March 2, 2011 -- Markham, Ontario: Digital Rapids -- the leading provider of tools and solutions for bringing television, movie and Web content to wider audiences -- announced today the release of version 3.4 of the Digital Rapids Stream software for the company's StreamZ, StreamZHD, Flux and DRC-Stream encoding and live streaming solutions. In addition to previously announced new features -- including frame-compatible 3D support and enhanced JPEG2000, H.264 and MPEG-2 format support -- the version 3.4 release also includes support for the MXF AS02 application specification, enhanced Microsoft Internet Information Services (IIS) Smooth Streaming capabilities, expanded video and audio processing plug-ins and more.
Version 3.4 enhances the Stream software's optional MXF input and output modules with support for the AS02 specification. AS02 is a constrained version of the MXF standard, designed to increase interoperability and efficiency during mastering and versioning processes.
Stream 3.4 expands Digital Rapids' robust IIS Smooth Streaming capabilities with support for low-latency Live Smooth Streaming; improved multi-encoder synchronization and failover; and enhanced subtitling and multi-language support. Support for Microsoft PlayReady DRM technology has also been extended to enable creation of H.264 (AVC) compressed media compliant with the Protected Interoperable File Format (PIFF) specification.
"Digital Rapids enables top-tier media organizations to stay at the forefront of adaptive bit rate delivery by continually supporting the latest IIS Smooth Streaming enhancements," said David Sayed, Senior Product Manager at Microsoft Corp. "Microsoft is pleased to be working closely with Digital Rapids to bring these and future Smooth Streaming advances to their customers."
New extensions to the Digital Rapids Studio AVC Encoder module add support for frame-compatible stereoscopic 3D applications. Separate left-eye and right-eye source files can be combined for side-by-side or top/bottom frame-compatible distribution, with the appropriate Frame Packing Arrangement SEI messages inserted during H.264 encoding. SEI messages can also be inserted while encoding previously-combined, single-file frame-compatible 3D sources. Frame-compatible 3D delivery combines anamorphic or sub-sampled representations of the left-eye and right-eye content for compatibility with existing television distribution infrastructures and services.
Encoding and decoding of the JPEG2000 compression format are significantly enhanced in Stream 3.4. Support for the JPEG2000 format in the YUV color space and decoding of JPEG2000 sources with separated luminance and chrominance provide increased interoperability with third-party JPEG2000-based solutions. Version 3.4 also further enhances Digital Rapids' best-in-class MPEG-2 and H.264 encoding quality, performance and deep technical configurability.
New and enhanced video and audio processing plug-ins include speed changes, 3:2 pulldown insertion, audio sample rate and bit depth conversion, Closed Caption Overlay and de-interlacing. Additional captioning-related extensions include the insertion of Closed Captions from live sources as timed text when encoding to files for viewing through Adobe(r) Flash(r) Player; Closed Caption retiming during frame rate conversion; and improved processing of ancillary data within broadcast server, acquisition and interchange file formats for increased workflow compatibility and caption handling. Other new features in version 3.4 include enhanced encoding for Apple(r) devices; a new integrated decoder for H.264 file sources; and a variety of minor additions and refinements.
"Our encoding solutions are renowned for having the industry's most comprehensive and versatile feature set, and version 3.4 further extends our systems' rich capabilities," said Darren Gallipeau, Product Manager at Digital Rapids. "With a broad range of new features and enhancements, Stream 3.4 will bring immediate benefits to users from studios and post production facilities to broadcasters, service providers and online portals."
The Stream 3.4 software is available in two software configurations -- the core Stream LE and the advanced Stream FE with expanded workflow automation, integration capabilities and format support. A comparison of feature availability between the two levels is available on our website. The version 3.4 update is available as a free download for registered owners of Stream version 3.0 or higher with a current maintenance agreement, or for purchase by users of versions 2.6 or earlier.
The complete range of Digital Rapids solutions will be showcased in booth number SL6010 at the 2011 NAB Show, April 11-14 in Las Vegas. For more information about Digital Rapids, please visit www.digital-rapids.com.
About Digital Rapids Corporation – Digital Rapids provides the leading hardware and software solutions for transforming and delivering media, enabling the multi-platform experiences that are changing how audiences view content. Scaling from standalone appliances to global workflows, Digital Rapids solutions enable media professionals to maximize their productivity, quality, and the value of their content. Recipient of a coveted IBC Innovation Award and four prestigious Frost & Sullivan honors for encoding and transcoding leadership, Digital Rapids combines innovative technology with proven expertise to help our customers to expand their audiences, increase their media revenues and reduce their costs. Digital Rapids Corporation (www.digital-rapids.com) is headquartered in Ontario, Canada with offices in the United States, the UK, Australia, Argentina and Hong Kong.