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Vbrick Goes 2.0 for 9000 Series, Moves to Ultra-High Densities

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Vbrick announced today that it is launching Release 2.0 of its high-density 9000 series encoder and decoder product line. The announcement comes a day ahead of the Government Video Expo -- being held tomorrow and Thursday at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C. -- where the company will showcase the features of the 2.0 version of hardware encoding.

For Vbrick, the Release 2.0 announcement is about reminding customers that Vbrick is moving beyond high-densities to ultra-high densities.

"When we introduced the 9000 Series last January we put a stake in the ground that we would be the clear technology leader in enterprise-class encoding," said Greg Zweig, Vbrick's director of corporate marketing. "Nearly a year later our competitors are only starting to announce future multi-channel encoding appliances while we are announcing Release 2.0."

Zweig's comments seem squarely aimed at a few key industry players that engage in high-density appliances and chassis blade encoders, including the "seriously stupid densities" recently announced at another trade show by a competitor.

Zweig points out that the densities in the 9000 series appliance can be up to four encodes.

"Users can continue to choose quad HD encoding, or, with the introduction of R2.0, a mix of encode and decode services in the same form factor," said Zweig. "No one in our market has a comparable offer."

The ability to mix and match encoding and decoding in a single appliance is intriguing. A press release by Vbrick announces that the 2.0 release includes "a new single channel decoder and new dual channel encoder models that offer 1080p60 SDI inputs as well as composite video, HDMI, and component video."

Vbrick claims the company's 9000 chassis can perform 44 simultaneous encodes, or 11 decodes in an 8 rack-unit (RU) chassis. While another recent product we've discussed claim 12 encodes in a 1 RU unit, Vbrick notes that the 9000 R.2.0 products are already shipping and installed.

"We already have installations in the field," said Zweig. "The chassis is shallow enough that you can mount two back-to-back -- if your rack design allows for that -- effectively doubling capacity with a two 8RU, 11-slot chassis configuration.

Vbrick says there are nine 9000 blade variants depending on configuration and physical termination, and each blade can be configured for up to four HD encodes or one decode. Zweig notes that "Users can mix and match 9000 blades as required for their deployment needs."

Vbrick claims it has also been able to maintain sub-100 millisecond latency across all the cards, a critical factor in bi-directional streams (aka, videoconferencing) used in surveillance and command-and-control scenarios. With several streaming companies offering sub-100ms latencies, the market for C&C and surveillance is being reshaped. That appears to be one of the major selling points to attendees of this week's Government Video Expo.

"Adding decoder capabilities into the 9000 Series increases deployment choices for our customers while extending our technology and value lead over competing video capture elements," said Doug Howard, CEO of VBrick. "With our standards-based and end-to-end portfolio of IP video solutions, we better enable our customers to deliver mission-critical applications such as surveillance, telemedicine, and video backhaul."

Pricing details are based on a per-configuration basis, which makes it difficult to perform a per-port analysis of Vbrick's pricing densities compared to other companies. Having consulted on a number of high-density solutions in telecom television, videoconferencing, and early streaming products, one factor I recommend potential buyers assess is the total cost of chassis, blades, and maintenance fees when comparing solutions for their unique use case scenarios. A single additional input can sometimes be the difference between maxing out a chassis or requiring a whole separate chassis.

Streaming Media will look at this and other high-density products in our 2013 Sourcebook, set to be released in two months' time.

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