The Pelican transcode platform provides mass decode-encode capability for H.264/AVC and H.265/HEVC, as well as supports live IP transcode (UDP/RPT/HTTP) and file-based transcode workflows. Operators with FFmpeg-based workflows can benefit from the increase in coding density, while scaling back the number of servers needed.
This platform also presents an easy-to-use web-based GUI for direct control, along with a straightforward REST API for integration into other control systems.
The explosive growth in OTT services, live video streaming, the move to file-based workflows and the adoption of streamed video in corporate and security environments, has resulted in an ever increasing demand for encoding and transcoding capabilities. This is especially true for OTT services which require multiple profiles spanning a very wide range of bit rates in order to reach devices ranging from low speed mobile phones all the way to high-end 4K TV sets.
The Pelican transcode platform can help overcome these challenges by providing an economical, flexible and high density transcoding solution that fits a wide variety of applications.
Supporting full VLSI hardware accelerated mass decode-encode functionality for H.264/AVC and H.265/HEVC, the Pelican supports both live IP transcode and file-based transcode workflows.
By deploying the Pelican at sporting events, concerts or other live production venues, the high cost of contribution links can be lowered by encoding with high-quality HEVC before sending to the studio.
As most OTT transcode workflows are using off-the-shelf commercial servers running software encoders, it is not uncommon to see data centres with hundreds, if not thousands, of Dell or HP servers. Operating such a massive number of servers is an expensive proposition. Software encoding is a complex process requiring heavy compute and memory resources. Furthermore, even after the initial capital cost, there is ongoing power, cooling and maintenance expenses.
Additionally, government health and safety/security alerts, public service information or other emergency notifications can be deployed across many channels simultaneously, with the Pelican multi-channel graphic and text overlay feature. Custom graphics, text or RSS feeds can be simply superimposed onto live content in the compressed domain.
Preparing content for Video On Demand services also requires transcoding. Original IPTV-based VOD services usually serve a single bit rate, meaning only one file must be transcoded for each title. However, OTT-based on-demand services must accommodate the same wide range of devices and bit rates as live OTT. The consequence, of course, is a large number of transcodes are required for each title.
Inbound media files can be submitted to different Pelican transcode “engines” via NFS/CIFS watch folders, FTP upload (with automatic FTP transfer of output files) and simple upload from web browser. The straightforward GUI provides fine control over each job queue, allowing change of queue order and designate certain jobs as “priority” to transcode immediately.
Overlays consist of an image, text or both. The text can either be static, as entered by the user, or it can be dynamically sourced via an RSS feed. RSS feeds are scrolled across the screen like a “stock ticker”.
This live content overlay operating in the compressed domain, leads to significant cost savings compared to traditional baseband graphics generators: less equipment, eased rack space and reduced power consumption.
Long-distance transmission via fibre or satellite links continues to be a major cost factor for live production operators. The Pelican can help operators optimise costs by encoding contribution content into high resolution HEVC streams, thus lowering the bit rate without sacrificing quality.
LIVE OTT & eSPORTS
The Pelican provides a compact and economical alternative to expensive CPU and/or GPU server solutions when creating the multiple output bit rates needed for OTT streaming. Reading a high- resolution input stream, the Pelican easily creates multiple output bit rates. For each output profile, “chunk” files are written to an external origin server. Manifest files are automatically created.
Quickly configure live transcoding by creating a new instance, selecting an input source, adding output streams (each with IP destination, encoding format, and bit rate) and click “go”.