Streambox software encoder sends SD/HD video via Verizon’s 4G network

Providing reporters and news crews with the ability to transmit high-quality HD/SD video over a low-cost wireless IP connection, Streambox announced that its hybrid HD/SD software encoder is now capable of transporting HD video with only one cellular modem due to Verizon’s new 4G LTE mobile broadband network.

On Dec. 5, 2010, Verizon launched its new 4G LTE (Long Term Evolution) network in 38 cities around the country, including Seattle, home of Streambox headquarters.

Laptops equipped with the Streambox hybrid HD/SD software encoder on the Verizon 4G LTE network are now able to stream live HD video from remote locations, highly urban areas, and other settings traditional newsgathering or streaming workflows could not achieve. The hybrid HD/SD encoder is able to stream live or stored broadcast quality SD video at 1.5Mb/s to 2Mb/s and breaking news quality HD video at 2Mb/s to 5Mb/s.

Streambox also successfully tested Avenir, its mobile broadcasting encoder, on the 4G LTE network in Seattle. The company said that during those tests, its encoder consistently streamed video from 1.5Mb/s to 5Mb/s from multiple locations with low latency and minimal packet loss. Upload bandwidth reached as high as 17Mb/s to 19Mb/s during these tests. Users can expect to receive between 2Mb/s to 5Mb/s on one cellular modem over the Verizon 4G LTE network.

Armed with a Mac or Windows laptop running the hybrid HD/SD software encoder, a camera and a portable capture device, mobile reporters can gather, edit and stream live, high-quality HD-SDI video from remote locations over low data rate connections such as 3G/4G, WiFi, VSAT, and other IP networks. (Note: Verizon has not yet released Mac drivers, however, the Streambox encoder for OS X is able to utilize this technology with basic configuration and supported hardware.)

The ACT-L3 codec embedded in the Streambox software encoder can stream HD/SD broadcast-quality video at a much lower bandwidth than standard video transmission solutions offer, which will be necessary as more users enter the 4G network. Exclusive to the hybrid HD/SD software encoder is its multiplexing capabilities, which enable the system to accommodate dual BGAN terminals, T1 lines, and 3G/4G cellular modems for increased bandwidth.

The Avenir mobile broadcast encoder is also compatible with Verizon’s 4G LTE network. The battery-powered unit delivers broadcast quality video using a single Verizon cellular modem, but has the ability to bond up to eight cellular modems simultaneously. This powerful newsgathering solution will help news organizations differentiate themselves from competitors as they provide higher quality breaking news video to viewers.

In the near future, Streambox said it would release a new product that will take advantage of 4G networks. Streambox Live Pro will be available as an enhanced version of Streambox Live for Mac OSX and Windows. The Pro upgrade will offer the opportunity to increase bandwidth from 512kb/s to 1.5Mb/s. The increased bandwidth will give users higher quality video while also including the core features such as store-and-forward, IFB, and Auto Bandwidth Negotiation, which are all available on the current Streambox Live product.