NAB 2018

NAB 2018: Cobalt Digital To Show openGear Modular PC Card, New 4K/IP Scaler and Frame Sync

At NAB 2018, Cobalt Digital will showcase the OG-PC-x86 modular PC card, which was developed in direct response to customer demand for an appliance-type package that houses all system components, including associated computers, in a single 2RU openGear frame. In addition, Cobalt Digital has introduced its 9904-UDX-4K-IP next-generation advanced scaler and frame synchronizer for the openGear platform. 

Cobalt Digital Delivers openGear Modular Computer Card in Appliance-Type Package
Incorporating the computers and system broadcast equipment within the same frame, the OG-PC-x86 allows video engineering teams to oversee installation and maintenance of associated computers without involvement of additional IT department personnel and methodologies.

“Purpose-built for the openGear platform, this high-performance modular PC card represents Cobalt’s commitment to openGear end users, as well as other openGear partners,” says Jesse Foster, Cobalt Digital’s director of product and business development. “We are excited to see the many ways in which this popular new offering is being leveraged in our customers’ own system designs.”

OG-PC-x86 openGear Modular Computer Card

The modular card-based design takes direct advantage of the openGear terminal gear system to provide numerous benefits. Users can hot-swap cards from the front of the frame without removing cables, saving money thanks to load-sharing redundant power supplies and enhanced fan-blown cooling. Along with those attributes, the Cobalt OG-PC-x86 features a high-density footprint that allows for five PCs in 2RU openGear frame, or a limitless combination of PCs, Cobalt 4K and IP processors and encoders.

The OG-PC-x86 card is DashBoard-compatible and can be monitored and controlled alongside all other openGear and DashBoard Connect-enabled products. Users can soft- or hard-reboot the PC card remotely through the DashBoard UI via the frame controller IP connection. The passive rear I/O provides comprehensive connectivity including one HDMI 1.4 output and one DisplayPort 1.2 output, the latter being capable of driving 3840 x 2160 displays at up to 60Hz. Data I/O is facilitated by dual USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 connectors along with dual 1GigE RJ-45 NICs and a DB9 RS-232 9-pin serial port. The OG-PC-x86 is offered in two preconfigured versions, with the main difference being the option of having just one hard drive or up to three with RAID support.

Cobalt is also offering a KIT option that allows users to build either version, as needed, and the company is widely supporting the bring-your-own approach so that openGear customers can source their own drives and OS software. Initial deployments cover a wide range of uses that would traditionally require an external laptop or rack-mounted 1RU, adding unwanted weight and size to space-restricted systems such as fly-packs and small OB vans.

The new card is being deployed in applications ranging from running DashBoard Custom Panels to serving as a middleware host in the Encompass Channel Mark Media Enrichment system, where the OG-PC-x86 also supports VOD file storage and forwarding. OG-PC-x86 cards use the newer M.2 expansion card form factor, which features better performance than eSATA when using SSD drives.

Cobalt Digital customers can source their own 32GB, 64GB, or 128GB M.2-based SSD drives to host supported OS versions, or they can get them from Cobalt complete with the OS installed and ready to go. Currently supported OS types include Windows 7 Professional and Windows 10 IoT. A M.2 B-Key socket is also available for a range of expansion purposes, giving the OG-PC-x86 computer card the potential to open up further opportunity for openGear.

Next-Gen Scaler and Frame Synchronizer Features HD/UHD Conversion, Processing
Cobalt Digital has also introduced its 9904-UDX-4K-IP next-generation advanced scaler and frame synchronizer for the openGear platform. The new offering from Cobalt simplifies the upgrade of HD and UHD systems, enables ongoing use of existing content libraries, and provides features such as professional Technicolor HDR Intelligent Tone Management (ITM) that are essential in next-generation production and ATSC 3.0 broadcasting applications.

Cobalt’s 9904-UDX-4K-IP Next Generation of Advanced Scalers and Frame Synchronizers for the openGear Platform

“The 9904 series is based on the latest system-on-chip technology — exactly what HDR ITM was designed to run on — so the partnership of Technicolor and Cobalt Digital is a perfect match from the start,” said Bob McAlpine, CEO of Cobalt Digital. “With its ability to process HD and UHD signals and convert between the two formats, the 9904-UDX-4K-IP is being deployed in a wide range of applications. The integration of HDR ITM gives the unit a premium feature that is unmatched in the industry.”

Using the 9904-UDX-4K-IP with HDR ITM, Cobalt customers can upgrade their existing HD (720p/1080i/1080p) and UHD (2160p) SDR (Standard Dynamic Range) infrastructure — cameras, switchers, servers, etc. — to new HD and UHD HDR systems and workflows. In addition to adding value and longevity to existing systems, an HDR ITM-enabled 9904-UDX-4K-IP can breathe new life and revenue into HD and UHD content, allowing media companies to archive and repurpose their thousands of hours of such material for HDR distribution.

The 9904-UDX-4K-IP not only upconverts 6G/3G/HD/SD-SDI to either UHD1 3840 x 2160 Square Division (SDQS) or Two Sample Interleave (2SI) quad 3G-SDI-based formats, but also outputs SMPTE ST 2082 12G-SDI signals for single-wire 4K transport. With its 12G-SDI and quad 3G-SDI inputs, the unit can also perform the reverse processes in downconverter mode. Four bidirectional AES ports support embedding and de-embedding. The 9904-UDX-4K-IP features dual 10GigE Ethernet ports that support emerging uncompressed video/audio/data over IP standards including AES67, SMPTE ST 2022-6, and SMPTE ST 2110. The 9904-UDX-4K-IP also features optional 3D-LUT conversion and supports third-party Wowow and Pomfort color-grading software GUIs.

“Cobalt’s mature customer base ranges from the leading OB truck operators to the big networks and OTT providers,” added McAlpine. “In one way or another, these entities are endeavoring to upgrade their system infrastructures to support the best HDR technology available while keeping costs in check. Coupling the highly scalable and cost-efficient 9904 with Technicolor’s easy-to-use HDR ITM, these customers can keep capex and opex to a minimum while delivering premium results.”

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