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Digital Rapids Expands Encoders with Advanced Encoding for Apple iPhone, Powerful JPEG2000 Support and More (11/3/2010)
Digital Rapids – the leading provider of tools and solutions for bringing television, film and web content to wider audiences – has unveiled a powerful new version of the Stream software for the company’s StreamZ™, StreamZHD™ and DRC-Stream™ encoding and live streaming systems. Available immediately, new features in Stream version 3.2 include advanced encoding for adaptive streaming to Apple® iPhone® mobile devices; expanded format support including JPEG2000 video and Dolby® Pulse audio; enhanced encoding of content for Sony® PlayStation® 3 and other Sony devices; Microsoft® PlayReady® technology for protection of Microsoft Internet Information Services (IIS) Smooth Streaming content; enhanced IIS Smooth Streaming; and YouTube Content ID reference file generation.
A new optional module for Stream 3.2 adds enhanced capabilities for encoding content for live and on-demand viewing on iPhone mobile devices and iPod touch® personal media players. The iPhone module’s integrated segmenting capabilities provide full support for HTTP-based adaptive bit rate delivery to the iPhone while eliminating the need for an external stream segmenter, simplifying encoding workflows and reducing overall system costs. Stream 3.2 encodes to multiple output streams at varying bit rates and resolutions from a live, tape or file-based input source, automatically dividing the outputs into discrete segments immediately ready for adaptive delivery by a server or Content Distribution Network (CDN). As content is delivered to each viewer, the delivery is switched between these outputs to provide the optimal viewing experience based on current bandwidth and device playback conditions. Live iPhone streams can also be archived as VOD files for future on-demand distribution.
Stream 3.2 enables encoding and decoding of the Motion JPEG2000 format in powerful and efficient workflows through a new software option. Content can be encoded into the JPEG2000 compression standard and output as image sequences or wrapped in an MXF container. Stream 3.2 provides full encoding support for the JPEG2000 format’s ability to combine multiple layers at progressively higher quality – from visually ‘lossy’ to mathematically lossless – within a single output. Stream 3.2 also provides exceptional efficiency when transcoding JPEG2000 source content to other formats by allowing the user to choose which of the multiple embedded resolutions to decode – avoiding time-consuming processing of the full frame size when transcoding to a lower-resolution deliverable. As a charter member of the JPEG2000 Alliance consortium, Digital Rapids is also taking an active role in driving the continued development and deployment of the JPEG2000 compression standard across comprehensive media workflows.
For audio, version 3.2 adds optional support for the Dolby® Pulse codec. Dolby Pulse is a robust High-Efficiency AAC (HE-AAC) based technology designed for delivering high-quality multi-channel content to TVs, computers, mobile phones, and other entertainment platforms, with metadata capabilities similar to those in Dolby Digital and Dolby Digital Plus.
Stream 3.2 also features enhanced encoding of media compliant with the conformance requirements of Sony PlayStation 3, PSP® and other Sony consumer devices. A new multiplexing option, tailored to Sony specifications, also adds support for the Sony BDN subtitling format, text-to-picture subtitling from RTF (Rich Text Files) and more.
Stream 3.2 incorporates PlayReady content access technology for the protection of IIS Smooth Streaming media, ensuring that high-value content is used only as specified by the content owner and only by authorized users. Stream 3.2 also includes direct support for a number of third-party PlayReady service providers. Supported third-party offerings include media commerce platform KeyOS from BuyDRM, which includes their Smooth DRM Service; content monetization and management solution Content Direct from CSG Systems, which features integrated PlayReady-powered DRM; and hosted Silverlight DRM services, powered by PlayReady, from EZDRM. Open Web Services access through Stream 3.2’s PlayReady interface enables fast integration with additional third-party license providers, speeding time to market for new secure services. The list of directly supported providers of Windows Media DRM technology has also been expanded with Irdeto Dayport DRM support.
IIS Smooth Streaming support has also been significantly enhanced in version 3.2. Providing adaptive bit rate delivery, IIS Smooth Streaming seamlessly switches between multiple streams at different bit rates to deliver consistent viewing experiences up to high definition quality, even under changing playback conditions. Support for IIS Live Smooth Streaming in the H.264 compression format complements the Stream software’s existing on-demand H.264 and live and file-based VC-1 IIS Smooth Streaming. Performance optimizations in Stream 3.2 significantly increase the number of streams that can be simultaneously created at varying resolutions and bitrates in a single encoding system – seven or more concurrent VC-1 IIS Smooth Streaming outputs including full 1280x720 resolution on the latest StreamZHD systems, and even higher concurrent stream counts or resolutions up to 1920x1080 in the H.264 format.
Other new features in version 3.2 include support for YouTube Content ID “fingerprint” generation (please see earlier press release “Digital Rapids Connects Top-Tier Content Owners to YouTube with Integrated Content ID Support”); further increases in Digital Rapids’ acclaimed H.264 encoding quality and performance; and a variety of minor enhancements and refinements.
"Version 3.2 directly addresses some of the hottest topics in today’s media landscape, from extending content reach through the most popular mobile platform to adaptive bit rate delivery and secure content access management,” said Brian Stevenson, Director of Product Management at Digital Rapids Corporation. “As always, we’ve also ensured that our expanded format support not only adds new input and output capabilities to our encoders, but delivers them in robust, efficient workflows that increase our users’ productivity and the quality of their deliverables.”
The Stream 3.2 software is available in two software configurations – the core Stream LE™ and the advanced Stream FE™ with expanded workflow automation, integration capabilities and format support. A comparison of feature availability between the two levels is available on our website.
The version 3.2 update is immediately available as a free download for registered owners of Stream version 3.0 or higher, and as chargeable upgrades for users of versions 2.6 or earlier. The new optional modules are available individually or in select bundles for easy ordering.
The complete range of Digital Rapids solutions will be showcased in booth number SL6010 at the 2010 NAB Show, April 12-15 in Las Vegas.
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