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Ericsson hails birth of EVE

Ericsson has used TV Connect to announce Ericsson Virtualised Encoding (EVE), a new solution that will be launched formally at NAB next month. 

Ericsson described EVE as the industry’s “first software solution for intelligent utilisation of multiple encoding resources, regardless of the platform”.

EVE is designed, according to the company, as an abstraction layer that intelligently allocates resources and simplifies the process of selecting the right encoding method and platform based on the operator’s priorities for deployment speed, video quality and output. It eliminates complexity, enables more efficient resource utilisation and bandwidth management and bridges the gap between broadcast and IT infrastructures, according to Ericsson.

Giles Wilson, Ericsson’s head of compression, described EVE as a software product that will help deliver compression performance and support multiple delivery infrastructures.

EVE is a software-based product that is designed to remove complexity for operators, said Wilson, providing a single abstraction layer for all service creation.

Wilson said EVE relies on software agents embedded in the compression technologies provided by Ericsson and third parties.

He said EVE can support different types of deployments, whether software or hardware based, and could be deployed over both broadcast and IT infrastructures. Wilson said EVE would be launched at NAB along with a number of new products designed to support it.

“Other players will highlight the advantages of one or other approach to compression but we know it’s about having the right tool for the right job,” said Wilson. “Hardware, GPU accelerators, off the shelf hardware…have different merits. Dedicated hardware gives the best performance for traditional linear broadcasters but there are advantages for software – the ability to deploy quickly and use IT infrastructures and data centres.”

Wilson said however that compression remained reliant on processing power, meaning that pay TV operators – and ultimately also over-the-top TV providers – would continue to gravitate towards hardware-based compression as video quality becomes more important.

Ericsson’s head of TV marketing Simon Frost said that the company wants to enable what he described as “smarter video networks”. He said that by 2019 90% of the population of the planet would be served by 3G networks and 65% would be covered by LTE. He said that there would be eight billion mobile broadband subscriptions active by that date, a quadrupling of the mobile broadband installed base.

Ericsson is addressing these trends by launching technologies including LTE Broadcast, the operator CDN through its Media Delivery Network solution, and compression, including the virtualised encoding launch, said Frost.