This week, Las Vegas hosts the National Association of Broadcasters conference, or NAB Show. A big focus is the technology needed to deliver movies and TV shows using 4K video.
Standard DVD video resolution is 720×480. Blue-ray resolution is 1920×1080. But, thanks to digital projection in movie theatres and huge flat-screen TVs at home, more video today is being shot in 4K (4096×2160) resolutions. The video is stored compressed but must be streamed uncompressed for many editing, rendering, and other post-production workflows. Each frame has over 8 million pixels and requires 24x greater bandwidth than DVD (4x greater bandwidth than Blue-ray).
The Power of The Network
Uncompressed 4K requires 9.2Gb/s nominal per stream, which overwhelms either 10GbE or 8Gb FC. Customers must aggregate multiple network links to each workstation, resulting in major headaches around routing, security, and network management. 16Gb Fibre Channel can handle one uncompressed 4K-Full stream but is expensive and still unable to handle multiple streams for 3D video or compositing.
Fortunately, Mellanox interconnect solutions can each handle multiple uncompressed 4K streams per link, or even an 8K stream, supporting both 40GbE and FDR 56Gb InfiniBand. Customers can support more 4K video workflows at a lower cost with a simpler network, so they can focus on producing the next great blockbuster movie or hit TV series instead of managing link aggregation.
Mellanox and key partners have tested and delivered solutions that support multiple 4K streams per workstation and many concurrent streams on the network, thanks to the high bandwidth, low latency, and Remote Direct Memory Access (RDMA) capabilities built into Mellanox switches and adapters, both for InfiniBand and Ethernet.
Using the Mellanox interconnect also future-proofs your network, as film makers move on to 8K video and higher frame rates to enable more fluid video and crisper slow-motion sequences in sports and action videos.
Technology Partners Adopt Mellanox 40GbE and FDR InfiniBand
Multiple solution providers in the media and entertainment space are already taking advantage of Mellanox 40Gb Ethernet and 56Gb InfiniBand. See below for recent examples and to learn how you can reconfigure your own video network to handle the new world of 4K and beyond.
Author: John Kim is Director of Storage Marketing at Mellanox Technologies, where he helps storage customers and vendors benefit from high performance interconnects and RDMA (Remote Direct Memory Access). After starting his high tech career in an IT helpdesk, John worked in enterprise software and networked storage, with many years of solution marketing, product management, and alliances at enterprise software companies, followed by 12 years working at NetApp and EMC.
Follow him on Twitter: @Tier1Storage.