V-Nova’s Matt Hughes talks tech development and support for the sport and healthcare sectors

Matt Hughes, SVP global sales, V-Nova, speaks to SVG Europe on new technology that the company has been working on this spring, and how it is working within sport and critical sectors like healthcare during the coronavirus pandemic.

What sports broadcasting-focused software have you released or been working on lately?

2020 was to be a year of incredible live sports coverage from all of the global major broadcasters, and then the world stopped. The global pandemic has taken us into unprecedented times, and live sporting events are now few and far between and searching for new behind-closed-doors formats.

At V-Nova we have been finalising our software for the MPEG-5 LCEVC standard. LCEVC improves the compression efficiency of any base video codec by up to 50% and any device supporting the underlying codec can be quickly upgraded in software to gain the benefits. LCEVC looks set to play a key role in offloading some of the pressures on the internet as video consumption rockets.

Furthermore, V-Nova’s contribution software, powered by the SMPTE VC-6 codec, dramatically improves compression efficiency to deliver high quality content over restricted networks which can enable more content at higher quality, between sites which is critical as teams are increasingly working remotely and will continue to do so as the sporting calendar ultimately starts to resume.

What is the benefit of this technology for those in sports video content production?

Sports video content production can benefit from V-Nova’s VC-6 as it is a high performance software library for encoding and decoding SMPTE VC-6 (ST-2117) which is used in remote production and file-based workflows. It also benefits from artificial intelligence (AI)-powered options for further visual quality enhancements. ​

VC-6’s flexible format enables features like multi-resolution and region of interest decoding that enable new features and optimised workflows for live sports contribution, the acceleration of AI-based object detection & recognition and transparent progressive video overlays for advertising.   ​

In offline, file-based workflows, VC-6 delivers faster processing and improved compression efficiency from acquisition to archive when compared against commonly deployed formats like Apple ProRes and Avid DNxHD.​

How will this technology be developed further?

We are continuing to expand the V-Nova VC-6 libraries to enable support across more platforms and accelerate its deployment into a range of partner workflows for both live and offline. This also includes enabling virtualised, cloud-based deployments where a lot of production is migrating to.

What else are we likely to see coming out from your company over the next six months, and why is it of interest to the sports video production community?  

V-Nova is taking the necessary steps to assist where it can and is currently providing free-of-charge technology to ensure that remote production workflows remain operational during the COVID-19 global pandemic both in sport and other critical sectors like healthcare.

Regarding MPEG-5 LCEVC many are already predicting it will have an imminent impact on the media landscape, and at V-Nova we are continuously working with our partners to deploy LCEVC for live and VOD streaming sports enabling greater quality on congested networks, meaning less buffering incidents for viewers.

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