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25 February 2016

Ateme to create head end in a box with Intel VCA, Dell’s help

If there is a single device design about to steal all the limelight in video encoding it is probably the Intel Visual Compute Accelerator (VCA), a concoction that came out in the last quarter of 2015, a combination of 3 Xeon CPUs and 3 Intel Iris Pro GPUs in a box.

French encoder maker Ateme added its name to the fans of this device this week, showing a Dell built box and its own Titan Live multiscreen video transcoding software running on the Intel driven combo. It claims that this can deliver 200 HD channels concurrently, in a single 1 RU unit, and only use up 5 watts per channel.

Ateme is the second encoder company to put its software on the VCA, the other being Canada’s Vantrix back in September, but Ateme brings a little more experience of live and VoD TV environments to the Dell machine, and we can easily picture this becoming the physical processing engine of choice for encoder farms.

Ateme described it’s a 4K-UHD and HD transcoding solution in partnership with Dell and Intel, so presumably this is a combination that Dell and Intel want to get into all the cloud services – AWS, Azure etc, and they need to show it off, working at scale.

The announcement claimed this “redefines the broadcast industry density standard, a complete live and file video headend in a box,” and we suspect that rivals such as Elemental, Envivio, Harmonic and Ericsson will be showing their hand on this type of device shortly.

Ateme was showing its fifth Generation STREAM compression engine, on the server with support for High-Efficiency-MPEG2, H264 and HEVC.

“Joining forces with the industry leaders enables Ateme to maintain our technology leadership in terms of video quality and density,” said Michel Artières, CEO. “In addition to headend in a box and faster than real time on-premises cloud file processing, we see our customers using the Intel-Dell-Ateme solution for new applications, such as Just-In-Time-Transcoding (JITT) and edge transcoding.”

Back in September when Vantrix showed its software running on the VCA, Intel promised similar moves from Ateme , Ittiam, Vanguard Video and Haivision.