MultiDyne – Comprehensive High-Density & High-Bandwidth Signal Management – openGear Live & Online, 21 April 2021

Jesse Foster:
What I have here is some slides, kind of technical details on some products and a few notes on some use cases. So this is a slide from the previous session, but it’s our growing platform. Our growing portfolio of openGear cards. This is where we are today. Today, I’m going to be focused on the encoders, decoders and the OG 4600 series. Pretty much everything that I’ll touch on on the 4,600 series is also available for 3G and the 3600 series. The 4600 series is a 12G SDI platform.

All right, so the MD 9200 group of products are streaming encoders for direct to web streaming or back haul, confidence monitoring. It’s quite a few applications. Getting into the actual devices themselves, we have the encoder which is available and openGear card in standalone. It has one 3G input with a dual encoding course, so that single input can be encoded twice. And each encoding core can give you independent parameters that you can scale with the cores. You can take HD to SD and encode an HD and an SD simultaneously. You can encode one at ABC and one at MPEG-2 simultaneously, if that’s your application, but each core can stream about to 10 destinations over IP. So 20 destinations total from one single 3G HD SDI input. It is ABC or MPEG-2 based encoding engine and it supports UDP RTP, RTMP for CDN contribution to content or delivery networks or Facebook or YouTube. Also supports HTTP live streaming, HLS.

And then the bottom line here, I’m showing how it has some native support for ARQ techniques, which is SRT and Zixi. Including FASP, which is an order option. But what ARQ is, is a method of recovering packets that may have been lost in transport. So it’s pretty much essential for using the internet or problematic networks for video delivery based on the fact that video streams are highly susceptible to packet loss. You have dire consequences on your output. So some other great features of the product. It has a character and slate generator. You can put up color bars, internal pattern, or you can upload your own PNGs and have a proper slate or trouble slide. Even there’s a motion insertion pattern. So you can have confidence that your encoder and decoder chain is working before you go live. Also, has audio tone generators. And it’s a broadcast facing product.

So it has closed caption, support as well as a 104. The companion decoder, you can get a bookend solution like you see here, but everything that you just saw is industry standards based. So ABC, MPEG-2, SRT, Zixi are supported by quite a few manufacturers. So, you’re not required to use the decoder here, but you get some additional functionality if you do go encode to decode. So the decoder has input stream failover with priority. So if one source goes away, for whatever reason, it can then proceed to go through a list of secondary and tertiary sources for redundancy sake.

It has a dual 3G SDI output, DA output, and HTMI 1.4. Where that comes into play, if it’s 10 80 P if it’s ABC, but this product also has an HEVC license. So you can get H.265 then pick five HEVC capability in this decoder. In the field, you can deploy it and license later, either in a standalone or openGear based. And once you have the HEVC license and you can get into a 4k. If you’re going to go 50 or 60 frames a second, it’s going to be 8 BIT, but we can do 10 BIT at like 24 frames a second 4k. Eight channels of audio, broadcast device, close caption decoding and display. And it could also decode from file on local SD storage.

So on the application notes side, this is a project we’ve worked on recently for a large three letter network here in the States. This is Corporate WAN Distribution. So this happens to be over their own wide area network that they have it professionals maintaining, but still packet loss and congestion could be an issue depending on scale. So SRT and Zixi are in play in this design, but this could very well be the internet as well. So what they were doing is receiving feeds that they needed to disseminate to multiple properties across the country, call it stations and your networks. So what they were doing is receiving Zixi ARQ protected content, and they actually wanted to decode it and have local base band copies, but we were then re encoding it, using encoder. We were down converting it to SD on the input of the encoder and as 4208 BIT SD out, over IP with SRT protection.

So essentially a network protocol translation is the term we use for something like this. This could be RTMP to something else. It could be these ARQ techniques to a UDP. It’s the ability to convert your protocol in the process without needing to do an external box or external processor. So then what we’re doing here is just basic SDI decode with the SRT protection. So if there was a packet lost, the encoder is buffering those packets and the decoder asked for a copy of that packet again, and it can do that multiple times. And like I said, SRT is widely supported. So quite a few decoders could be used here and work with the encoder and vice versa. So that’s phase one, phase two is larger scale with more signals in the sense that they’re doing redundancy now.

So what they’re doing is leveraging the dual SDI output of the decoder taking into two unique encoders, and they’re doing two streams, the stream each. So two streams from the single source and the decoders are looking. Mara was mentioning that there is a failover functionality. So if the first stream goes away, it can get the stream from a secondary encoder. So this is what the project will scale up to phase two.

So some additional use cases, the remote working from home scenario, these products are what are being used for that type of workflow. The majority of projects are being deployed using ABC. ABC has been around for quite a few years now, but it is the defacto web streaming standard. We have HEVC decoding, and we have a new platform that would be rolling out HEVC encoding. You do get a reduced BIT rate with the promise of higher perceived quality at a lower BIT rate, but it’s not as prevalent as ABC. ABC, RTMP is what is still the standard for uploading, contributing to CDNs or Facebook or YouTube, and RTMP, and HEVC are not compatible. So ABC is where it’s at, but this is marrying ABC with Zixi or SRT. So you do get that packet loss resiliency.

So what we’re doing here is a popular use case where producers are needing to see multiple cameras, multiple sources, and make decisions. So to answer the question from earlier, all these products support SNMP, you have an SNMP license in your openGear frame, frame controller, and you can do traps, sets and gets, and all the greatness that SNMP brings. But these devices are native web browser based HTML five web browsers. So VPNs, all the standard techniques of getting to web based devices over the internet are employed, and you can control the far end and over the IP connection that you’re getting your content back and forth over. So this is a cool application on your back hauling that SkyCam uses our encoders and decoders for getting views from multiple stadiums cross country, back to their NOC, and they get confidence monitoring them over the internet.

Another one here is the 4400 card I was showing earlier. It’s essentially fiber in, SDI out with routing, hitting the encoder. Then the encoder can go to, like I mentioned earlier, 20 destinations. Here, I’m showing a handful of popular OTT web cloud-based receive entities in distribution platforms. So that’s just for example sake, but the router card could be DashBoard or ultra-touch. And again, you can employ VPN and use DashBoard over VPN like Matt indicated earlier. So just another kind of cool use case for the encoder product and moving on, into my favorite product in our product line is the OG 4600 series. It’s an extremely capable, single card solution. So this is a six slot rear module. We have other smaller footprints available standard with two slots. We have some in the works using HD BNC and whatnot to get the footprint down, but this is the most usable interface you can imagine, right.

No need for HDB and see these 25 pins are task cam D 25 pin out. So you can get cables from us. You can get cables from your favorite marker tech, BNH wherever you use for those types of cables. And then gigabit, ethernet, multiple serial GPO, tally, all that over a single fiber. So the 4600 is extremely popular in the industry. We see it everywhere. It’s in all kinds of applications. So I have a little tongue in cheek thing here where this is going to feel like there’s that card again. Like, am I watching this cards like a home slideshow or something? So you’ll see it everywhere, right. That’s the joke I got going here. So here it is in Egypt, here it is another part of the world at the Grand Canyon. And here it is in my hometown. But the family portrait is the last picture you’ll have to sit through in that portion of the slideshow, showing the different order options that are available.

So depending on what you need to do, there’s most likely a version of the 3600 for 3G or the 4600 for 12G available. The video segment here, it’s four channels. You can do two in each direction, four in one direction. I’m just showing a bi-directional so you can understand that statement, but it is four total or two or one. You can scale it down at order time to just be a single channel video card with all these other signals as well. So an extremely scalable product for us here. Getting into some applications. So this is the large internet company that we’re working with on a new facility design that will be going together very shortly here. So the other part of this segment of the presentation is showing how our 4600 series cards are compatible with all of our other products to a large degree.

So in this case, the end user wanted openGear in their rack rooms. They wanted the density, the cooling, the DashBoard support, SNMP. So we made sure that we could inter-operate with the other parts of the system that they needed. In this case, there’s a light box. They have a multiple lightboxes for access panels across the campus. So if they needed to do like an insert, the outside shot or whatever the scenario is going on at any given time, they would roll out a light box. They would plug into the access panel then it goes to a patch bay in the rack room. And they could then patch to… You could have a subset of openGear cards that you would otherwise need if everything was hardwired, right. Because they can patch it. So it’s all wavelength compatible, signal IO standard compatible between these two different platforms.

So that is a real big cost savings for them and easy to deploy the connectivity they need at any given time on the property. So that’s the Lightbox and 4600 series integration. Another key point of this design of this facility is a lot of PTZ and POV cameras being used on robotic heads. So we have a couple of different footprints in our VB series that you see here. So this one here paired with the Sony HDC-P50 is the VB six, that’s a third RU wide, 1RU tall. And then it’s big brother, the VB 10 is a half-rack-width wide. So it’s really dependent on the signals that you need for any given application. The VB is extremely configurable to meet those needs, but in both of these cases, they’re working directly with the OG 4600.

So this happens to be OG 46 10. It is this most scaled down version, could still support for videos, but in this case, we just short stuffed it per the application. This is a configuration that has a standard width rear module. So we could fit 10 of these systems in one, 2RU openGear frame, which is extreme density for the amount of work that that 2RU is performing. So you have SNMP that’s available within the rack system within these cards. So you can have preemptive status alarms and everything based on SNMP. So that is the openGear and VB series standalones.

And then this is one of my favorite applications using the nature of fiber optics, where you have a test signal, sync pulse generator, an expensive 1RU device that’s making all of these signals, most likely GPS locked. So as opposed to buying four TSG SPG units to deploy across your facility, you can go with one and one of our transmitted cards, and this litter happens to be a [RAS 00:17:09] optical splitter product. So you get 25% of the light across four different connections to four different receive sites. And you get all of those signals, DAed in the optical domain without needing to get three more additional transmitter cards or TSG SPGs. So extreme savings and a kind of a novel or not novel, but a cool use case for you using fiber optics.

So that was the big internet company applications in a nutshell. Some additional use cases, this is a slide that we had previously, but it’s a powerful option within the OG 4600 3600 series where you can do CWDM cascading. So you don’t need any additional openGear card maxes or external 1RU CWDM multiplexers, that’s all done on the card. And so you take the upstream cards, optical input into an express port, add four additional wavelengths. And you keep going until you either get up to 18 12 GS or 16 12 GS with a gigabit ethernet for that in-band connectivity and visibility all the way to the receive frame. So this is a unique option within our product line.

So some further big picture use cases. This is essentially what we can do in our camera adapter systems, but within the open gear realm. So if you have Intercom over party line, like clear COMM or RTS, we can convert that to four wire, which is just line level audio, transport that back and forth. And on the far side, keep it four wire. If that’s the system you’re using to go into a matrix or different panels from the different manufacturers. Or if you need party line, again, we can wet that signal back up, put voltage on it and then you could Daisy chain through multiple belt packs, and you have your direct connectivity right to the openGear card that’s doing that work for you. If the terminal gear scenario, doesn’t work out for your design, we have the ability to go from openGear on the rack side, the fly pack side of the truck, to the camera location, to the far side, to the booth, wherever this happens to be.

And we can do that two wire, four wire in the VB style footprint, pair it with the VB box. And then you see what we’re introducing. The concept here is what we’re also able to do in our camera adapter systems is go single mode fiber, back and forth all the signals over one fiber to our juice box power supplies, which are also [symty 00:20:16] hybrid to ST converting units. And then we actually wet that up, put DC voltage over the symty hybrid fiber. It powers the VB box and could potentially power a camera. We have the ability to do 12 volt pigtail out of there or four pin XLR or connector of choice, or we could also do POE ++ to power some of the recent Panasonic POV, PTZ cameras, for example.

So that is the popular application for us. Further on just the more openGear for MultiDyne is marrying our flagship product, which is the SilverBack V is the latest generation of camera adapters. With the openGear to build full up synthy studio camera chains using openGear and our SilverBack.

So again, here we are with the juice box converting this sympty hybrid fiber powering our adapter, which then through the battery plate, powers the camera. The camera’s could be Sony, Aire, Panasonic, Canon, really any camera that you can think of with an Anton Bauer or V Mount adapter on it. And we can also accommodate other systems if needed. But you see the main heavy lifting is being done on the rack side with the openGear card at the innercomm four by four analog audio. So that’s an exciting one to me because this is as 8K rolls out, 4k is here today, obviously, but 8K will most likely be accomplished by the camera manufacturers using Claude 12G. So here you have your Claude 12G ready to go, and we can fit three of those systems into two RU frame.

So you actually get greater density in this footprint than we can offer in our high density 2 RU dual camera chain version, which you see next. Here, which is the SilverBack, the dual channel base station. So two unique camera chains, and one 2 RU chassis. And the reason I wanted to show it here is it does have the native openGear capabilities. Got four slots of openGear functionality with the intent of being able to work with the partner cobalt ROS San core on integrating 2110. As that is rolled out in the production space, you can just add it within the same Rackspace as your camera system is residing in. So that’s a value-add to the camera system. The future protects purchasing engineers and purchasers management, they don’t have to get pigeonholed with a system that won’t support 2110 when the time is right.

Cindy Zuelsdorf:
One of the questions I had was really on something that you mentioned yesterday. You were talking about the large internet company you worked with that shall remain unnamed, and that it’s a really big installation for you guys and the machine room, the rack room, they eventually kind of morphed over to openGear for everything. And I wondered if you could talk a little bit more about that.

Jesse Foster:
Yeah. I mean, really the desire to do that, like I touched on earlier, is the technical attributes and physical attributes of the package. They had already had in mind that they wanted openGear where possible in the machine room for the cooling, the remote monitoring and control and density that it brings. So the initial design was actually using a companion, like VB box to VB box, and we can get high density footprints in the VB box scenario, and we’re adding dual power supply capability to it as we speak. But to meet their requirements day one, like now openGear was just a natural solution. We met in the middle like, “Oh yeah, well, we have openGear” and they’re like, “Oh, well we want openGear.” And the rest is history. So it all evolved to openGear where possible in the machine room.

Cindy Zuelsdorf:
And we have a question really here about working from home more. And are you seeing that with your customers you are working with, and if so, which pieces of equipment or workflows are helping people and working from home right now?

Jesse Foster:
Yeah. I mean, really it’s about leveraging the internet. So our new HEVC encoder product that I touched on earlier, it’s a standalone to begin with, but open year coming. It’s multi-channel bi-directional, which is different than the ABC product I was highlighting for the call letter station group. So just imagine three cameras coming back to a producer, director and a return feed going back to the studio all over one box, using SRT, Zixi or RIST, which is really the evolving standards of reliable internet streaming transport, I believe is what the acronym stands for. So again, it’s an ARQ functionality, but it also has… It’s a very high level encryption. So security and extremely low latency performance of these next generation products, like our new HEVC encoder allows for that real time interaction between talent and the control room, or whatever your scenario is. That would always be the biggest problem is latency and satellite transmission.

Back in the day, everybody gets out of sync because there was a second or more. So this happens, streaming it’s like in the double millisecond, 47 milliseconds I believe is where we are right now. Lower than that. I just don’t want to get it totally wrong. So extremely low latency, round trip with broadcast quality performance over the internet. That’s the state of the art, using HEVC or ABC, depending on the hardware set you’re using to make it seem like everybody’s in the same facility.

Cindy Zuelsdorf:
So working from home has become quite a big thing for MultiDyne then. That makes sense. Yeah. And I know that’s not your main focus not to put it that way, but [crosstalk 00:27:02].

Jesse Foster:
There’s a morphing of terminology where at-home production is kind of what the industry settled on for big budget. Instead of sending a whole 53 foot truck, you just send the cameras and the few, maybe one engineer and everything, and everything’s backhauled to your main control facility, your main processing center. Whatever that looks like. That is at-home production, right. That’s what the industry went. There was all these different, REMI and there’s all these different terms used. But most recently from my point of view, that’s what they settled on at the SVG events and everything, was at home production. And then we truly got forced into at home production. So it scales from low level, infomercial, whatever you’re working on, all the way up to, high level productions that we’ve been working on with Sony and whatnot. With Venice cameras and it’s an all encompassing term these days.