QVC upgrades to all-IP 4K/Ultra HD

Imagine Communications’ Selenio Network Processor anchors the Japanese home shopping channel’s new facility

QVC Japan, a home shopping channel, has turned to Imagine Communications to build a new state-of-the-art 4K/Ultra HD (UHD) and IP-based production infrastructure.
QVC’s new facility supports uncompressed HD and 4K/UHD signals based on the SMPTE ST 2110 standards, and adopts a software-based infrastructure that uses commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) equipment.

Joe Micucci, vice-president, global broadcast engineering at QVC, explained: “QVC Japan required a next-gen infrastructure that leveraged the flexibility and economies of scale of IT technology while delivering the precision and quality of traditional broadcast facilities.

“It was important that we work with a technology partner that was a leader in the shift to IP and an aggressive supporter of, and contributor to, industry standards for large-scale interoperability.”

At the heart of QVC’s deployment is Imagine Communications’ recently introduced Selenio Network Processor (SNP). Both an SDI-to-IP gateway and an all-IP signal processing platform, the SNP provides a full spectrum of capabilities required in today’s evolving production operations, including HD-4K/UHD up- and down-conversion and colour space adjustments, as well as managing the high dynamic range (HDR) adaptations and conversions required for integrating 4K/UHD and HD signals.

The SNP also provides important synchronisation and timing functions, overseeing the integration of new signals into the production environment and helping to assure the optimal timing of ST 2110 signals for interoperability with all other compliant equipment.

For signal monitoring, QVC selected Imagine’s EPIC MV, a 4K/UHD-ready multiviewer that simultaneously supports SDI and IP infrastructures, enabling media companies to adopt a single monitoring solution for hybrid operations. Powered by Zenium, the company’s pure microservices-based software architecture, EPIC MV offers native support for the monitoring of ST 2110 traffic.

Network-wide compliance with ST 2110 was an imperative for QVC. In addition to ensuring interoperability across the multi-vendor installation, compliance with ST 2110 makes it possible for QVC to work with uncompressed 4K/UHD signals, enabling the Japanese shopping network to deliver high-quality video with low latency. The capability of ST 2110 to transport video, audio and ancillary data in separate streams also boosts the flexibility and efficiency of QVC’s production operations, said Imagine Communications.

Tom Cotney, the company’s CEO, added: “Playing a critical role in the migration of QVC’s Japanese facility to IP and 4K/UHD is emblematic of our ability to provide leading broadcast clients around the world with a seamless transition to next-generation architectures that are highly reliable and future-proofed against rapidly evolving consumption patterns and ongoing technology advances.”


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