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Memory-Tech Uses CodecSys for Archival Product

Japanese storage and media management firm Memory-Tech Corp. is using Broadcast International’s CodecSys video encoding software for its video archiving product, KaleiDA-Turbo.

The CodecSys software incorporated into the KaleiDA-Turbo product offers real time HD H.264 encoding using the CELL/B.E.-based Fixstars GigaAccel 180. The KaleiDA-Turbo product was jointly developed by Memory-Tech, Broadcast International and Fixstars Corp.

A key feature of CodecSys encoding software is that it allows dramatic reductions in the bandwidth and storage space needed for high-definition content, said Broadcast International CEO Rod Tiede.

“Instead of having to do HD at say 12 to 14 Megabytes per second, we can do it with the same quality at 4 Megabytes per second,” Tiede said. In tests at their office, Broadcast International has cut that down to as little as 1.5 Mbps without losing quality.

On the storage side, CodecSys allows companies to use only one quarter of the space typically needed for HD content and in tests Broadcast International has reduced that even further. “We’ve managed to put a whole HD movie on a 1 gigabyte USB storage stick,” he said.

CodecSys achieves those reductions with software that automatically shifts between a number of codecs that are specifically adapted to various types of video. Unlike other systems that use “a single mathematical algorithm that is applied to every frame of the video in the same way, CodecSys is a system of codecs, each of which have been optimized for specific conditions — fast motion, or slow motion, light content or dark content,” Tiede said.

Depending on the content, the software may switch the codec it is using as many as two or three times a second. “That allows us to provide a much higher quality at a lower bit rate,” he said.

Because CodecSys is a software system that can deal with a wide variety of formats, including H.264, it also allows users to adapt to new formats that may arise in the future. “If you have a hardware based product, you maybe limited to a specific format for longer than you’d like to be,” added Dan Mabey, Broadcast International vice president of international development.  

This software approach and its ability to achieve significant reductions in bandwidth and storage size were key reasons why Memorex chose to work with Broadcast International for its KaleiDA-Turbo digital archiving product, Mabey said.

Another important consideration was that it works with the CELL/B.E.-based Fixstars GigaAccel 180 product. “There are a lot of folks that have tried to do a codec for the CELL/B.E. platform but Broadcast International was the first company to accomplish that,” he said.

Mabey added that Memorex is delivering the first units of its KaleiDA-Turbo product to customers this month. They are targeting broadcasters, studios, production houses and government agencies needing to archive data.

More demand for high compression products is likely to develop in the future, Mabey said, as companies move towards even higher resolution programming. In Japan, for example, tests are already underway of so called Quad HD systems with 2160p that have four times the number of pixels of standard HD systems.

“We are only at about 50% of the resolution that the human eye can see so we’ll continue to see people push the envelope,” he said.