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PBS Deploys Video Processing Solution From Elemental

As part of PBS's Next Generation Interconnection System (NGIS), an ambitious project to change the way PBS programming is delivered to public stations, PBS and RadiantGrid have decided to use the Elemental Server video encoding solution from Portland, Oregon-based Elemental Technologies.

Most PBS stations currently receive their programming in real time via satellite. As part of the NGIS project, PBS has been deploying a non-real-time file-based system to the deliver content using a media delivery platform from RadiantGrid, a developer of transcoding and new media automation service products.

An important element in making the system work was the incorporation of the Elemental Server file-based video processing solution into the RadiantGrid platform that could provide faster-than-real-time video encoding for the file-based delivery of PBS broadcast content to 180 PBS stations. The system is currently deployed at about 30, with plans to roll it out to the remainder in stages.  

"As PBS moves to a file-based delivery system, it is critical we maximize the efficiency of our distribution of broadcast content, ensure flexibility in our file formats and have sufficient processing power to make content available for our member stations," said Jerry Butler, senior director of PBS Interconnection Replacement Office in a statement. "By adding Elemental's accelerated video compression to its media delivery platform, RadiantGrid provides transcoded content reliably and efficiently in a package universally accessible across our network."

Integrating Elemental Server technology with RadiantGrid in PBS' edge servers will also provide a platform for the conversion of H.264 content to an MPEG-2 file format.

Elemental Server uses graphics processors to perform the video encoding process, which accelerates video conversion, reduces costs, and helps generate a higher return on investment from the broadcast delivery infrastructure, notes Sam Blackman, CEO and chairman of Elemental Technologies.

"By transcoding source content in a parallel fashion using off-the-shelf hardware, Elemental Server software dramatically reduces the time and cost to generate the content PBS supplies its member stations." Blackman said.

"RadiantGrid strives to harness the most powerful, efficient and reliable transcoding resources in our media delivery solutions," added Kirk Marple, president and chief software architect of RadiantGrid Technologies in a statement. "With the incorporation of Elemental's GPU-accelerated transcoding technology into RadiantGrid's TrueGrid transcoding architecture, customers will experience the joint benefits of faster-than-real-time performance by parallelizing the transcoding process across the GPU as well as across the cores of PBS NGIS Filestore."