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New for NAB 2016 – Dark Energy for Transcoders 2.1

Published: March 3rd 2016
 Dark Energy for Transcoders
Last year at NAB 2015 we announced Dark Energy for Transcoders 2.0, promising the best possible automated upres for any resolution.  For this year’s NAB 2016, we have released Dark Energy for Transcoders 2.1 which provides the same high quality upres as before, but adds industry topping render performance for HD and UHD resolutions.

Version 2.0 delivered superlative HD-UHD quality, going well beyond the status quo of image scaling.  By addressing image texture as part of the resolution scaling process, Cinnafilm engineers created an automated process which “virtually developed” raster-appropriate image texture to create believable UHD video from nearly any source.  Our 100% automated results even bested hands-on resolution scaling efforts by big-name post houses in side-by-side shootouts.  There was a trade-off in 2.0, and that was speed (we were easily 5-6x slower than real time for our Dark Energy 2.0 process).  With version 2.1, we have upped the performance game significantly with a full texture-aware upres from HD to UHD taking slightly more than 2x real-time.  Nothing is more accurate and there is certainly nothing faster in the known universe.

We have also performed benchmark analysis of broadcast bitrates (OTT) for both MPEG2 TS and H.264 codecs.  Bitrate savings are significant with Dark Energy, ranging between 30% and 50%.  For example, a 9 megabit MPEG2 TS encode with Dark Energy looks equivalent to a 13 megabit encode without it.

Here is a table that provides some additional bitrate savings:

1920x1080n h.264 Encodes (in Mbps)
With Dark Energy Without Dark Energy Bitrate Reduction
5 8 37.5%
7 13 46.2%
9 15 40.0%
11 17 35.3%
13 19 31.6%
15 19 21.1%
17 19 10.5%
19 21 9.5%
21 23 8.7%
1920×1080 MPEG2 TS Encodes (in Mbps)
With Dark Energy Without Dark Energy Bitrate Reduction
9 13 30.77%
11 15 26.67%
13 17 23.53%
15 19 21.05%
17 21 19.05%
19 21.5 11.63%
21 23.5 10.64%

The bitrate savings of encoding with Dark Energy are not trivial and as we wrap up our UHD bitrate savings test, we expect to see even more dramatic results than this.

For more information, please contact the team at Cinnafilm or one of our many partners.