Algolith offers reprogrammable HD noise reduction cards

The cards offer the flexibility to repurpose them over time.

Leveraging its extensive experience in video image processing, Montreal, Quebec-based Algolith is now shipping its new SD and HD video noise reduction cards. The cards, introduced at NAB2007, represent the first in a series of Algogear products that offer reprogrammable FPGA core-based solutions.

The company, made up of former engineers from Miranda Technologies, holds an extensive intellectual properties portfolio that is used here to deliver artifact-free image results and bring its products to market quickly. Almost every other company in the industry uses processing chips from Gennum.

The SD/HD cards are allow users to repurpose the basic platform over time. Company president and CEO Yvan Ouellet said the strategy is to take hardware out of the equation and offer cards that deliver noise reduction capability at about $2500 per channel. The cost of FPGA chips has come down while overall performance has increased considerably.

The new VNR-1000-SD and VNR-1000-HD noise reduction cards increase picture quality and reduce bandwidth requirements for delivering content to cable, satellite and terrestrial networks, as well as IPTV platforms. Other capabilities include scaling and deinterlacing.

Because they are reconfigurable core-based cards, the new solutions offer unique flexibility. As Algolith develops new applications, these cores will be able to be uploaded into the cards without physically removing or replacing card equipment.

When used as a preprocessor to the encoder, the cards enable video content to be compressed efficiently, allowing a broadcaster the choice of delivering higher-quality images to consumers and deliver extra video channels. When used as a postprocessor, the new cards will correct any discrete cosine transform (DCT)-based compression noise and artifacts.

The VNR-1000-HD dual video noise reduction card allows two independent channels to be processed at the same time while the VNR-1000-SD quad video noise reduction card enables four independent channels to be processed simultaneously. This allows operators to maintain multiple channels in a single RU frame, saving up to four times the rack space.

Sky Angel, a multichannel direct-to-consumer religious TV network, has installed dozens of the VNR-1000 cards in its new DBS/IPTV Network Operations Center in Cleveland, OH. Raymond LaRue, vice president of engineering, said they’re impressed with the picture quality and bandwidth savings they have realized. The broadcaster is now able to process all of its programming at a lower cost per channel than otherwise possible.

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