Cobalt Digital – openGear Live & Online Sept 29, 2020

Suzana Brady:

I can help introduce Cris. Cris heads the Western region, and he’s also in charge of Latin America for Cobalt Digital. My name is Suzana Brady. I head sales for the Americas at Cobalt Digital. Cobalt designs and manufacturers conversion, throwdown, multiviewer and compression technology for the production and broadcast television markets. And we’re also known for being a founding member of the openGear initiative. So it’s a pleasure to be here today. We offer a comprehensive family of products in this format and have for many years. So we’re very proud to be part of this family. I am also a co-chairman for the RIST forum. And so if anyone is interested in learning more about RIST, please feel free to get in touch with me at the end, or go to
Now I’ll leave you with Cris Garcia who will get started on Cobalt. I will be monitoring the chat box. So if anyone has any questions throughout Cris’s presentation, please feel free to post any comments or questions, and we’ll bring up to Cris and myself, and we’ll be able to address them. So thank you very much. And go ahead, Cris.

Great. Thank you. Thank you, Suzana. So just to begin this presentation, let me just briefly talk about Cobalt’s legacy solutions, which are sort of defined with these different categories that we have here. So we’ve been as a company, developing, designing a lot of solutions for openGear for quite some time now, and all these categories that we see here. These are a representation of all the different solutions that we’ve been designing over time. These, for the most part have been solutions as a single card solution, but as you’ll see in today’s discussion, many of these categories are now what we call licensable options, that we can define with the license key, and that are basically existing with any multiprocessing, multi-channel platform. So this is just to give you an idea what we have as a company, and where we’re going also as a company, by what you see here with the 4K 12G, and all these different solutions that are very essential for any robust, very complex facility or workflow.

So let me get into the first slide. Here, what we’re looking at is a solution that… We call this a multiprocessor, or multi sort of a feature, sort of like a Swiss army knife tool. This allows us to do an SD all the way to 4K, 12G, or basically quad 3G to 12G back and forth. We can do up and down cross conversion. This has a whole, like, multi-services production features that are enabled with the default settings or features. And then, we have some more that are, as we call them, premium. This also offers you the frame sync, the ability to do audio processing, and then color correction is the premium that we offer as a tool. And then one of the main functionality. So this is to provide that HDR processing, which I’ll discuss in the upcoming slides.

So what do we get with this platform? We have the ability to take in quad 3G, or 12G, and take that over to a 12G, if I wanted to. I also have an SFP option that allows me to have more flexibility within the same platform. As a set of default features, we have the ability to audio process, provide an up-down cross conversion feature, answer wings, D embed audio, reduced noise, provide a proper frame sync on board, and then also, with the 2SI and SDM standards, I can also provide the ability to convert from quad 3G to 12G SDI, and back and forth. Then some of the more premium licenses that we can activate at any time is the ability to color correct S to 3G or 4K. Also, I can enable 3D LUTs or BBC LUTs for those that are processing LUTs on set. And then I have the LTC license that allows me to have the ability to process my time coder in and out of the card.

And then with Dolby license, if you were to go into the DSP platform of this card, we can also process Dolby S&A code, D code, and then be able to do an upmix, or automatically level my audio levels, if they’re out of range. And then, I also have a license that can do a key fill plus logo, and then we can also do, you know, with the SFP option, I can change different modules, so I can encapsulate, de-encapsulate 2022 or 2110, and then one of the more premium licenses that we have on this platform is the HDR processing, which is what you’re looking at here.

On the output, we have similar IOs as the input, but with the APA, we also get copies of all the outputs. And again, these outputs are the number of IOs that we see here. These are pertaining to, let’s just say, if you have a quad 3G or a 12G, it doesn’t mean that you can process individual channels, but it’s more to facilitate that conversion between quad 3G and 12G, or if you have SD-SDI, HD-SDI, or a 3G-SDI. And then on top of that, you have an HDMI output that allows you to have up to a 4K signal out with HDR and audio.

As a quick recap, again, this particular platform is one that has been used extensively now, but we’ve been activating different licenses to even allow it to do more than what it was intended to do in the beginning. One thing that I did not mention is that we are also going to be providing this as a standalone platform within the new platform that we have, which is the BBG-1300.

So again, we can do SD all the way through 4K processing with the multi framerates. With the intelligent tone mapping license, I can process on SLHDR. Encode or decode within this platform. I can also use this to bidirectionally convert my quad 3G to 12G-SDI. And then I also have options for fully color correcting RGB 420, 422, for 3G and 4K. And then I can also process different audio format requirements with being able to process audio metadata, embedding, de-embedding, makes the encoding, decoding. And then, like I said, being able to automatically level the audios with the Adobe license.

What we’re looking at here is an application that’s been basically regarded as a true representation of this particular platform. Since the inception of this 9904 UDX, many of our customers have been using this to process SDR and HDR within the same one card solution. And this has been regarded as one of the best HDR platforms out there, because you can do all the processing in a very dynamic way, but I can also utilize different licenses, like the one that I mentioned through the LUTs, to be able to customize and arrange my configuration without having to automatically do that. So again, this is just a representation of what is possible as an application, where if you want to process audios, color, or whatever, and this gives HDR, this particular platform will allow you to do that.

So moving on to a very new and unique platform that we have for this discussion is this 9905-MPx. This is a true representation of many of our customers’ demands to have a very flexible, very capable 4-independent path UDX with the frame sync, and being able to also process color and some advanced features, but really more of the flexibility to give us more density within one openGear card. With this MPx platform, we have 4-independent UDX and framerate channels that I can utilize for any processing. This also, because it has straight out of the box 4-independent channels that I can utilize, I can also upgrade at some point to 4K, if I wanted to. This by default already comes with 3D LUT licenses per path. So now, I can utilize this as a multipath through the LUT processing system that allows me to have more density and more capability.

The new with this card, we also have the ability to process MADI, so we can do MADI in and out of the card, and allows me to utilize all the controls within dashboard to do all my processing. And then on top of that, I also have the ability to process AES as one of the defaults features. So with this, as I said, you get four dedicated IO inputs for this card that has also the AES and MADI support. So there is no option. It’s basically out of the box you get this. And then as a default set of features, we get audio processing. We have per-path UDX conversion. We also now get, as a standard default, a 3D LUTs, and then also we get all the embedding de-embedding as a standard feature. So again, that’s also a very nice feature then in some other platforms that they request that asset premium license. And then, we can also do noise reduction. We have frame sync, and then also audio delaying.

On the more premium side, we have RGB color correction. We also have, if you wanted to tie the 3D LUTs to BBC LUTs, we can also activate the BBC LUT license as well. We also have a Trouble Slater T slate. That’s a premium option for this. And then as I said, you can take this now with those 4-independent channels to a 4K one-path solution, if you wanted to, at some point, process something that was 4K. Again, we also have logo per path. And then, SS and NADED in continuation of the previous model, we have also the SFP option that we are naming this platform, the MPX SFP. And then also, first with this platform, we have the cleaning quiet switch, so that all your inbound signals will be kept clean. And you’re able to switch between your sources, and be able to have a clean output when you’re basically in a very demanding application.

And then on the output you have, again, your four dedicated outputs, plus you also get a copy. So whatever you have that’s inbound, that’s getting processed, you’ll get a copy of that on the way out as well. And then if you have the SFP, you can perhaps adapt a fiber, it can also be some other IO type of SFP, but it’s more to give you that added flexibility for your in and out of this platform. And then, obviously, you get the AES and MADDI out in a similar way, as for the input, and then as a bonus, you get the HDMI out, which, if let’s say you wanted to convert any of those inbound signals, you can come out HDMI for monitoring, or to process on the way out.

So again, this is a new 9905-MPx multipath processor that has a ton of capability, and just continues on that tradition of Cobalt’s multiprocessing in a single platform. So again, this has been the answer to many of our customers’ requests, and I think for the first time, we’re sort of going in that direction where our customers are sort of defining what we come out with in terms of a multiprocessor, such as this 9905-MPx.

One very unique application, as I mentioned, with the 3D LUT licensing, now we can process multiple camera logs in one card, basically giving us that much more density within one platform. So let’s just say in the past, if you were using multiple small, little drill down boxes or devices that were external, now you can do all this with this platform and have four unique, independent channels that are processing your 3D LUTs, and you can manage that within dashboard, but also utilizing the live grade, and WOWOW Wonder Look software, to allow you to define those different Q files that you process once you get the log from the camera.

So this is just an example of what we can do with this card, and as you can see here, if you were to team it up with RBG 1300 standalone frame, now you have this ultra portable solution that has the density and the power to basically process multiple channels out of the box. Again, you can use this in this small little frame, or you can use it in a traditional openGear frame, that’s going to give you that much more density, if you were to have multiple cards in a frame.

And then, now, moving on to the compression side of our presentation. This product, the 9992-ENCODER. This is essentially our latest addition to the compression products. This is not a relatively new solution. We’ve actually have had it for about a year now or so. And we’ve been actually just adding a ton of different features, and just enabling this to become that much more powerful in terms of giving you more bang for your buck, and having the density that many of our customers require.

One very unique thing about this is that now we support full ultra low latency and frame sync, which is one or two features that I would say that many of our customers have been asking for. And then, we have the ability to process multiple channels, if I wanted to, on the encoder side. I can do up to four, and then we have multiple formats. So we can go anywhere from SD all the way through 4K, and I can do MPEG-2 to MPEG-4, and also HEVC, which are the standard features that we can enable on this platform.

So let me just get into the diagram. So on the input side, like I said, we have four independent, inbound IO options that I can enable on this particular encoder. By defaults, you get access to one of these channels, which is what we call the base model. You get one ABC active channel that you can start using out of the box, but then within the same card, you can activate different, either encoding channels, which is what this is with the more defaults encoders that you can activate at any time, but you can also activate HEVC, and you can also activate different license options that are more premium.

For example, I have a two 32-channels or 16 pairs of audio that I can utilize, and use them on any of these inbound channels that I can encode, and move those, because these are floating audio channel licenses. I also have the ability to activate the 42 license, and then we also have the effect 2022. And then we have the RIST ARQ, which is a premium option that we have for this. And then we can also do RIST encryption, if that’s a requirement for keeping your content secure and reliable all the way across, and then new for this platform, we have the ultra low latency, which is what we offer as a licensable option that can be defined at any time with a license.

On the output, I have four different IOs. We have two ASI and two IP that can carry multiple programs. And this, again, with the back plan, this is already part of the platform. And just depending on what licenses we have enabled on this, that’s going to allow you to process different inbound basement signals, and compress into whatever compression format standard that you wish. And then obviously with these premium licenses, you can make it do whatever you want and be able to utilize those different floating audio licenses for the audio, that you can allocate to any of those inbound signals.

So, again, just to recap, this supports MPEG-2, MPEG-4, and HEVC, different audio formats that we support, as an example, MPEG-1, AAC, LPCM, and Dolby. And then some of the protocols that we support are UDP, RTP, HTTP, and RTMP. And then on the premium side, we have the ability to encode Dolby, and then we have up to 16 pairs of audio, as I mentioned, that are floating. You can utilize them on any of these channels. And then we have the ability to activate RIST ARQ and then RIST encryption for those that want to use an IP link to transport content reliably and secure to any destination. And then we have the effect 2022, and then the ultra low latency, and then the frames in which our premium options that we have available for this product.

And then if you wanted to utilize this in conjunction with our 9904-UDX card, you can essentially use this to have a point to point HDR workflow, by allowing this to basically just pass along the HDR content with being able to fly SCI messaging with the metadata that’s pertained to the SLHDR1 format.

And then just as an application, just wanted to point out that this, which is one of the unique features of utilizing this platform with RIST, now we have the ability to have switching. So it’s giving you 100% of the switching back and forth, and it doesn’t take a whole lot of processing resources, if you utilize the encoder with RIST. So this is just an example of that. And then, if you want it to set up a multicast distribution, you can also utilize this particular platform to basically create those conditions to be able to reliably encrypt, utilizing the tunneling feature on the encoder, to give you that protection, if you have the RIST license active within this platform.

And then on the decoder side, very similar to that encoder, we have, again, the ability to process MPEG-2, MPEG-4, and also HEVC. It’s a very dense solution because now we can use two, or we can process two encodes on a single card. And then, similar to the encoder, we have different audio formats that I can activate, adding sound with the license. And then that would also apply for the second processing channel as well.

So For the decode, I can basically accept, I have two, either ASI or IP, that I can decode. And then by default, this comes with one channel that’s enabled out of the box, and this does 1AVC or MPEG-2, and then I can enable the second path. I don’t need to send it back to the factory. It’s basically just a license that allows me to enable the second path, and off we go. Now I have a full two-channel, fully independent processing, decoding channels on a single card. And then again, as a premium feature, we have, again, those 32 channels for 16 pairs of audio that are floating, 422, the effect 2022, and then RIST ARQ, and then one other option that’s not on here is the RIST encryption, which basically corresponds to the encryption on the encoder side that can also be activated within this particular platform.

And then on the output, again, I can decode basically two independent baseband signals, and then I also get four copies that I can utilize to distribute anywhere that I want to. And again, this is illustrating a very dense, very capable platform, that in some cases, when you have limited space, limited resources in a frame, you can utilize this to give you that much more bang for your buck, and allows you to have the ability to monitor all your streams within dashboard, and also being able to utilize any of the tools that we have now with RIST, that give you that much more protection and flexibility for, let’s just say, if you cannot use an ASI traditional link, you can use IP to give you that flexibility.

And then we have obviously MPEG-4, MPEG-2, and HEVC as a default. And again, similar to the encoder, we have all these different audio supported formats. And then we have the same protocols that are supported within this particular platform. And again, some of the more premium, as I mentioned, with the other encoder, it would also apply here, except that this does not give you that ultra low latency, or the frame sync of this scenario, but we do get everything else. Again, we also have the ability to take the metadata for SLHDR1, by being able to look at the SCI messaging for processing the HDR, if you have this as part of that HDR workflow.

One application or a scenario for this particular decoder, let’s just say we have a cloud service that’s basically providing different streams. I can quickly utilize one of these decoders, position them in a place where I can decode, and just listen for a RIST stream, and I can easily decode it, and again, fully protected with that encryption, and being able to utilize less bandwidth that you would otherwise normally use, if you were to use a traditional standard mechanism. And again, this is the beauty of having a flexible platform that can be spun up to basically work as a redundant or as a main link, either as an IP, or as an ASI link.

And then, if you were to combine different elements from Cobalt, as you can see here, this is a traditional, typical HDR production. If you can see here, we have sources that are coming inbound into the production truck, S and HDR signal. We also have SDR sources that are coming in. We’re monitoring this, and we’re processing that through the whole production chain. This is what it would look like, if you were to utilize just about any device appliance out there, but this is what it would look like if you were to take all those different platforms that I just mentioned in this presentation, like our UDX, the 4K UDX, in our encoder and decoder, I can basically have a clean, straight point point production with HDR. And again, being able to use the SCI messaging to decode the SLHDR, I can use that and be able to have a clean point to point HDR solution that can be in a frame, or multiple frames inside of a production truck. So with this, I think this brings us to the end. So if anybody has any questions, please do ask.

Suzana Brady:
One question that we get a lot is what’s RIST, and what’s Cobalt’s involvement with RIST. I just wanted to mention quickly that RIST stands for reliable internet stream transport, and how RIST came to exist, many manufacturers through the years basically have created proprietary solutions that would provide low latency and reliable streaming over the internet, in this broadcast space. The solutions worked well, but they wouldn’t interoperate. So they would lock the customers into one solution from a single manufacturer on both ends of the workflow. So in 2017, the Video Services Forum created the RIST activity group, basically, to come up with a common and interoperable specification to solve the problem. And all top companies in the field decided to participate. They look at all the best of class technologies that are available, and all the established standards, and whenever possible, they decided on what would be the best protocol for low latency and reliable delivery over the internet.

So the result of this was RIST, which allow users to be able to mix and match equipment from different vendors, when doing contribution over the internet. And two years ago, the VSF really, the Video Services Forum, who coordinates this effort, they released the first technical recommendation that was called the RIST Simple Profile. And this April, now in 2020, it was released the RIST Main Profile, which basically adds features like encryption, authentication in order to protect the content, like Cris mentioned.

So I just wanted mention that the president of the RIST forum is Dr. Ciro Noronha, who is our executive vice president of engineering. And Ciro will be on the round table soon after. So I guess you can feel free to ask him any questions, but for this openGear family of vendors, for those of you who don’t take part of RIST yet, we would love to invite you to read more about it, and join, and to bring your products to this wonderful group of people. So thank you.

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