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Technology Showcase: Video Over IP

Nov 1, 2008 12:00 PM, By Jay Ankeney

The latest hardware-based technology simplifies video distribution.

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Sony NSR-1200

Sony NSR-1200

The leader in the IP-based security camera market is Axis Communications for both networked cameras and video encoders, having developed the world's first IP-based network camera in September 1996. Today, Axis Communications has around 1 million professional network video products and more than 3 million networking products installed worldwide. The Axis P3301 is a fixed-dome network camera capable of providing multiple H.264 streams as well as Motion-JPEG streams simultaneously in either full frame rate or individually optimized to service different quality needs and bandwidth constraints. The company's Axis Q7401 video encoder can deliver multiple, individually configurable video streams simultaneously at full frame rate in all resolutions up to D1 (720×480 in NTSC or 720×576 in PAL). It offers highly efficient H.264 video compression, which drastically reduces bandwidth and storage requirements without compromising image quality, and Motion JPEG for increased flexibility.

The MediaStar Evolution IPTV encoders from Cabletime generate either a single MPEG-2 or MPEG-4 dual-output encoded stream to ensure best performance while minimizing the impact on the network. A high-bit-rate stream directs video to large displays where vision quality is paramount while a second lower-bit-rate stream is simultaneously encoded and can be directed to desktop PCs and small displays where lower resolution is acceptable. Able to be installed in a plug-and-play manner to deliver video and audio instantly, MediaStar Evolution 775 encoder converts analog video and audio signals to MPEG-2 or MPEG-4 digital signals and streams them over a LAN/WAN data network. New in the MediaStar Evolution family of IP products is the DVB-T LAN-Caster, a terrestrial (DVB-T) to LAN (IP) gateway system. The LAN-Caster receives digital terrestrial off-air DVB signals, extracts the digital data out of the MPEG-2 streams, and repacketizes the data in a format suitable for transmission over an IP-based network/LAN.

As the first teleconferencing system to provide bidirectional realtime 1080p video over IP in 2006, Cisco has established itself as a leader in the race toward true telepresence as well as providing advanced security camera systems. Cisco Enterprise TV enables on-demand video and live-broadcast TV channels to be delivered over IP to digital displays. Built on the power of the Cisco Digital Media System 5.0 that was released last July, Cisco Enterprise TV leverages the same hardware and management platform as Cisco Digital Signage. It can also interoperate with Cisco Digital Signage or operate as a standalone application. Users get access to Enterprise TV content through onscreen menus and program guides, and organizations can customize lineups and create their own content libraries.

Cisco is also on the forefront of monitoring analog and digital security cameras. The Cisco Video Surveillance IP Gateway video encoders and decoders use a high-quality MPEG-4 video-compression technology that allows video streams to be switched over the IP network at up to full-D1 resolution and up to 30fps, while consuming little bandwidth. Its video encoder connects to an analog video camera and simultaneously encodes two MPEG-4 video streams at different resolutions and frame rates, allowing for high-quality live viewing while recording at lower frame and bit rates for longer storage time. The system's video decoder can be installed anywhere there is a need for live viewing or playback of recorded video on an analog closed-circuit television (CCTV) monitor. Controlled by Cisco Video Surveillance Stream Manager software, the Video Surveillance IP Gateway enables you to connect even your analog surveillance equipment to a digital network.

Introduced at IBC 2008, the OnRamp IP/Sat from the DVEO division of Computer Modules is a rackmount, Linux-based satellite-to-IP gateway that integrates one to four satellite-based receivers and demodulates, routes, and optionally transcodes into H.264 compression. With OnRamp IP/Sat, the desired streams are sent in realtime using the User Datagram Protocol (UDP) or Realtime Transport Protocol (RTP) via IP multicast or unicast streams to IP set-top boxes (STB) such as those from the world's largest provider of STBs, Amino, or designated VideoLAN Client (VLC) or Mplayer-equipped PC clients for viewing. The company also offers the IP Caster FD, an IP gateway that connects high-definition digital video equipment to computer networks over the Internet. It converts HD MPEG-2 transport streams from DVB-ASI to IP in realtime and transmits HD MPEG-2 transport streams over Ethernet-based IP networks and converts them back to DVB-ASI.

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