New video compression technology will cut bandwidth use in half, says Ericsson

HEVC will lesson the burden from TV on mobile networks and also improve quality

HEVC (High Efficiency Video Coding) will revolutionize delivery of TV services to all types of devices including smartphones and tablets, according to Ericsson, which will launch what it says will be the first live TV encoder compatible with the technology at the IBC trade show next month.

The compression technology promises to reduce the bandwidth requirements for video delivery by over 50 percent compared to the best H.264/MPEG-4 AVC implementations, according to Ericsson.

The company expects HEVC will be first used to deliver TV over mobile networks to smartphones and tablets. That is what the SVP 5500 HEVC encoder, which is capable of handling HD resolutions, will be used for.

The popularity of video streaming to smartphones and tablets is growing, which also means operators are facing an increasing strain on their networks. HEVC will help alleviate that, Ericsson said.

For HEVC to work, decoders on the receiving side also have to be upgraded, and since the codec is more advanced it will have higher performance demands. But current smartphones and tablets will get the capability to decode signals in software, according to Simon Frost , head of TV marketing at Ericsson.

The compression technology will in the longer term also be used to make 4K (3840-by-2160 pixels) video distribution a reality, according to Frost.

HEVC or H.265 is being developed by the Joint Collaborative Team-Video Coding (JCT-VC), a collaborative project between the ITU-T Video Coding Experts Group (VCEG) and the ISO/IECE Moving Picture Experts Group (MPEG).

It was issued as a draft international standard in July. The final draft international standard is due in January 2013, which signals the start of the formal ratification, according to Ericsson.

The first commercial announcements from operators are expected to come at the end of the year or beginning of next year, Frost said.

IBC (International Broadcasting Convention) will take place in Amsterdam between Sept. 6 and 11.

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