VideoFlow has announced that it is collaborating with Harmonic, the worldwide leader in video delivery infrastructure, to make VideoFlow’s new Controlled Adaptive Rate (CAR) technology available to Harmonic customers. The Ellipse 3000 contribution encoder’s bitrate change on-the-fly capabilities are controlled by VideoFlow’s CAR that dynamically adapts the Ellipse bitrate to the highest possible level, maximising the viewer’s quality of experience. VideoFlow will debut the CAR offering with Harmonic’s Ellipse 3000 encoders at VideoFlow’s booth at IBC 2014, Hall 3, B20.
Eran Shalev, VideoFlow’s VP marketing, said, “We are delighted to be working with one of the world’s leading vendors of professional video systems to enable a fundamental change in the way that video streams are transported. CAR further allows us to make the Internet and similar unmanaged networks as stable and robust as traditional methods but significantly less expensive. Our Digital Video Protection technology pioneered this change by eliminating packet loss and jitter. Now CAR ensures that the viewer always has the best video quality by constantly monitoring the network bit rate and adjusting for optimal performance. Both VideoFlow and Harmonic recognise it as a major technology that has been sought after by customers, and is expected to generate significant traction in the market.”
Harmonic’s C&D solutions are used by media and communications companies around the globe for digital satellite news gathering and fixed contribution applications. “Ensuring that viewers have the best viewing experience is fundamental to our business,” said Yaniv Ben Soussan, Harmonic’s senior director of product management. “CAR continually checks the network and will increase the bitrate as the network connection improves. There is a steady effort by CAR to maintain the highest possible bitrate and therefore the best video quality for any given moment in time, which means our customers can provide a more robust service, better engagement with viewers, and generate more revenue.”
VideoFlow’s Controlled Adaptive Rate technology
The delivery of video over unmanaged networks like the Internet is challenging due to normal fluctuations in the network’s capacity. Decreases in capacity cause a severe degradation to the video quality and may, in some occasions, cause the video to stall. Adaptive Bit Rate (ABR) was designed to resolve the capacity fluctuation issue. The decision on the bit rate to use is made by the receiver. The receiver monitors, in real time, the available capacity and the stream’s health to ensure that the bit rate in use is within the ability of the network to deliver. If the network’s capacity degrades, the receiver may either command the encoder to lower the bit rate or will choose a lower bit rate video profile. However, unmanaged networks will always cause packets to be lost impacting the stream’s health. Hence, an ABR receiver will eventually decide to choose the lowest bit rate settings. As a result, the low bit rate setting means low quality video, leading to lower user engagement hence lower revenues.
Adding VideoFlow Digital Video Protection (DVP) solution to ABR encoders and decoders will improve the ABR’s performance because VideoFlow’s technology is able to recover all lost packets. Now, VideoFlow has taken one step further with its new Controlled Adaptive Rate (CAR) technology that puts the intelligence into the transmitter. Like ABR, the receiver probes the network’s capacity and the video stream health in real time. In contrast to ABR, the CAR receiver sends the statistics to the CAR transmitter and, unlike ABR, the decision to either decrease or increase the encoder’s bit rate is made by the transmitter and not by the receiver giving a better response to the network’s capacity change. CAR leverages this knowledge to set the highest bit rate to each receiver without this interfering with the video stream. CAR is encoder independent and will work with any encoder supporting changing the bit rate on-the-fly.