Barco Silex demonstrated its new Viper boards along with its advanced IP solutions for the professional AV market at InfoComm 2016. The Viper allows transport of high-resolution video up to 4K/UHD HDMI over a 1Gb ethernet cable. The innovative board is designed for integration into such applications as videoconferencing, residential AV distribution, digital signage and video walls, or real-time local video networks.
“With the accelerating adoption of IP-based video transport, OEMs are looking to upgrade their offering to be ready to plug into commodity ethernet cabling,” said Jean-Marie Cloquet, product manager of Barco Silex’ video division. “But at the same time, they have to support 4K/UHD formats that allow for a more immersive user experience. Our new boards offer a cost-efficient, high-quality solution that solves both challenges at once.”
The Viper product line consists of a transmit and receive board. The TX board is used to interface the HDMI source and put the audio/video on the IP network. On the receiving end sit one or more RX boards that decompress the stream and hand it to the application’s display hardware. An alternative setup uses several TX boards, each adding a channel to the network, with the RX boards able to tune into each channel. With its flexible configurations, Viper can help facilitate nearly any pro AV application.
Built around a SoC FPGA, the Viper board has built-in hardware compression/decompression based on Barco Silex’ IP cores. The compression codec is VC-2 Low Delay (SMPTE 2042), which results in lossless quality at an ultra-low end-to-end delay of a 5ms at 60fps. The video/audio path is processed in real time within the FPGA fabric while the processor is handling all the control and configuration of the board. Both the FPGA firmware and the CPU software can be easily upgraded, making it future proof, and allowing OEM- or application-specific customization.
“Viper offers a combination of speed, quality, and flexibility that is hard to beat,” said Cloquet. “But on top, we added a number of features that make these boards really unique. The audio/video transmission is encrypted for confidentiality and protected against packet drops with forward error correction (FEC). Viper also supports upscaling/downscaling and cropping of the video to match the receiving display. And on top of the video, the administrator may insert logos, image, or text. With the Power-over-Ethernet feature, the power supply may be provided over the same ethernet cable as the audio and video, omitting the need for external power supply.”