NAB Perspectives: Elemental Technologies’ Wymbs on Video Processing in the Cloud

Elemental Technologies, known for its multiscreen content delivery, has taken its video solutions to the cloud. The company recently announced the launch of Elemental Cloud, its Platform as a Service (PaaS) for securely managing the creation of premium live and on-demand content for delivery to every screen. Elemental Cloud dynamically scales resources and integrates seamlessly with on-premise video operations.

“The major sports companies have tons of content to digest, and their content tends to be very spiky in terms of the needs they have in video processing,” says Keith Wymbs, VP, marketing, Elemental Technologies. “We enable them to take their existing infrastructure that they have with us and basically extend it to the cloud for the period of spike in demand and bring it back down when that demand goes away.

“The Olympics only happen every couple of years; World Cup happens every four years,” he continues. “In the live environment, that creates huge spikes where they’re not always sure what to do with the encoding gear afterwards. This gives them an opportunity to utilize a cloud environment where it basically evaporates after the demand is there.”

Elemental is also highlighting its signature Elemental Live and Elemental Server, performing 4K Ultra HD encoding, HEVC/H.265 encoding, and UltraViolet content creation, with video streaming to a variety of end-user players and devices.

“It’s all about HEVC. It’s the next-generation codec; it allows for the bitrate reduction that we’ve all heard about in terms of maintaining a certain level of quality,” says Wymbs. “We’ve been working on it for about a year; basically, we watched the standardization process as it moved along, and, as parts of the standards solidified, we started to implement that. … We’re able to show at the [NAB] Show live HEVC at 1080p60 in our existing gear.

“We’re really ahead of the game in HEVC,” he adds. “We’re able to show 1080p bitrates at below 3 Mbps, and that is very disruptive for 1080p signal. It’s really going to change the way things play out. One of the main drivers in the multiscreen space, where we have a lot of focus, is that every bit that is sent over a CDN [has a] cost. If you can reduce those bits by 40% today, you immediately drop your operation costs for delivery, and so the payback is going to be very quick.”

Elemental Technologies also issued an industry-wide, High Efficiency Video Coding challenge. The Elemental HEVC Throwdown kicked off at NAB and will continue in coming months at other industry events. Elemental will demonstrate real-time HEVC encoding and invites potential customers to bring source files of any kind on USB drives to Booth SU2724 for a demonstration of real-time HEVC encoding.

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