2015 NAB Signal Processing Review

As we move further into the realm of UHD and IP-based television plants, one thing is certain—we’ll always need equipment for manipulating in one way or another the signals flowing through these operations. There was plenty of gear for doing this in evidence at this year’s NAB Show.

DIGITAL ALERT SYSTEMS spotlighted their Audio Management System (AMS) which provides secondary audio program channels with emergency information broadcast in the main channel. The company also featured the DAS Audio Management System that provides message aggregation and textto-speech generation, the DASEOC integrated EAS and CAP decoder/encoder, DASDEC II emergency messaging platform, MultiPlayer four-channel audio player/switcher, and DASLC and DASLCR budget-priced emergency alerting platforms for LPTVs.

COMMUNICATIONS SPECIALTIES, working in partnership with DOCAPTION, unveiled the Copperlink 2353WST and Copperlink 2353CC monitoring products, which are based on the company’s Copperlink 2353 3G/HD/SD-SDI to HDMI converter platform.

Jesse Foster of Cobalt Digital examines one of the company’s 9902-USX-3G up/down/cross-converter card.COMPROMPTER showed v2 of its Caption Central closed captioning platform which has been enhanced to add live studio voice captioning.

In addition to showing new Courier and Scribe tools for post-production and near-to-air closed caption creation, EEG announced that their iCap real-time captioning is now available for use with Imagine Communications’ VersioCloud playout-in-the-cloud platform.

MEDIAWEN highlighted its cloud-based STVHub system for FCC-compliant closed captioning and multilingual subtitling. It’s a scalable platform with a web browser that allows users to upload video files and manage closed captioning, subtitling and dubbing operations.

NEXDIA launched Nexidia QC v2.3 for automating closed captioning, video description and multiple language quality control operations.

TRIVENI DIGITAL introduced new closed caption monitoring and auditing capabilities for the company’s StreamScope RM-40 transport stream monitoring system that are designed to help broadcasters and MSOs comply with FCC captioning requirement.

VOLICON and NEXIDIA demonstrated the integration of Volicon’s Observer monitoring and logging technology with Nexidia’s Illuminate platform. The combined system automatically captures content, extracts closed captions, determines if the caption file matches the media and is properly aligned, identifies any missing or incorrect caption segments anywhere in the file, and verifies the presence of video descriptions.

COBALT DIGITAL unveiled their 9990-DEC-MPEG decoder for MPEG-4 AVC and MPEG-2 signals. It includes both ASI and IP inputs. The company also took the wraps off their BBG-1090 modular MPEG-2/4 decoder.

DAWNCO featured new muxing/demuxing technology for accommodating as many as eight SD/HD video signals, audio and RS-232/422 on a single-mode fiber.

DVEO demonstrated a number of real-time single and multiple channel SD/HD MPEG-2 and H.264 encoders and decoders, but especially spotlighted the new CloudPort HD-SDI, portable H.264 backpack encoder for streaming HD/SD-SDI or HDMI video via bonded 3G and 4G mobile networks. Also featured were the Helio Quad HDSDI/ASI+IP real-time four-channel SD/HD MPEG-2 encoder and the Futura II ASI+IP affordable SD to 1080i MPEG-2 broadcast encoder.

Takuto Ikegami (L) and Takauki Kamiya, both from DPSJ in Japan, stop to look at a 4K video processed by a Harmonic encoder at the Harmonic Theatre.DIGIGRAM spotlighted their LX-MADI PCIe card for audio/video applications and the AQORD LINK/LE video-over-IP (VoIP) codec. Also featured was the new Aqilim Serv/Fit videoover IP codec for OTT distribution that can encode multiple streams at multiple resolutions.

EVERTZ launched its 3080UEP universal encoding platform that offers multiformat encoding in a modular blade form factor. The company also premiered its 3480TXE high quality dense distribution transcoder for cable headends.

HARMONIC launched the Electra X encoder platform that supports live, full-frame, framepipeline UHD applications, with the Electra X3 advanced media processor in a live UHD encoding demo. They also unvieled the ProView 7100 IRD that supports HEVC applications and the VOS virtualized video infrastructure platform.

IMAGINE COMMUNICATIONS showed their SelenioFlex Live encoding system for delivering content to a variety of consumer viewing devices. The 1RU device is driven by the company’s Zenium workflow manager and supports OTT/mobile/Web live streaming output formats and handles UHD encoding as well as SD and HD. Also demoed was the Selenio MCP3, which combines traditional baseband video and audio processing, compression and IP networking features in a single, space-saving 3RU frame.

MEDIA EXCEL featured their HERO software-based multiscreen encoder/transcoder for live and video-on-demand applications and which can handle HEVC compression up to 4K/60p UHD.

TELAIRITY launched the BE8600 H.264/AVC flagship “do anything” real-time video encoder that’s designed for broadcasting, cable and IPTV applications, and replaces the earlier BE8500 encoder.

TELESTREAM unveiled v6.5 of its Episode multiformat video encoding software, now with support for HEVC, XAVC, VP9 and AS-11, closed captioning, multiple bitrates and multiple channels of audio, and also handles video standards conversion. The company also showed their Vantage Cloud Subscriptions for provisioning transcoding farms in the cloud.

ROHDE & SCHWARZ presented their new product lineup for handling 4K transmission, with demonstrations of its AVHE 100 fully integrated headend encoding and multiplexing device that incorporates CrossFlowIP technology.

VISLINK launched its UltraCoder, which it claims is the industry’s first HEVC/H.265 video compression hardware encoder, specifically designed for efficient 4K compression. The encoder also has the ability to encode up to four live HD channels in H.265 plus one additional HD channel in H.264.

VITEC introduced their MGW ACE portable HEVC hardware-based encoder product that offers both HEVC/H.265 and H.264 capability for broadcast-quality 4:2:2 and 4:2:0 high-definition video and supports legacy systems. The company also showed its MGW Sprint portable MPEG-4 H.264 HD codec.

Z3 TECHNOLOGY debuted new additions to its Zeus line of encoders and decoders, the MVE-1000/2000/2500 units, which provide H.264 encoding up to 1080p60.

AJA showcased the Corvid Ultra OEM system for processing and scaling multiformat 4K/2K and HD/Dual-link/SD workflows, and the FS1-X compact frame synchronizer/converter.

APANTAC debuted its Micro-4K-DPconverter for affordably viewing 4K/UHD content at 4K/UHD resolution on monitors and projectors using DisplayPort 1.2, as well as their OG-DA-HDTV-SDI HDMI-to-SDI converter with a built-in d.a.

ARRIS GROUP debuted its high-performance ARRIS ME-7000 converged compression platform, which provides multi-codec support with SD/HD/Ultra HD encoding and transcoding plus multiscreen delivery for IPTV, cable, and satellite applications.

ATEME introduced Titan File with support for HDR for 4K, which can be quickly integrated into the content provider’s current ecosystem, reducing time-to-market and facilitating 4K HEVC VOD service launch. Once deployed, TITAN File boosts HEVC processing speed for main screen and multiscreen applications, while delivering superior video quality at minimum bitrate.

BARNFIND TECHNOLOGIES launched the BarnOne BTF1-09 ASI to IP conversion card, BarnMini-03 HDMI-to-SDI, and BarnMini-04 SDI-to-HDMI additions to the BarnMini conversion product lineup. The company also unveiled a new interfacing system to allow use of Barnfind gear with openGear systems, as well as a new highdensity CWDM system that puts 108 channels into a single fiber.

COBALT DIGITAL debuted the 9922-FS framesync with A/V processing, audio embedding/de-embedding and the CVBS I/O, a BlueBox BBG-1022-FS framesync also with A/V processing, dual-channel, audio embedding/de-embedding and CVBS I/O capability.

CRYSTAL VISION launched Safire 3 Xpress, a real-time chroma keyer, which works with 3G/HD/SD sources and shares the processing quality of the company’s fully-featured Safire 3, but features simpler operation, allowing less-technical operators to achieve perfect keys.

Mike Kalenuk of Evertz was on hand to explain the company’s 7815VP-STB-3G IP video processor and streaming encoder.ELEMENTAL TECHNOLOGIES showcased its Elemental Unified Linear TV Delivery platform, which includes both live and file-based video processing capable of supporting MPEG-2 .H264, and HEVC video compression standards simultaneously. The company also highlighted its Delta video delivery platform designed to optimize the monetization, management and distribution of multiscreen video through IP networks.

EVERTZ debuted its 7815VPDA dual-path HD/3G video processor and distribution amplifier with optional H.264 encoding, frame synching and up/down/cross conversion.

GRASS VALLEY showcased the IPG-3901 module addition to their Densité IP gateway line, designed to allow Densité signal processing users to upgrade and update their existing systems.

LAWO demo-ed their V__link4 tool for signal contribution, distribution and remote production via LAN and WAN, providing video-over-IP coding and more. The company also showed its V__pro8 eight-channel video processor.

MATROX featured its DSX developer products which combine a range of multichannel SD/HD/4K I/O hardware—including low profile cards with support for up to eight reconfigurable SDI inputs and outputs—with Windows and Linux SDKs and other tools to allow OEMs to create such products as contribution and distribution encoders.

MOG TECHNOLOGIES debuted mxf-SPEEDRAIL Xpress 2U, a fully featured toolset that includes ingest, capture, playback, file conversion, transcoding, storage and streaming services featured on a single and configurable platform with only 24 cm deep.

OSPREY BY VARIOSYSTEMS premiered their new line of six Osprey Black converters and peripherals which can be powered by a USB battery pack. They also showed new Linux drivers for its Osprey 800 cards which allow pre-processing, watermarking, scaling, cropping and de-interlacing.

TELESTREAM launched Tempo, a new time adjustment solution for retiming filebased content and intelligently adjusting the running time of shows and segments. Tempo use new time compression algorithms that deliver improved vide quality and faster turn-around times.

V-NOVA demonstrated its PERSEUS compression technology, developed to address the limitations of existing compression technologies and compatible with existing MPEG-based delivery ecosystems. The company says PERSEUS can deliver images with as little as 0.04 bitsper-pixel.

WOHLER featured an enhancement for its Tachyon Wormhole file-based retiming system that allows users to target specific portions of content for run-time adjustment. Also on display was the AMP2-E16V modular A/V processing monitor, which, in addition to monitoring functions, allows users to perform SDI audio re-embedding and other functions.


BLACKMAGIC DESIGN debuted the Teranex Mini video converter, featuring 12G-SDI technology, front panel controls and LCD, built in power supply and support for all SD, HD and Ultra HD formats up to 2160p60.

DTV INNOVATIONS showed its CX-4 quad transport stream converter that independently converts four transport streams from/to IP and ASI; TSC-5000 that converts transport streams between ASI and SMPTE 310M formats simultaneously, and the TSC-6000 that accommodates both ATSC and DVB standards, converting between ASI, 310M and TSoIP formats.

ESE featured their ES-71 that converts SMPTE/EBU LTC code or ESE timecode to a USB interface. Also on display were the company’s ES-217/BNC and ES-246/BNC products for distributing timecode.

MARSHALL ELECTRONICS featured two new USB 3.0 converters—the VAC-11HU3 HDMI-to-USB 3.0 and the VAC-11SU3 SDI-to-USB 3.0. Both support formats ranging from SD up to 1080p60 and 1920 x 1200p60.

MATROX showcased its Convert DVI Plus HD-SDI scan converter which allows broadcasters to easily incorporate content from computers and features a genlock connection. Also featured was the Matrox MC-100 dual-SDI to HDMI mini converter which provides a number of functions including video processing.

TELESTREAM introduced HEVC encoding and 4K support for Vantage Transcode Multiscreen and Vantage Transcode IPTV VOD. The company’s Vantage Transcode Pro now includes XAVC decoding and ProRes 4444 encoding.

THOMSON VIDEO NETWORKS introduced an update to its ViBE EM4000 HD/SD encoder that provides HD MPEG-4 compression and the ability to upscale a standard-definition source to HD video.

APANTAC premiered TAHOMA-IL a new hybrid multiviewer addition to its TAHOMA platform. It supports H.264, MPEG-2/4, 3G/HD/SD-SDI and composite video and presents them on a single display. The company also launched the T# multiviewer, based on a new modular architecture and available in 1RU, 2RU, 4RU frame sizes, with 16 pre-configured models available.

CINEMASSIVE featured its Alpha FX video wall platform that’s powered by the company’s Alpha FX processor and CineNet Live software. The technology provides matrix switching, 3D accelerated graphics, content management, real-time control and show building for video walls.

DECIMATOR DESIGN introduced the portable DMON-16S one-to-16 channel multiviewer with SDI and HDMI outputs for 3G/HD/SD, and the DMOB-16SL “lite” version of the 16S with 3G/HD/SD capability, HDMI output and the same channel capacity and custom layouts.

MATROX featured their MicroQuad multiviewer with 3G/HD/SD-SDI inputs and HDMI output to drive displays in a variety of resolutions and allow users to inexpensively monitor up to four feeds.

VOLICON offered an enhanced multiviewer option for its Media Intelligence recording system. The new functionality allows users to access multiple live or recorded content with frame-accurate data via a monitor wall or other display.


Chris Juds (L) of Tribune Media and Spencer Williams of Telestream discuss Tempo, a system from Telestream that changes the run time of a video program.AJA featured their new LUT-box Mini-Converter for facilitating 3D color correction. It’s compatible with Mac and Windows platforms and provides simultaneous SDI and HDMI monitor signals.

BLACKMAGIC DESIGN debuted DaVinci Resolve 12, with over 80 new features including multi-camera editing, enhancements to core editing tools, a new, high performance audio engine, new media management tools and added support for DaVinci’s own color managed timelines and ACES 1.0 transforms, and support for remote rendering.

COBALT DIGITAL unveiled their 9980-CSC 3G/HD/SD-SDI color space converter that provides real-time RGB color correction as well as framesync-ing for 1080p 60 signals.

QUANTEL showed off the latest set of enhancements for its Pablo Rio color correction and finishing system, including real-time 8K/60p UHD video capability.


EVERTZ used its 5701PG Media IP Gateway module to demonstrate the capabilities of its ASPEN format which provides individual transport of uncompressed audio, video and ancillary data over IP within and between facilities. The company also demonstrated its Live-X architecture which facilitates the cost-effective creation, packaging and delivery of content to a variety of viewing devices and delivery platforms.

HAIVISION debuted its Internet-based video backhaul solutions, which offer broadcasters a more flexible and cost-effective alternative to satellite or MPLS networks for live video transport.

ISTREAMPLANET unveiled updates to its Aventus cloud-based live encoding and multiscreen packaging software, including real-time telemetry alerts and methodology for speedier troubleshooting by operators.

LAWO showed its V_pro8 and V_link4 products for streaming video over IP, both with a broad set of features for video management, as well as audio handling capability.

MATROX demonstrated its Monarch HD dual-stream H.264 video streaming and recording device, which features 3G-SDI and HDMI inputs with frame synchronization, and its two encoders allow users to simultaneously stream a live event and record a mastering-quality MP4 or MOV file to an SD card, USB drive or network-mapped drive for post-event editing.

TROLL SYSTEMS showed their ESP2000 encrypted stream player, an IP video decoder that manages video within a private network or an existing IP infrastructure.

WOHLER featured v9 of its RadiantGrid Intelligent Media Transformation. It provides tools to boost the efficiency of file-based workflows for multiplatform delivery and OTT content for various formats, including MPEG-DASH, HLS and Microsoft Smooth Streaming. v9 includes support for anamorphic video, 2K/4K UHD, and a Correct video legalization option that uses Wohler’s Right-Hue algorithm to ensure color compliance.

WOWZA introduced its Streaming Cloud professional-grade service for live streaming to audiences of any size on any device, directly from a camera or encoder. Wowza Streaming Cloud takes a single “master” H.264 or H.265-encoded live stream and uses it to create one or more stream renditions of equal or smaller size.

James E. O’Neal has more than 50 years of experience in the broadcast arena, serving for nearly 37 years as a television broadcast engineer and, following his retirement from that field in 2005, moving into journalism as technology editor for TV Technology for almost the next decade. He continues to provide content for this publication, as well as sister publication Radio World, and others.  He authored the chapter on HF shortwave radio for the 11th Edition of the NAB Engineering Handbook, and serves as editor-in-chief of the IEEE’s Broadcast Technology publication, and as associate editor of the SMPTE Motion Imaging Journal. He is a SMPTE Life Fellow, and a Life Member of the IEEE and the SBE.