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Digital Rapids Expands Award-Winning Encoders

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Digital Rapids has unveiled a powerful new version of Stream software for StreamZ, StreamZH and DRC-Stream encoding and live streaming systems.
New features in Stream version 3.2 include advanced encoding for adaptive streaming to Apple iPhone; 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 adds enhanced capabilities for encoding content for live and on-demand viewing on iPhone and iPod touch. 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). 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. 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 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 authorised 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 monetisation 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. Performance optimisations 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.
The complete range of Digital Rapids solutions will be showcased at booth number SL6010, at The NAB Show, Las Vegas, 12-15 April 2010.
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