Markham, Ontario: Digital Rapids today announced that the company is now shipping the powerful new Flux HD video capture and pre-processing hardware, plus a previously-unannounced new version of the Stream software for the company’s encoding and live streaming systems. New features in version 3.3 include enhanced Apple(r) iPad(r) and iPhone(r) encoding, script command insertion, open caption overlay, Vobile VideoDNA fingerprinting support and more.
The new hardware and software further extend the comprehensive and flexible capabilities of Digital Rapids’ encoding, transcoding and streaming product families, which helped earn the company a Frost & Sullivan 2009 Market Share Leadership Award in the World Broadband Transcoders Market.
The Flux HD hardware builds on the advanced video processing technology that earned Digital Rapids’ solutions their reputation for the industry’s highest encoding quality. Hardware-based, real-time video pre-processing features ‘groom’ the input signal to be more ‘compression-friendly’. The result is superior visual quality and the most efficient use of bandwidth in the compressed output, while leaving the host system’s CPU free to encode more simultaneous multi-format outputs. Additional hardware features including video adjustments, advanced scaling, format conversion with cadence detection (including Inverse Telecine), color space conversion and graphic overlay enable high-quality transformation of incoming sources and the addition of branding such as logos.
Available in two models, Flux HD PCIe(r) boards are the industry’s first capture cards optimized for encoding and streaming to feature dual-link and 3Gb/s SDI support. The all-digital Flux-6510 includes SD, HD, dual-link HD-SDI and 3G-SDI video input support. The Flux-6550 card offers the same capabilities plus analog inputs including component (HD or SD), S-Video and composite video. SDI embedded audio is supported on both cards, while the Flux-6550 also includes AES and analog audio inputs. Upcoming capabilities for real-time down-conversion of dual-link and 3G-SDI inputs leverage new facility infrastructures and allow easy repurposing of dual-link and 3G-SDI sources without the workflow inconvenience and expense of external format converters. Flux HD boards also provide a future-proof path to emerging applications empowered by 3G-SDI, such as 1080p/60 and 1080p/50 distribution, advanced JPEG2000 mastering and 3D production.
Flux HD cards are bundled with the tightly integrated Stream LE software. The most versatile encoding software on the market, the Stream software family provides capture, encoding, transcoding and streaming for both live and file-based applications, with simultaneous output in multiple formats, resolutions and bit rates for a broad range of viewing devices and applications.
In addition to support for the Flux HD hardware, version 3.3 of the Stream software offers a host of new features and enhancements for Digital Rapids’ StreamZ, StreamZHD and DRC-Stream encoding solutions. Version 3.3 expands the functionality and flexibility of the optional iPhone encoding and segmenting module with enhanced support for the iPad; increased control of encoding and output parameters; support for audio-only streams with associated image files; and parallel output to multiple servers or Content Delivery Networks (CDNs) for redundancy.
Version 3.3 adds the ability to insert script commands into ASF outputs. Script commands can be inserted from a file for applications with pre-determined timing, or on-the-fly through Stream’s Web Services API during live encoding. Scripts commands can be used to communicate actions to be performed by the receiving application or player, and trigger events such as advertising insertion or replacement.
A new open captioning plug-in overlays visible captions onto the video during encoding and streaming. The open captions can be created from SCC or STL caption files, or from closed captioning data in the input video source. Support for Vobile VideoDNA content identification technology enables VideoDNA fingerprint files to be generated from media content automatically within encoding or transcoding workflows. The resulting fingerprint files are used with the Vobile Content Identification Platform to enable content owners and publishers to more effectively monitor, protect, manage and monetize their media online.
A new standby mode enables faster start of encoding upon subsequent triggering, plus faster failover with the Digital Rapids Broadcast Manager multi-encoder management software. Other new features in version 3.3 include Windows 7 support; expanded GPI trigger functions including pause and resume; and a variety of minor enhancements. The Stream 3.3 software is available in two software configurations — the core Stream LE and the advanced Stream FE with expanded workflow automation, integration capabilities and format support. A comparison of feature availability between the two levels is available on our website.
“Demand for the Flux HD hardware has been exceptional since its introduction earlier this year, and we’re pleased to be delivering it. With the outstanding quality enabled by Flux HD’s hardware-based image processing and a future-proof path to 3G-SDI production and distribution workflows, Flux HD cards are ideal for the encoding and streaming applications of both today and tomorrow,” said Darren Gallipeau, Product Manager at Digital Rapids. “Meanwhile, the new features and enhancements in version 3.3 of the Stream software further reinforce its robust, industry-leading feature set.”
Flux HD cards are available through Digital Rapids and our extensive worldwide network of authorized resellers and systems integrators. The version 3.3 update is immediately available as a free download for registered owners of Stream version 3.0 or higher, and as chargeable upgrades for users of versions 2.6 or earlier.
For more information about Digital Rapids, please visit www.digital-rapids.com.
About Digital Rapids Corporation — Digital Rapids provides the leading hardware and software solutions for transforming and delivering media, enabling the multi-platform experiences that are changing how audiences view content. Scaling from standalone appliances to global workflows, Digital Rapids solutions enable media professionals to maximize their productivity, quality, and the value of their content. Recipient of a coveted IBC Innovation Award and four prestigious Frost & Sullivan honors for encoding and transcoding leadership, Digital Rapids combines innovative technology with proven expertise to help our customers to expand their audiences, increase their media revenues and reduce their costs. Digital Rapids Corporation (www.digital-rapids.com) is headquartered in Ontario, Canada with offices in the United States, the UK, Australia, Argentina and Hong Kong.