 4K distribution, and, while HEVC is certainly on the horizon, Ancelin suggests that the market is currently well served by MPEG-4.

“Our development pace is metered by demand, and there’s a tremendous amount of buzz out there: it is a compelling codec,” says Ancelin. “The next place that we see HEVC really adding value is 4K. … We deliver standard definition to 1080p, 3D, and then 4K with the same technology. That middle vein of our business is so well-served by MPEG-4 right now. It is so mature. The interoperability is there. Nobody wants to lose a frame of video; nobody wants audio dropouts; nobody wants to deal with those challenges of messing around with a new technology. HEVC has a very long runway before it’s mainstream in our business. It will be mainstream in over-the-top very soon, and it will facilitate distribution for 4K. I argue contribution for 4K will be done with MPEG-4, and it will be done with MPEG-4 for some years.”

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