​Explaining TICO Lightweight Compression

Ultra HD data rates get astronomical for uncompressed formats. Moving to IP, we look at building cost effective and sustainable infrastructure.

The growing TICO alliance that was recently created to ease Ultra HD adoption over the current SDI and the new IP-based infrastructures is a coalition of leading companies supporting intoPIX’s effort to promote TICO compression for UHD workflows, including AlteraArtel Video SystemsEmbrionixEVSGrass ValleyImage MattersImagine Communications, Keisoku Giken, Macnica Americas, NevionRoss VideoTektronixXilinx and more.

TICO helps broadcasters to fully benefit from a seamless, integrated and high-quality Ultra HD ecosystem from end-to-end. With a visually lossless compression up to 4:1, TICO enables the mapping of a single Ultra HD/4K 2160p60 stream over a single 3G-SDI link. Over 10Gbps Ethernet, it allows the simultaneous transmission of up to three streams of 4K/UHD 2160p60.

TICO provides an extremely low latency, limited to just a few pixel lines; preserves video quality across multiple generations of encoding/decoding; fits into the smallest cost effective FPGA devices and runs also efficiently in software. This technology is designed to enhance live IP systems by increasing efficiency and reducing cost for both HD and Ultra HD/4K video.

Early this year, the creation of a Registered Disclosure Document (RDD) at SMPTE was announced to ease the integration process of all adopters and supporters of the TICO compression. This RDD shares recommendations to map Ultra HD/4K TICO streams over 3G-SDI or IP networked infrastructures. The members of the TICO alliance have been closely collaborating with intoPIX on the SMPTE RDD draft document and we are glad to see first implementations at IBC this year.

The industry is moving on to what is sure to be one of the biggest technology trends over the next five plus years. The smart TICO compression technology is a great example of how we are pushing as technology provider the boundaries and contributing towards the move to full IP infrastructure supporting HD but also 4K and 8K. We are releasing several versions of the Tiny codec ‘TICO' including HD and Ultra HD with 4:2:2 or 4:4:4 at 60 and 120Hz on both FPGA and CPU. 

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