Media solutions provider Spin Digital is rapidly envisioning new 8K video production systems as demand takes off across the world. Headquartered in Berlin, Germany, the company also holds a presence in Japan, a region driving 8K workflow adoption in broadcast. Its high performance video and audio encoding/decoding solutions and media players, which leverage AJA PCIe cards for high-quality video I/O, are used in a range of applications from broadcasting to VR live streaming in 8K up to 120 frames per second (fps), displaying 16K content on video walls, and more. Continually expanding its capabilities to address industry needs, ahead of IBC 2023, the company announced an update to its live production encoder, Spin Enc Live, and the associated SDK, Spin SDK, which adds support for the Versatile Video Coding (VVC) codec, also known as H.266.

Spin Enc Live initially launched as an 8K 60 fps encoder for live production supporting HEVC (H.265). With the latest update, Spin Enc Live is now capable of 8K VVC encoding. Depending upon the customer’s needs and preferences, they can opt to use HEVC, or choose VVC to proficiently manage 8K HDR footage at 60 fps. To enable SDI input, Spin Enc Live is integrated with AJA Corvid 44 12G and KONA 5 PCIe cards. Corvid 44 12G serves as the main capture device for live production, while customers using desktop systems leverage KONA 5. Both cards provide crucial functionality in a compact format and with quad 12G-SDI connection, enabling the encoding solution to capture uncompressed signals for seamless video and audio processing.

“We developed the latest update for Spin Enc Live and Spin SDK, in part, based on customer demand, but also because we see VVC as the next generation of encoding technologies. Currently, the VVC encoder achieves a 25 percent reduction in bitrate, while maintaining pristine visual quality,” explained Spin Digital CEO Mauricio Alvarez Mesa. “We carefully selected components for our solution, including the AJA Corvid 44 12G and KONA 5 cards, which are ideal for live 8K applications and help us to capture 8K video at 60 fps with 10-bit HDR and the associated audio with very low delay and high reliability.”

Spin Enc Live is well-suited for companies pursuing 8K live streaming for concerts, events, and other venues. Incredibly reliable, it has supported continuous live streaming for more than 20 hours a day for a range of high stakes projects. Spin Digital has also been helping museums and planetariums that are upgrading or adopting 8K displays to deploy the solution. Across all applications, efficient video compression, unparalleled quality, and support for high frame rates are required, and with AJA Corvid 44 12G and KONA 5 integrated into the solution, Spin Digital is well-positioned to support the demand.

“8K video doesn’t make sense if it’s marred by compression issues and poor image quality. Our solution stands out in our software implementation approach, which focuses on optimizing performance so clients can achieve real-time 8K encoding without compromising on quality,” he shared. “With Corvid and KONA cards for input into our encoder for processing, we can easily capture frames without worrying about hidden or unexpected processes. The cards have also demonstrated excellent HDR signal input, whether dealing with PQ or HLG. We can effectively and reliably capture the metadata from the cards and seamlessly transmit this metadata through our encode.”

AJA Corvid 44 12G and KONA 5 also provide more flexibility for Spin Digital’s customers interested in less traditional high-resolution formats, such as panoramic images, which involves stitching together four 4K cameras to generate a 16K by 2K image. Customers can input 2×2, 4×4, or 1×4 configurations, and can also capture 16 channels of audio within one SDI link and another 16 channels within another for high-end 3D audio formats such as the 22.2 format used in Japan.

A longtime user of AJA gear, Alvarez Mesa concluded, “We’re big fans of AJA equipment and even use AJA KUMO 12G-SDI routers in our work with live production clients managing multiple incoming sources. We’ve also leveraged the Hi5-12G Mini-Converter, which helps for monitoring the SDI output of our 8K media player, for system testing, and it’s worked incredibly well. We’re happy to be part of the AJA Developer Partner program and with the level of support they’ve provided throughout our journey; we always get clear, timely answers to our questions, which is and will remain paramount to our business.”

About Corvid 44 12G

AJA Corvid 44 12G is a blazingly fast, compact 8-lane PCIe 3.0 I/O card with four bidirectional 12G-SDI HD-BNC connections. Designed for today’s most demanding video and audio workflows, Corvid 44 12G is available in several configurations, including full-height or low-profile, with passive or active cooling. Whether working with HFR 8K/4K/UltraHD, 2K/HD, SD, Deep Color and/or HDR, Corvid 44 12G provides unprecedented performance. Supporting 10-bit 4:2:2 and 4:4:4, at up to 12-bit color spaces, the card offers ingest and output over 12G-SDI, which is also backwards compatible with 6G-SDI, 3G-SDI, and 1.5G-SDI. Bidirectional 12G-SDI ports provide immense flexibility for capture and simultaneous pass-through for a range of solutions.

About KONA 5

AJA KONA 5 is a blazingly fast, 8-lane PCIe 3.0 I/O card supporting the latest 12G-SDI I/O and HDMI 2.0 monitoring video connections, designed for workstations running macOS, Windows or Linux. The versatile I/O solution enables single-cable, 4K/UltraHD high frame rate, deep color, and HDR workflows with many popular creative applications on macOS, Windows, and Linux. Bidirectional 12G-SDI ports provide immense flexibility for capture and simultaneous pass through, and, with the appropriate software, multi-channel capture and streaming. For developers using the AJA SDK, it offers advanced features including multi-channel 4K I/O and 8K 60p support.

Gabriel Mays

AbelCine Director of Rental
As Director of Rental, Gabriel Mays oversees growth of Rental by nurturing business relationships and unifying the customer experience nationwide. In his previous role as the LA Rental Manager, Gabriel worked with producers, cinematographers, and assistant camera operators to provide the highest level of customer service possible. He also ensured that all their equipment needs are met on budget. Before coming to AbelCine in 2015, Gabriel previously worked as a Communications Instructor and Electronic Media Engineer at a private university. He taught various courses in electronic media, including film, broadcasting, and digital arts. Gabriel is an award-winning cinematographer, director, producer, and editor known for his innovative research and implementation of new film techniques. He was also one of the first to implement HDSLR cameras into filmmaking. He has been the cinematographer on dozens of independent films, documentaries, and music videos.