Envivio 4Caster C4 HD Encoder/Transcoder Crosses the 6 Mbps Barrier

Wednesday, August 19th, 2009
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New Extreme HD codec achieves 35 Percent Increase in Visual Quality and Cuts Bandwidth Demand by Nearly 30 Percent

SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, CA — Envivio Inc., announced today the newest member of its Convergence Series video encoders/transcoders with the introduction of its 4Caster C4 HD. By increasing measurable video quality by as much as 35 percent over previous generations and substantially reducing HD bit rate requirements below 6 Mbps, the 4Caster C4 HD offers significant practical advantages to telcos, IPTV service providers and broadcasters. The 4Caster C4 HD will be on display at IBC 2009 in Amsterdam, Stand 1.D72, September 11-15 and SET 2009 Broadcast and Cable in Sao Paolo, Brazil, August 26-28, Booth 76.

Telco and IPTV service providers can use the increased quality at very low bit rates to deliver HD service across greater distances on DSL networks, thereby reducing the cost to upgrade their networks while delivering service to more subscribers. Broadcasters can use the 4Caster C4 HD to optimize the usage of their fixed bandwidth capacity, taking advantage of the lower bit rate requirements to add more channels to their offering or to increase the apparent quality of their existing channels. The push to lower bit rates is also the precursor for enabling true HD resolution Internet TV services.

“Envivio is the only major encoder manufacturer to forego fixed ASIC-based designs in favor of the greater flexibility of a robust software platform coupled with the most advanced Intel processors,” said Envivio CTO Jean-Pierre Henot. “This has given Envivio the freedom to continue to advance its compression technology while ASICs have remained frozen in time. Envivio never has to stop pushing the performance of its platform and the result is the best video quality and lower bit rates.”

Advanced Pre-Processing

The 4Caster C4 HD introduces a new spatial denoising filter designed specifically to increase the quality of HD source material before it is processed. This maximizes the final quality of the video and improves efficiency of encoding and transcoding operations.

Envivio Extreme HD Codec

Built on a new generation platform, the 4Caster C4 HD takes advantage of several technical advances made by Envivio including Envivio Extreme HD codec technology. Developed by Envivio codec scientists, this high performance algorithm is optimized to maximize HD video quality at the extremely low bit rates required by most IPTV deployments Features include a patented “stripe” encoding, which removes artifacts usually caused by the slicing process; advanced GOP structures with hierarchical B frames and optimized reference and memory management allowing faster zapping time without any sacrifice on video quality; scene change with weighted prediction; PAFF and MBAFF coding advanced decisions for better texture encoding; and Envivio’s latest generation rate control.

Up To Date Processing Power

Unlike ASIC-based systems built on technology that is now several years old, the Envivio 4Caster C4 HD derives its processing power from the latest generation of Intel multi-core processors.

Efficient Headends Made Simple

The new 4Caster C4 HD can directly transcode MPEG-2 and H.264 IP input streams or baseband HD-SDI. It eliminates the need for additional equipment such as IRDs to ingest satellite sources and enables the design of video headends that use less equipment, reduce power consumption, scale easily, and which are operationally more efficient. The 4Caster C4 HD also features dual ASI outputs and supports the ISDB-T standard for HD digital broadcast applications.

The 4Caster C4 HD is available immediately.