Digital magazine of the broadcast and audiovisual market
Mobile Viewpoint Agile LiveLink. Unstoppable Evolution
Lab testing performed by Pablo Martínez
I have been working and assessing different transmission methods for quite some time now. Luckily, and thanks to my position in this constantly-changing world, I have been able to make very accurate assessments of almost all available systems, not only as a user but also at an engineering level with manufacturers. This has given me a solid base for the forward implementation of emerging technologies. Years ago, a market in constant evolution opened with the first ever 3G/4G and H.264 encoding transmitter backpacks. Today, we see the announcement of H265 or HEVC codec implementation. Most manufacturers ended up launching this in 2016, so we have accomplished a significant improvement in these types of transmission systems, above all with the current evolution of the UHDV video format standard (that includes 4K and 8K). This permits reducing the bandwidth required for transmission by 50% without compromising quality. H.265 coding achieves a video quality identical to the H.264 AVC but at half the bit rate and therefore, smaller sized videos.
For further insight into the H.265 codec, commonly called HEVC (High-Efficiency Video Coding), here are some basic ideas that I have been able to collate over time:
The first version of the UIT-T H.265 standard was completed and published at the beginning of 2013. The second version of the rule was completed in July 2014, and the third review was published in April 2015 and included an annex on 3D coding (3D-HEVC). They are now working on the fourth version approved in December 2016.
It was developed in response to the growing need for higher compression of moving images for several applications such as Internet streaming, communication, videoconferencing, digital storage means and television broadcast. It is also designed to permit the flexible use of coded video representation in a wide variety of network environments. The use of this recommendation/international standard permits handling video in movement as computer data, and storing it in several media, broadcasting and receiving it on existing and future networks, and distributing it in existing and future broadcast channels.
High-efficiency video coding (HEVC), also known as H.265 and MPEG H-Part 2, is a video compression standard, one of the several successors of the widely used AVC (H.264 or MPG-4 Part 10). Compared to AVC, HEVC offers approximately double data compression rates at the same level of video quality, or substantially enhanced video quality at the same bit speed. It supports resolutions of up to 8192 x 4320, including 8K UHD.
The great advantage, in this case in question, of broadcast based on backpacks, lies in the dedicated implementation of the H.265 codec, which decreases the bandwidth required for broadcast by almost half compared to the previous H.264 codec. This favours the correct broadcast of all the data packages in critical situations with low mobile signal or saturated operator nodes without an apparent loss of quality (specific-apparent, since other factors play a part according to the configuration of the equipment). I omitted the description of the generic backpack broadcast system because due to its implementation, as mentioned in previous articles, we all know the basics of how it works.
LET’S LEARN MORE ABOUT IT
It is the technological evolution of the Agile 2R, called Agile LiveLink. It uses almost the same encapsulation as its predecessor albeit with minor aesthetic changes to accommodate the connectivity enhancements offered by this model, and weighs slightly less, 1.1 kg instead of 1.4 kg. The transport system has evolved with certain apparent design changes, optimising the ventilation outputs/inputs, as well as the fixed position of the equipment and the battery, if we work in “Backpack” format”. As regards the camera anchorage, when not in use inside its transportation system, we used the V-Lock connection in our assessment system. Within the transportation system, there is another anchorage to ensure the equipment remains perfectly secure, as well as an external V-Lock plate located under the system, at the rear of the transportation system, to power the equipment. One of the advantages regarding the power system is the possibility of having a dual feed, which means that we can connect the Backpack to the external FA and use it at the same time as a backup system, in the event of a failure of the main power supply via FA, and if our battery is connected to the camera mount, the equipment would still work without cuts in the transmission.