has introduced the new software version 4.0 of the iCue streaming system for recording, distribution, playback and for the management of video streams over standard IP networks. iCue stands for flexible and instant video networking for both PCs and TVs - in DVD-quality. The iCue Server, first version introduced in 2001, is now around 20 percent stronger and has graphically improved operator and user interfaces.
Sophisticated features for archiving and rights management as well as streaming playback of individual video frames for video analysis and high-detail recognition are now possible. Normal Ethernet networks with CAT 5 cabling are able to serve as “virtual video routers” and render additional video cabling and separate signal amplification and switching unnecessary. The iCue software supports the compression standards MPEG-4 AVC H.264 SD/HD and MPEG-2 SD/HD.
The iCue software is designed for recording, archiving and playback of video data as well as the live distribution of television or camera signals directly to the workplace. The video quality is scalable just as the entire system – depending on the application requirements and the desired streaming bandwidth. The complete end-to-end system can be modularly upgraded. Video data is stored on central servers which can also be setup redundantly – thus failsafe. Large third party storage systems, if already present in an installation, can be integrated at minimal cost, and used by the iCue system for archiving videos. IPTV offers the possibility of providing any video at any time, at any location, at any workplace, no matter whether PC, TV, plasma or projector. Through digital networks, television programs, camera and monitoring signals can be transmitted in almost unlimited numbers to hundreds of participants.
Each PC workplace, each screen connected to a standard CAT 5 Ethernet network can be reached. Displays and monitors without a PC are reached with the help of the set top boxes, whose integration into the iCue system was also developed by Teracue.
“We can put together a basic system with a server and players for ten workplaces for less than 10,000 Euros,” says Karl-Heinz Wenisch, CTO. Of course the investment costs are higher than with the installation of a VHS cassette recorder, but clearly lower personnel costs, digital recording quality, instant availability of the information, server based rights management as well as extensive archiving functions justify the additional expenses.
Recording and archiving functions included
“With higher data throughputs, recording possibilities, and the detailed archiving and video trimming possibilities, iCue offers clear advantages compared to other IPTV products,” says Wenisch. Metadata and video descriptions can be easily defined, and are filed in the central database, reducing administration costs drastically. Time consuming search, fast forwarding and rewinding of removable media, changing of cassettes and lost or damaged recordings are a part of the past.
“Our customers today not only come from the area of the new and electronic media but rather can be found everywhere where video and audio information is transmitted, recorded or must be brought to many workplaces or screens.” This can be video monitoring in control rooms, where videos mainly must be recorded, as well as banks and financial service providers which want to supply their employees with real time TV stock market information directly on their desktops. Another main application includes in-house JournalistTV and content archiving for broadcasters.
With the click of a mouse, video and TV information can be distributed to individual meeting rooms or large conference halls. Medical training and video for university CampusTV, and clinics, e-learning in general, video monitoring for military, police and security services, inside broadcast and playout facilities, as well as video publication at event and sports venues, are among the areas of use for iCue.
First software only version of iCue Server
For the first time the iCue Streaming Server for the distribution, recording and management of video streams is available as a pure software only version. This should be particularly interesting for customers who already have extensive server hardware installed and who want to record and manage video data based on their existing hardware. Teracue still continues to supply preconfigured and certified servers if required, which can be quickly integrated into existing LAN and intranet networks.
New all-in-one PC stream player
With the new all-in-one iCue Player the complete title database of the iCue Server can be accessed and edited. All functions for advanced live and video on-demand playback in DVD-quality are now integrated directly into the iCue Player: simple play list creation, export, start of recordings and also start of broadcasts on the linear house channels. With the help of a plug-in the player supports digital trimming functionality; without loss of quality. The plugin also allows format transcoding during export.
The new iCueTV user interface for set top boxes serves as the most simple and easy end-user interface. iCueTV should be available at short notice also for Windows PCs as a simple and small stream player.