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Tutorial: 4K HDR Streaming with Prism Flex and Core

Teradek's IP Video Product Manager Derek Nickell as he gives an in-depth overview of Prism Flex's powerful streaming capabilities with Core-Teradek's cloud video management platform. Don't miss this discussion on how to reliably send low-latency 4K HDR point-to-point streams, how to enable network bonding and multi-destination streaming, the types of servers Core provides, and more.

My background is in live events and live production. I've done interactive art installations and interactive launches for many different clients and worked as a freelance V1 and TD for many, many of my years. So I'm very familiar with the workflow and the process that all of us have to do, and the challenges that come with that in the field when we're trying to do live production. For this demo today I'm going to demonstrate how to do 4K streaming with the Prism Flex, Teradek's new smaller-format encoder and decoder.

Prism comes in two different flavors, rack and portable. Both have the same encoder and decoder chipset, but in the Flex it's re-formed into a desktop or a more portable, flexible unit that you can take where you need to. All of this technology exists within the Flex, but we've made it a little bit easier to integrate into your system.


In the Flex you have a 12G SDI input and a loop out. So we're not trying to break your workflow chains here at all. We want you to be able to bring this into your environment very simply, without having to redesign anything. So you have your 12G workflow coming in and then going out to your existing workflow so that you can either demo this or not have a complete downturn in production because you've decided to go to a different device. One of the limiting factors with Teradek's Cube devices is that they had a single SDI input and then you either had to put that at the end of the chain or break your chain in between and rely on a piece of gear that you might not be a hundred percent comfortable with.

With the Flex we also included HDMI 2.0, so we can bring 4K/60 in over SDI or HDMI with HDR 10-bit full encoding just as the Prism racks do. This also includes an SD card so you can record directly to the device itself. When you set this up for recording, we;ll chunk the video back up to Core. So if you're at a place that doesn't have very good connectivity, you can record locally and then send that backup to Core as network availability increases.

We also have two USB-C inputs on the back of the unit. These are actually USB 2.0 because they're made to be used with the Teradek Node 2, a high-performance LTE 4G cellular modem that can go 150 Mbps bidirectionally. Not that you would ever use 150 Mbps or double that at any point, but the availability is there, and working within that lower capacity on the Node allows it to perform a lot better.

Along with that we have two gigabit ethernet ports, and Wi-Fi internally on the device.

Bonding through this device, you can actually bond up to six sources. That could be two USB-C nodes on the back, two different ISPs. Otherwise you're not helping yourself by putting the same ISP on the ports. And then another ISP over Wi-Fi. If you get into a really, really sticky situation, you can also attach your cell phone to this using the Prism app.

The Prism App

The Prism app can attach up to six cell phones total to gain more bandwidth wherever you're located. It does rely on that data on the phone and is very limited. But the workflow here is to provide as many options as possible to get the data, get the signal, and get the video back up to the cloud. Beyond that, we have a single button to go through any of the menus here on the front. If you push these menus, there are different options underneath this. So when we get to the record, or let's just say the network here, you can reset those from this device so that you're not stuck out of it. You can also do a factory reset too if you are completely stuck out of the device and you need to get back in. So that gives you a little bit more flexibility trying to operate this in any sort of situation.

Managing Flex via Core

Core is Teradek's cloud-based platform. From Core, you can spin up a server to ingest RTMP streams directly, transcode servers to transcode from H.264 to H.265 or vice versa, and provide any sort of external connections that you need going out of Core through these servers. If you want to go to multiple CDNs, it's used for secure sharing and recording and record playback.

All your active devices will show up in your Core dashboard. You can come down to sources and see your connected Flex encoder. There's also a preview to show you that it's actually online and converting footage into IP streams. Once you're inside the encoder, you need to do spin up a server to take this AVC stream and send it out to multiple destinations.

Streaming to Multiple Destinations

In demo we'll bring a single stream in and send it out to all your CDNs as well as another Prism decoder using SRT. So now that we have our stream up and we have our server up, we can see that the Prism is connected and it is generating this stream. We can tell what our bit rate is and that will show for both the Wi-Fi signal because we have Wi-Fi connected and we also have wired connected. So this is actually bonding a signal up to Core. Even if the wired connection drops off, the bitrate should stay pretty even across the board and pick up on the wifi over the gigabit ethernet.

So now that we have a stream set up, we have one channel--end derstination--set into the stream. If I wanted to link another one, if I wanted to go out to a different CDN, I could, say, set up my Twitch account and link to it and verify that I want to switch this to this different server and independently control whether or not this one goes live. It doesn't affect anything outside of the Vimeo stream that we're streaming right now, but we can independently switch and turn these on and off as we see fit.

So that's, that's how to get a point-to-point system and a single point-to-multiple endpoints out through core using Prism Flex and decoding it onto a Prism Flex receiver.

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