Introducing Our New Maintenance-Free Video-processing Server
September 24, 2020
As our frequent readers are aware, last year we announced that we were developing our own hardware transcoder. The most difficult part of this exciting journey, but at the same time the most rewarding, was the development of the motherboard for our transcoder.
Today, we are very proud to announce that we have successfully completed this project and we would like to take the opportunity to present our Lontra motherboard, a custom carrier board for 9 NVidia Jetson TX2 modules. This affordable solution can breach the gap between home-brew transcoders built on standard X86 components with open-source video processing software and enterprise video processing solutions.
It is no secret to anyone that all IPTV and OTT providers want a carrier-grade solution with exceptional quality of uninterrupted video. It is also known that the online video streaming industry is experiencing exponential growth (today there are 1,200 independent telecom and cable operators in the US alone) and that it demands a scalable, robust and affordable carrier-grade solution in high volumes. We are convinced that Lontra is the best solution on the market to meet those needs. Not only for quality but also for cost.
Over the years we have been in this industry we have effectively developed and marketed software-based transcoders and in all that time we have been able to collect enough feedback from our customers, input that we have taken into account to create Lontra.
One of the most common complaints we heard from our clients is that transcoding video is a computationally-intensive process and that building a transcoder using traditional components (GPU, CPU or ASIC) can be a very expensive journey. Also, the fact that in CPU-based transcoders all transmissions are being processed in one loop by a single CPU creates a single point of failure, something that can cause loss of service during the time it takes to repair the issue.
With Lontra, if something goes wrong with one of the Jetsons, it would affect only 1/9th of the streams in the system. Our software handles these types of malfunctions very well and in most cases, we will restart the transcoding session without dropping a single frame. Improving the quality and robustness of video transcoding.
In our modular system, you can configure the N+1 redundancy scheme allocating one or more Jetson modules as back-ups and configuring our failover mechanism. One Jetson module can process up to 8 linear FHD streams or up to 6 multi-bitrate streams. The granularity allows our customers to add new modules to their systems as their channel line-up increases.
Another very common reproach that we have always heard is how expensive it is to pay for a staff of trained engineers to operate a transcoder. This cost, in many companies, can go up to $100,000 annually in salaries alone. For this reason, it was very important for us to create a hardware transcoder that was maintenance-free so that our customers did not have to worry about hiring specialized personnel to run it.
Speaking of reducing costs, something we are also very proud of is that we have managed to keep the total energy consumption of our transcoder to only 100 watts which allows our customers to scale their business while keeping the electricity bill low. Lower power consumption means that with Lora there will be way less heat to evacuate because when you utilize Jetson for transcoding video only, the maximum consumption per module is 11 watts which brings the total power draw of the system to, like we already mentioned, only 100 watts. Other comparable solutions in today's market usually consume 20 times more electricity.
As you can see, we use our many years of experience in software development to create a transparent, reliable and energy-efficient hardware platform. And we are very proud of it!
We are planning to sell our transcoder under the OPEX (operating expenses) model. This means that our customers will “pay-as-they-grow” instead of buying everything at once.
Because we could not explain all the advantages of Lontra in a single article, we will continue to talk about it in subsequent blog posts. However, we would like to answer your questions and show you the product in action anytime you want it. Just get in touch with us at email@example.com and we will gladly contact you back as soon as possible.