Cobalt Digital has announced the launch of its Fast-Stream OTT platform for frame-accurate SCTE trigger (FAST) insertion and enhanced H.264 OTT streaming. Fast-Stream OTT is claimed to be the first system of its kind to be able to insert data frame-accurately into baseband video as prescribed in the SCTE specifications.
Built with terrestrial over-the-air, direct-broadcast satellite, terrestrial cable/MSO, and over-the-top (OTT) Internet streaming providers in mind, the Fast-Stream OTT system interfaces with automation and uses timestamps to insert SCTE 104 metadata frame-accurately and deterministically into baseband SDI. It then performs high-quality H.264 encodes designed to meet sophisticated delivery requirements in real time.
Importantly, during the compression stage, the system takes the SCTE 104 messages from the SDI input and converts them to SCTE 35, which it then uses to reorder the group of pictures (GOP) so the I-frames line up with the trigger messages that were inserted at the baseband stage. This benefit contrasts with the typical, less precise method, whereby automation triggers insertion of a basic preloaded SCTE 104 message as close to the intended frame as possible.
Fast-Stream OTT replaces a stand-alone SCTE 104 inserter and H.264 encoder by integrating them into a single compact, high-density appliance. The entire platform fits in a 2-RU Cobalt HPF-9000 frame or openGear OG3-FR frame with redundant power supplies. The system is available in single- or dual-channel configurations, and one 2-RU openGear frame will support six Fast-Stream OTT channels. The system is available with an x86 computer module that sits in the 2-RU frame alongside the Fast-Stream OTT modules, taking advantage of the dual load-sharing power supplies and high-performance cooling.
Fast-Stream OTT is intended as a set-it-and-forget-it system that, once configured, runs under automation. Remote monitoring and control are possible via the DashBoard control system or SNMP, and built-in SNMP alarming alerts operators to any problems.
"Many of our customers live by the old adage that 'content is king’, which is why metadata management is one of our key product categories,” said Jesse Foster, Cobalt Digital's director of product and business development. “The Fast-Stream OTT platform is a critical new part of our metadata-management lineup, helping content providers realise more revenue by enhancing old workflows or defining new ones. Fast-Stream OTT integrates Cobalt's baseband SDI processing knowledge with our video-compression expertise, resulting in a complete linear playout processing and encoding package for VOD and OTT."