The Zixi Transcoder adds high quality and high density live video transcoding to the Zixi platform, which flawlessly delivers broadcast-quality video over unmanaged and managed IP networks, at lower cost, at scale, and with sub-second transcoding and delivery latencies. With the live transcoding feature, the Zixi Broadcaster provides a single solution for the universal origination and distribution of high quality, adaptive live broadcast content to OTT workflows, digital MVPDs, MSOs, hotels, cinemas, iPhone and Android player apps as well as other destinations. It is a complete transcoding solution including decode, encode, packaging and delivery to origin layered on top of the Zixi Broadcaster’s support of various IP ingest formats and IP distribution formats, including low latency HLS and DASH. The Zixi Transcoder supports H.265/HEVC, H.264/AVC, and MPEG2 video codecs as well as a variety of audio codecs most commonly used for live broadcast and OTT workflows.
Using NVIDIA and Intel Quick Sync GPUs, the Zixi Transcoder provides high density SD to UHD transcoding to multiple stream renditions for adaptive delivery. NVIDIA GPUs are available in PCIe boards for bare-metal installations and on cloud providers such as AWS, Google Cloud Platform, and Azure. Intel Quick Sync GPUs are available on bare-metal motherboards. The Zixi Transcoder also supports a software only solution using the X264 codec for lower density applications.
The Zixi Transcoder is managed via the Zixi Broadcaster’s Web User Interface, REST API or via Zixi’s ZEN Master orchestration, management, and monitoring control plane. ZEN Master makes it easy to manage inputs and outputs for hundreds of live video streams at scale. With just a few clicks, and with automatic configuration details for network resources and distribution targets, users can create new live channels and spin up required streams on the fly.
Typical workflows for the Zixi transcoder include:
- Broadcast backhaul – Compress high bitrate live mezzanine MPEG2 to lower bitrate H264 or H265, at the same quality level, to reduce bandwidth requirements for video uplink. When uplink bandwidth is scarce or cost is at a premium, compression of live content can make possible an otherwise impractical workflow.
- Adaptive Bitrate (ABR) – Deliver live mezzanine video transcoded into multiple renditions of H264 or H265 and packaged into HLS or DASH formats to laptops, mobile devices and set top boxes via Content Delivery Networks, YouTube Live or similar services. Adaptive streams can also be delivered via the Zixi protocol to Zixi enabled endpoints.
- Bitrate reduction and packaging for Social Media – Deliver live mezzanine video transcoded to lower bitrate H264 and packaged into RTMP or HLS to Social Media sites such as Facebook Live, YouTube Live, and Twitch BCS Bureau