[Inter BEE 2009 Exhibitor Information] KDDI R&D Labs exhibit portable high-resolution video transfer system VistaFinder
VistaFinder ― portable high-resolution video transfer system with HD video distribution capability
KDDI R&D Labs presented the VistaFinder system ― a portable, lap-top PC based video content transfer system. The system consists of a PC installed with internet video transfer software and a transfer device. SD images are transmitted uncompressed in real-time and HD images in compressed H.264 file format.
Transfer methods include UQWiMAX, wireless LAN, IP broadband systems, au data com card for mobile data communications as well as the satellite network transfer via KDDI Inmarsat (BGAN). With the VistaFinder, direct content transfer such as news gathering and acquisition from foreign locations via the internet will be made available.
Up to now the system had a live broadcast mode for prompt transfer of SD images and highly-efficient store transfer mode, but now the system also supports stored transferring of HD images in H.264 file format with 2 Mbps to 8Mbps compression.
Researcher Yousuke Toyota explains ― "Since the main objective of the design is to work from any lap-top computer available on the market, the system doesn't meet the specifications required for live HD distribution."
Automatic video bit rate control functionality
What's more, designed as system for broadcast applications that is easy to use while on the job, the system also features automatic network bandwidth measuring function and fully automatic parameter detection function for store transfer mode, as well as automatic video bit rate control to deal with variations in network bandwidth during live SD broadcast.
The automatic network bandwidth measuring function allows setting the optimum bit rate for transfer by sending and receiving test data across the network from the coverage location to determine the available bandwidth.
Just by setting the completion time for transmission, the all-automatic parameter settings take care of selecting the best stored data compression and transfer parameters to suit conditions such as network bandwidth and time required for transfer.
Mr. Toyota further explains "By partially measuring the H.264 compression pattern characteristics, our unique technology estimates total performance to ensure that the encoding parameters and so forth are at their most optimal settings, since conditions vary with performance characteristics of different PCs."
Furthermore, the bit-rate control function automatically adjusts the compression bit rate to suit bandwidth variations when it isn't possible to ensure network bandwidth in a live broadcast situation. The system also includes a Forward Error Correction (FEC) function to deal with packet loss experienced with wireless communications.
To use the BGAN service available through the KDDI Inmarsat, Mr. Toyota says "Since BGAN guarantees a minimum bandwidth of 384Kbps, the user can enjoy high-resolution image transfer at a speed of about 800kbps using a bulk transfer function that uses two BGANs in tandem."
The system is at an open price, and is available from Digital Hands (a KDDI retail agent). The price will vary according to the hardware configuration used, but a rough price guide for the complete SD type with hardware would be about 1,500,000 yen, or 2,500,000 yen for the complete HD version including hardware installed with the HD-SDI input to I-Link converter.