Live From NAB: Brevity Breaks Down Transport, Transcoding Barriers

The NAB Show is always a time when new products and new faces come to the forefront of the industry. This year’s show is no exception, and, for those involved in sports production, one of the more intriguing new companies represented at the show is Brevity. The New York City-based startup is exhibiting V3, a Web-based video-management system that the company says can transfer encrypted video files over Internet, fiber, or satellite up to 30 times faster than otherwise possible.

“Our goal has been to enable anyone who works with large volumes of media to work smarter, faster and more intuitively than ever before,” says Brevity co-founder/CEO Jake Bronstein.

V3 is based on two core algorithms: Data Warp, which is bit for bit lossless, and Image Warp, a customized algorithm for video that is visually lossless. Both Data Warp and Image Warp create “transport” mezzanine files that reduce storage requirements while supporting industry-standard camera or editing formats at ingest and output.

Image Warp has been tested successfully against Apple ProRes 4444 and Avid DNxHD 220 in a recent Peak Signal to Noise Ratio (PSNR) test, scoring at more than 60 decibels, which is an objective industry measure of quality. The company has also successfully been tested on uncompressed high-bitrate formats and even 2k and 4k DPX files.

“When you tell the system to send a file, it models the video and then can move a blueprint of that file [over the network] and move it bit for bit and build a visually lossless version,” explains Bronstein. “It also skips the transcoding process, and the file can be input as a camera’s format on one side and come out on the other as an editing format.”

If a file is ingested, a set of rules can be associated with the video that sends it to users automatically via accelerated transport and simultaneous transcode. The video moves with speed to all locations, arriving at the destination already in one or more requested formats based on preset profiles.

The system is a combination of hardware and Web-based services, with hardware provided as part of the service. Pricing is based on a SaaS enhanced model that includes the deployment of video routers and starts as low as $3,000 per month.

According to Brevity COO Tim O’Brien, the system eliminates the need for separate tools and workflows that often require manual operation, automated management, or a combination thereof.

“As a result, the M&E industry has endured with hardened workarounds that have been budgeted as a cost of doing business,” he says. “Even with digital tools, there are analog workflows, and overnight delivery of hard drives has become the unfortunate industry norm. We are positively disrupting all of this.”

The Brevity Solution is currently deployed in production or testing at three postproduction facilities, one major sports team, two studios, and six major networks. The new release, V3, is based on more than six months of testing with leading M&E customers.

Brevity’s main security measures consist of live-handshaking shared key credentials and 4,096-bit encryption during transit and storage. Brevity sends a transport file, not a playable video, over the network, and each file requires the Brevity algorithm and data format to open properly. If intercepted, the file would be unusable without the specific source code.

Brevity’s industry partners include Avid, with support for all Avid DNxHD formats, and EVS, with support for the proprietary legacy EVS MXF format as well as the EVS OpenCube suite that wraps files in OP1a or QuickTime formats. Brevity also offers complete support for ProRes, including the much in-demand ProRes-DNxHD conversions.

“Users can go from DNX to ProRes and ProRes to DNX or from 720p to 1080i, so the hassle to share content could actually be [reduced] to the push of a button,” says O’Brien. “And it can also do frame-rate and standards conversion, so there is a lot of flexibility to control what used to be separate processes.”

Brevity is also announcing a strategic partnership with TRANZXL, a bicoastal company that is launching the first Brevity-based service bureaus and on-location rentals to accommodate the growing need for time and cost savings associated with HD media for the TV-, film-, and commercial-production industries. A Brevity demo will be available at the TRANZXL booth located in the Lower South Hall, SL12807, and Brevity’s own booth is SL13316. The Brevity solution is also being demonstrated at the NEP production truck, located in the outdoor/mobile media area between the North and South Halls, booth OE2319.