The professional graphics and video play-out server for broadcast just got a major update.
Here’s just some of the awesome new features:
NTSC, PAL and lower-field interlacing in SD and HD
With the added support for NTSC, CasparCG Server 2.0 can now play all the current broadcast formats in both SD and HD, and output them to one or several video cards and/or screens simultaneously. Choose between progressive, upper- field or lower-field interlacing, it’s up to you!
Multiple video cards in one server
You can now use several video cards in the same machine, no matter if you use cards from BlackMagic Design or Bluefish Technologies. You can even use cards that have multiple channels, letting you use smaller cases that are easier to fit in a small rack.
Much, much higher performance
By rewriting the software for multi-threading, CasparCG Server 2.0 can now take advantage of all your processors by performing many tasks in parallel. Other tasks have been moved to the graphics card, further increasing the performance and enabling real-time functions like scaling. Reading files from disk is now asynchronous and the buffering has been greatly improved.
Built-in video effects (DVE)
All playing media can be manipulated in real-time. You can move, scale, mask and change the opacity and video plus audio gain with the new real-time Mixer feature. Take advantage of the built-in animation types, just like with transitions. The Mixer can even de-interlace video, transform it and then re-interlace it correctly.
Generate alpha channel from a separate file of any type
While you can still use the embedded alpha channel of videos, Flash templates and images, you can now also override the alpha channel with a separate file. You can, for example, cut a hole in a video file with an animated Flash template, or even an image that you can
This is also useful for HD video where the alpha-capable codecs tend to generate very big files. Now you can play two small files, such as H.264; one for fill and one for alpha.
Play all common formats
Previous versions have always been able to play many video formats and codecs, such as DVCPRO, DVCPROHD, MPEG-2 and many AVI and QuickTime-wrapped codecs such as Animation+. That support is now extended with codecs such as DNxHD and H.264. And, now that you can generate an alpha channel from any media type, it’s easier than ever to output good looking HD without having to use large files.
The new version of CasparCG Server can also display most common bitmap formats directly.
Grab input video and overlay graphics
Video and audio input into a DeckLink card can now be used just like any other media. Use it as one of several layers (each of which can be transformed with the Mixer feature) or just overlay other media such as video and graphics on top and then output it. You can even cut a hole in the input video with another video, a Flash template or an image.
Embedded SDI audio
Both the Bluefish and DeckLink video card families can now embedded audio in your SDI output. Some DeckLink cards also output audio in the HDMI and AES/EBU connectors.
Output to computer screens
The fully GPU-accelerated Screen Producer can be used to display playing media on one or several computer screens, either fullscreen or windowed. Choose if you want your content scaled to fit the screen or displayed at the native resolution. If you have several screen attached you can either choose to mirror them or use each as a separate output.
Custom loop points and pause
Video and audio files can now have a custom in-point for the built-in looping functionality. You can also choose to pause / freeze any playing media, even Flash templates.
Monitor real-time performance
With the new Diagnostics window you can see a graphical break-down of how long each step in the process of outputting a frame takes. This helps you optimize performance and trouble-shoot lagging video by seeing, for example, how long it takes to read a file from disk.
Stack multiple media freely and re-order them on the fly
All the media you add to an output channel is composited in real-time, using the alpha channels. Play videos, Flash templates, audio and images at the same time and choose the stacking order freely. CasparCG Server 2.0 can even reorder media while it’s playing!
Grid-view of all playing media
With a simple command, you can output all your playing channels as a grid view to a screen and/or video output. Combined with the feature that lets you grab the input video from a DeckLink card, you can build yourself a monitoring station!
Real-time, animated transitions between all media types
Create a instant transitions between playing media, no matter if it is video, Flash templates, audio or images, by using the built-in functions. Mix between a video loop and a graph, or wipe on a chart on top of an image, for example. You can use a number of easing curves for transitions of all types. Transitions now support both interlaced and progressive output, and audio is mixed during the transitions.
Works on Windows 7 and Vista
CasparCG Server 2.0 now fully supports modern operating systems and can be installed on both 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Windows 7 and Windows Vista. Take full advantage of faster disk access and enhanced performance when upgrading from Windows XP (which is still supported.)
All configuration has moved to a text file instead of using the Windows Registry, and we don’t even force you to use an installer anymore. You can move the CasparCG folder freely and place it wherever you please!
Other notable features and enhancements in CasparCG Server 2.0a
- Video, audio and image files can now be placed in subfolders, just like Flash templates.
- Smoother animations and better interlacing in the Flash Producer.
- Outputs (Consumers) can now be added and removed at run-time, without having to restart the server.
- Swap producers between layers and channels during run-time.
- Parallel decoding of audio and video.
- Real-time commands viewable in the new Console window.
- Improved logging with full exception details, and a new log file for every server start.
- Backwards-compatible AMCP protocol supporting all new server features.
- Find out the running version of the CasparCG Server and the TemplateHost via a network query.
- DeckLink output is now using the card’s hardware clock.
- Bluefish drivers are now loaded on-demand, making it possible to have a single Server application.
- Per-sample mixing between source and destination clips during video transitions.
- The Flash Producer now uses DirectDraw access, resulting in improved performance.
- All new GPU-accelerated internal pipeline with the following functions all being done on the GPU: Compositing, Colorspace transforms (RGBA, BGRA, ARGB, YUV, YUVA, YUV-HD, YUVA-HD), Interlacing, Per-layer image-transforms: opacity, gain, scaling, clipping, transform, plus the Color Producer.
- Major code refactoring for improved readability and maintainability. 66% of legacy code removed.
- Rewritten to take advantage of common standardized libraries instead of custom solutions.
- Work done to facilitate cross-platform porting.
To download CasparCG Server 2.0a for free, go to the official CasparCG site.