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Testing the Vitec MGW Ace and MGW D265 for HEVC Encode/Decode

By Tim Siglin

This review, for those of you following the licensing issues surrounding H.265/HEVC, is set against a backdrop of uncertainty for widespread HEVC adoption. Having said that, the MGW Ace and D265 form an end-to-end HEVC hardware encode/decode solution, which means that users of this closed system can choose to bypass both the licensing and higher computational requirements of a software-based H.265 decode.

In addition, the Ace-D265 combination offers some unique features, such as Zixi integration in the D265, that help address network intermittency issues. Our review will briefly cover those end-to-end features.

The MGW Ace, though, is not limited to delivering only to the D265, a key factor for those considering using the Ace with a traditional media server. So we will also touch on interoperability of the Ace with software-based decoders.

Under the Hood

MGW Ace is all about real-time delivery. As such, this FPGA-based encoding solution delivers H.265 in either 4:2:0 or 4:2:2 at resolutions up to 1080p.

Eli Garten, Vitec’s VP of product management, answered a few of the questions we had about the exclusion of 4K resolutions, as well as the option of 4:2:0 versus 4:2:2 compression,.

“We developed one codec with two modes,” Garten says. “Each is optimized to a different use case group: one for high-rate broadcast content and another for ISR-specific imagery with very low rates.”

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