Vindral and AMD deliver world’s first 8K 10-bit HDR live streaming at ultra-low latency

Live streaming pioneer Vindral used the recent NAB Show in Las Vegas to showcase an AV1-powered 8K 10-bit HDR quality live streaming tier, at ultra-low latency and with all viewers in sync. The move follows Vindral’s pioneering use of the AV1 codec in ultra-low latency streaming in 2022.

“After our AV1 initiative, the next obvious step was to look to the next frontier. And that’s 8K. Not many devices can display it yet, nor can they decode the video, but as a brand aimed to be ahead of the curve it is an important step for us,” said Daniel Alinder, CEO at Vindral.

The demo involved a full on-premise setup of the Vindral CDN, locally at NAB, and was powered by an Alveo MA35D from AMD.

“We are happy to work with Vindral on the next generation of performance. It’s a great match for us, given their specific focus on making high VQ possible, even at ultra-low latency. The MA35D was designed specifically to enable these heavy-duty jobs at scale, and a live-streaming CDN is an amazing showcase for us,” said Sean Gardner, head of strategy and market development at AMD.

While 8K has yet to be widely adopted in the consumer-grade market, there are plenty of business cases where high-resolution content plays a central role.

“Sports content is one of the ultimate areas where quality matters. Fans – especially those betting on content – want to view their favourite games in crystal-clear quality. 8K is, of course, not for everyone, and even using AV1 the bandwidth demands will no doubt be high. However, for premium services, this is not an issue. Our aim is not to challenge the entire market to upgrade to 8K; that goes without saying. We are looking to demonstrate what the most ambitious brands should be doing,” added Alinder.

Other examples are XR applications, which require at least dual 4K canvases – one for each eye – and any product that performs AI analysis of the content and sports.

“From esports to sports betting, there will always be companies looking to push the envelope. That goes for region-of-interest (RoI) applications where you take an 8K stream from a static camera and view any 4K portion of it in your device,” said Gardner.

The two companies have been working closely to make a viable implementation, quality-secured and scalable. One foundation to ensure compatibility with lower-end devices is adaptive bitrates, which are always included in streams delivered by Vindral. While some cutting-edge devices can decode and display 8K, many are still maxing out at 4K.

“The NAB demo ran our in-venue model completely on-premise. After that we are planning to release a public demo online; a demo page for all visitors, to let everyone evaluate the global performance. This will be live while we also provide private demos to brands interested in upgrading their current workflow. Whether you’re looking for 4K, 8K, or anything else, we’re happy to demonstrate our capabilities,” said Alinder.

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