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LAWO V__link4 — The all-in-one video-over-IP solution

V__link 4 — the way to contribute production-quality video over IP networks
Conceptually, the V__link 4 is designed to provide a one-box-solution for all the requirements of video contribution. It includes everything from Video-over-IP coding to various testing and processing tools. All designed for one purpose: to provide a tool that increases the flexibility of any broadcast application, while saving valuable rack-space, set-up time and production costs.
 
Signal contribution and remote production: For realizing tomorrow’s visions already today.
 
With the performance and maturity of today’s IP network technology, video-, audio- and control-over-IP are becoming the solution of choice for many applications. In remote live production, which is increasingly regarded as one of the next major steps in the evolution of broadcast production, IP is becoming a fundamental requirement. Getting reliable, low latency and high-quality video from venues back to studios at reasonable cost is an absolute necessity for this. But also in “classic” applications like video contribution from a stage-box or a stadium to an OB truck or an IBC, IP technology provides economic and operational advantages.
The Lawo V__link4 is the ideal tool for achieving this vision of IP-based broadcast production today. The device combines a fully bi-directional, four-channel Video-over-IP interface, along with all the processing tools usually needed when contributing video and audio to a broadcast production.
 
 Video-over-IP contribution.
 The Lawo V__link4 provides four 3G / HD/ SD SDI inputs and four 3G / HD / SD SDI outputs for interfacing to external video equipment. The device is designed to convert these signals into IP streams and vice versa. These streams can be transported via standard Layer 3 IP LANs or WANs. The IP-based approach allows easy signal routing via the confi guration software or via external master control systems, e.g. VSM. No rewiring is needed as long as all devices are connected to the network. Since the device is based on a real network technology with multi-cast capability, it allows easy transmission of signals to multiple outputs within the network.
The V__link4’s four coding engines are designed to meet the highest demands in video quality and signal transport reliability. Its integrated error concealment with build-in frame store, a dual 10 Gb Ethernet link and the use of hitless merge allow the system to overcome any single network failure without compromising the data transmission. Format and quality of the IP video streams can be configured individually to meet the optimal ratio between picture quality, latency and bandwidth.
 
The device supports the following transport modes:
Raw mode for transparent transport of uncompressed, full production quality video with the lowest latency. (Full code stream bit rates: HD 1.5 Gbps, 3G 2.97 Gbps)
  • Ultra low latency mode for transporting production quality video with ultra low latency. (DiracPro Codec, compression ratio adjustable between 2.5 :1 and 4 :1, full code stream bit rates: HD 500 Mbps — 312.5 Mbps, end-to-end delay incl. encoding and de-coding < 29 video lines)
  • Very low latency mode* for transporting production quality video with very low latency. (JPEG2000 Codec, compression ratio adjustable between 5:1 and 20 :1 (10 :1 J2K is considered to be visually lossless), full code stream bit rates: HD 250 Mbps — 62.5 Mbps, end-to-end delay incl. encoding and de-coding < 2.5 frames)
  • MJPEG mode for monitoring and IP-TV applications. (MJPEG Encoder, quality rate adjustable, full code stream bit rates approx. 40 Mbps — 150 Mbps, end-to-end delay with MJPEG viewer < 5 frames)
  • H.264 mode** for internet and mobile distribution. (H.264 Encoder, HD or SD resolution per stream, full code stream bit rates approx. 1.5 Mbps / 6 Mbps, end-to-end latency typically few seconds)
 * When working with 3G signals, 3x J2K Encoding /Decoding
** With first release up to 2x H.264 Encoding
 
IP signal routing: With the ease of a mouse-click.
The V__link4’s stream director software is designed for the convenient management of V__link4’s video streams. The software is a Java™-based application, compatible with any computer with a Java™ Runtime environment such as Windows, Mac OSX or Linux. It features an elaborated auto-discovery mode, which automatically detects all available V__link4 devices within the network. Each video input can be given an individual name which also travels with the IP-stream. This allows easy identifi cation of video signals also in large production  environments. The routings are configured intuitively a drag-and-drop interface. The software also gives an easy overview of the quality of the stream connections via the color of the connection lines (green for standard operation, yellow for network issues which still can be handled, red for a corrupted or failed connection).
 
High usability, intuitive controls
Like the Lawo V__pro8, also the V__link4 provides three convenient ways to control the device:
  • Web-GUI. Easy-to-understand HTML 5-based touch screen interface with live video monitoring that runs directly within the web browser. The GUI enables the operator to access all V__line devices from anywhere within the network.
  • Ember+ Control. The Ember+ protocol support enables the device to be controlled by external master control systems like VSM Virtual Studio Manager. This allows the building of broadcast installations with an integrated user interface.
  • Optional feature: V__fp1 Front Panel. The V__fp1 hardware control panel for direct configuration features a high-res OLED color display for showing the configuration menu and real-time viewing of video sources and audio monitoring/prelisten.