HEVC as a game-changer for HD, ultra HD and multi-screen

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    The one hour long panel was moderated by John Moulding, Editor of Videonet, and included the following speakers:

    • Boris Felts, VP, Products, Envivio
    • Thomas Helbo, CTO, Stofa
    • David Mercer, VP, Strategy Analytics

    Description and webcast discussion points.

    HEVC (High Efficiency Video Coding) is the draft compression standard designed to complement but one day succeed MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 and its arrival will quickly change the industry, whether reducing the bandwidth demands on mobile networks struggling with linear video streaming or making HD available at the edges of traditional multicast IPTV networks. It could lead to many more channels being made available in HD. Beyond this it could solve one of the biggest questions facing platform operators today, namely what big new thing is coming after multi-screen TV to excite consumers and drive new video revenues.

    The answer could, eventually, be Ultra HD (UHD). As with the launch of HDTV, though, we need the television screens, the encoders and the decoders, and all at realistic prices before anyone attempts to squeeze the first revolutionary DTH services into a satellite or cable multiplex. UHD will be an early adopter market and screen sizes themselves could physically limit how many people use it, so a dramatic expansion of HD, in terms of channels available and where they can reach, could be the bigger story. Because multi-screen services, like streaming to a PC, use software decoding, these could actually be where HEVC is first used in earnest.

    This discussion assesses the likely service and business impact of HEVC compression but because SD, HD and UHD are interlinked, it will consider the future of MPEG-2 and H.264 as well. We will be considering which services will use the different codecs, whether and how operators will transition through the codecs and whether we will end up supporting three major broadcast codecs and three simulcasts of every channel or instead start to hasten the day when we say goodbye to MPEG-2 and perhaps even standard-definition TV. HEVC could change pretty much everything and this live webcast looks at the technology, the economics and the business strategy behind it.

    Topics for discussion included:

    • Ultra HD: the next big thing for TV.eventually?.
    • Will HEVC mean more HD, all-HD, HD-everywhere or even HD-only
    • HEVC needs new set-top boxes – how will we get them into homes?
    • Is there an intermediate step, made possible with better H.264?
    • What is the future of MPEG-2; can we make SD look better on 40 inch screens??
    • Using HEVC with software decoding: the services that could benefit first.
    • Likely impact of HEVC for linear/live multi-screen TV services
    • Will MPEG DASH simplify or complicate multi-screen delivery?

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