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Technology Showcase: Web Video Streaming Gear

May 6, 2009 12:00 PM, By Bennett Liles

Sending video to the Web has become push-button easy.

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The Sony AWS-G500/AWS-G500HD Anycast Station live content producer incorporates a whole mobile production facility into a small, carry-around package including a video switcher, an audio mixer, an LCD display, and a streaming encoder and server. The signal inputs include composite video, S-Video, DV, SD-SDI, and balanced audio, along with a computer RGB port. In addition to these are HD analog component and HD-SDI, and the user can switch between any of these sources without the need for external format conversion. The output signal can be recorded on external hard drives, sent to transmitters, or fed directly to large-venue displays. The video switcher can input up to six video sources and one still-picture source, while the audio mixer provides 48kHz/24-bit processing from six input channels and includes audio-follow-video. Audio and video parameters can be adjusted by simply pressing an access button.

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Aimed primarily at the professional newsgathering market, the Streambox ACT-L3 Portable Video Transport solution incorporates the Streambox ACT-L3 codec, which facilitates video transmission from breaking news events over low-data-rate network connections providing the same capability as that of the Streambox ACT-L3 rackmount encoders. The codec uses an advanced proprietary video-compression technology optimized for interlaced video. The video input is IEEE 1394 FireWire with embedded audio at a bit rate of 64kbps up to 8Mbps. The system processor is an Intel Core Duo T2400 with 1.83GHz processor speed, 667MHz front-side bus, a 2MB L2 cache, and 2GB DDR2 DRAM. In addition to the 4-pin FireWire connection, there are three USB 2.0 ports, a 9-pin RS-232 serial port, an external VGA, an audio headphone mini jack, and a microphone mini jack. The unit can interface with a 56kbps V.92 fax/modem; 10Mbps, 100Mbps, or 1Gbps network; and wireless networks.

The V-Brick Systems VBExpress is a suitcase-enclosed version of the VBDesktop for encoding, streaming, and recording Windows Media video and audio formats. Included are a camera and tripod, a network switch for IP interfacing, cables, and connectors, along with a user guide, a prepaid hosting service, and a rugged carrying case. Encoding capability includes PAL and NTSC in 4:3 and 16:9 aspect ratios in either constant bit rate/constant frame rate or constant bit rate/variable frame rate. Up to three bit rates can be selected for encoding, and video inputs include composite and S-Video with metadata insertion and scripting. Audio modes include stereo, Mono 1 (left and right), and Mono 2 (left only). The live streaming server can accommodate up to 200 simultaneous viewers, while the on-demand mode can handle up to 20 concurrent on-demand streams. Either a fixed IP address or Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) can be used.

ViewCast Niagara 2100

ViewCast Niagara 2100

The Niagara 2100 from ViewCast just debuted at NAB Show 2009. It is built on the quality of the well-known ViewCast Osprey technology, and its simplicity is designed to allow even non-techies to perform web streaming with no trouble, using a built-in web interface. The unit simultaneously streams multiple resolutions at multiple data rates and is Microsoft Silverlight-compatible. The inputs include component and S-Video, along with balanced and unbalanced stereo sound. Included is the ViewCast Niagara SCX software for setup, control, and monitoring. The front panel includes indicators for audio levels, a USB port, stream and stop buttons, a power button, and a headphone output with volume control. The rear panel has a 12VDC power connector, 15-pin connector for service, video and Ethernet connectors, and audio connectors including XLR and RCA.

The Winnov Xstream Engine2 PowerCaster MCHP video-encoding and media-streaming appliance is designed to continuously encode and stream audio and video content on a 24/7/365 basis. The unit has an autoscheduler with a web-based user interface for remote configuration, stream monitoring, and operator control, and it is capable of capturing and streaming up to six channels of audio and video. Included are 16 composite or eight S-Video ports on BNC connectors, and eight balanced stereo audio inputs. The device can accommodate multiple viewer bandwidth demands in the same stream profile with various video sizes, frame rates, video quality, and audio formats.

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