Remote viewing works in real time

A new technology allows high resolution graphic and video images to be highly compressed, streamed across any kind of IP network and decompressed in real time

Applications include telemedicine, facility monitoring and video conferencing – as well as offering assistance to engineering collaboration.
VN-Matrix, an encoder/decoder box, has been developed by Electrosonic at its Dartford, Kent facility over the last five years to develop. It can now process up to UXGA resolution (1600 x 1200) or High Definition video (1920 x 1080 or 1280 x 720) streams at frame rates from 24 to 60Hz. These typically represent data rates of up to 2.5Gbits/s but the boxes can compress this in real time to 100Mbits/s for transmission over an IP network.
More importantly, encode/decode latency is only 35ms so the images can be gathered, sent and remotely viewed with only a tiny delay. Bi-directional digital audio accompanies the video. Operating system is Linux for robustness. Recording and playback are available using another product, the VN-Recorder and the encoder/decoder status is switchable via web browser interface. Each box costs about £5,000.
The first customers are investment banks, who want the high resolution to allow them to observe the expressions and gestures of those with whom they are negotiating. It also allows video and audio data to be compressed into a form where up to a year and half’s worth of plant monitoring data can be recorded on a major hard disk drive – or one hour’s worth stored on a typical PC. Recording can either be in a continuous loop, or triggered by a significant event.
Matt Schumann, director of the Cambridge Design Partnership – which collaborates with companies in the US – might benefit from of the technology, although he was unaware of it. He recently told us: “We have tried video conferencing but the technology is too limited by our broadband connection to be of any benefit.”

Tom Shelley

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