AWS Elemental Blog

Video Processing Perspectives

Elemental Delivers 4K Video Content Over Hybridcast

Elemental Delivers 4K Video Content Over Hybridcast

In the past few months, Elemental powered two important demonstrations in Japan of 4K Ultra HD video content delivery using the Hybridcast unified broadcast and broadband platform. Developed by Japanese national broadcaster NHK, Hybridcast is a powerful way of unifying traditional broadcasting technology with high-speed internet services. It provides dual broadcast and over-the-top (OTT) content delivery, allowing consumers to switch seamlessly between the two on Hybridcast-equipped receivers that accept video from traditional broadcast and internet sources.

A demonstration by Kansai Telecasting Corporation (KTV), the leading commercial broadcaster in Osaka, Japan, was a first, using a combined Elemental and Amazon Web Services (AWS) workflow to support live and on-demand 4K video delivery as part of the KTV 2016 Technical Fair to prove simultaneous broadcast and internet delivery of 4K services.

“The Elemental and AWS teams provided excellent and invaluable support, using cloud encoding and streaming to complete the Hybridcast delivery platform,” said Iwao Namikawa, Director of KTV’s Broadcast Technology Department. “It was an important achievement, as we move towards deployment of Hybridcast services, including Ultra HD.”

KTV staged live programs which were shot in 4K and then encoded in HEVC in MPEG-DASH using a software-based Elemental Live encoder. Elemental originated outputs for a KTV web server hosted on Amazon EC2 for distribution over an Amazon CloudFront content delivery network (CDN) to devices over the internet, including to an Ultra HD Hybridcast receiver in the KTV Center in Osaka. Viewers were able to enjoy the 4K content and the seamless experience of switching between broadcast HD and online Ultra HD. They could also choose other VOD channels via a common user interface.

In September, the Nagoya Broadcasting Network (NBN) held its annual MÄ“tele Autumn Festival, which also featured live production on site and a Hybridcast content delivery platform using an Elemental Live encoder. The production included a number of NBN’s most popular programs including content for the NBN pay TV service Dance Channel, with concert performances from singers and bands shown on giant screens at the event.

While the original plan was to process and deliver 4K Ultra HD HEVC content at 20 Mbps, on-site tests proved Elemental Live encoding required only 10 Mbps for excellent quality. This allowed the link from the festival to be carried over WiFi.

“We saw how Elemental solutions could perform delivering 4K Ultra HD at the Kansai TV demonstrations earlier this year,” said Minoru Murata, Director of Technology Strategy at NBN. “We pushed the systems much harder, not only by restricting the bandwidth to 10 Mbps, but also by working outdoors in very high temperatures. The Elemental Live encoder performed perfectly, delivering premium image quality with stable operation.”

Elemental at InterBEE 2016

At InterBEE 2016, Elemental will demonstrate its full product suite and showcase SDI over IP video transport on stand 7.7307 at the Makuhari Messe, Japan, November 16 - 18. Elemental will also demonstrate a host of Amazon Web Services’ offerings for media and entertainment broadcast and OTT applications. Among other next-generation video technologies, Elemental will highlight powerful encoding that allows for creation and delivery of Ultra HD HEVC video outputs in real time for immersive virtual reality applications.