The encoding business is all about squeezing more bits per buck, and the industry is about to advance another level, where HEVC compression plays a huge role in delivering HD quality with optimised throughput and bandwidth.
French telco Orange may be the first to launch a service based on the High Efficiency Video Codec (HEVC, also known as H.265), ratified by the ITU in January. According to an announcement at CES 2013, the telco is on the verge of debuting a VoD movies service using HEVC to deliver 3Mbps 1080p HD content on Samsung Smart TVs in France.
Encoder vendors are rushing to adapt to the new technology. French specialistATEME has demonstrated HEVC with constant bitrate (CBR) video encoded offline with software, and the company has begun work on real-time encoding. At IBC last year it showed 4K resolution content at 60fps running at 11-15Mbps. ATEME is far from the only vendor researching and developing the technology. Motorola Mobility has demoed HEVC running HD video at 8.8Mbps using MPEG-4 AVC and at 4.4Mbps with HEVC. Ericsson has an HEVC encoder on trial with several telcos for delivery of linear TV over mobile networks and Rovi is to enable third parties to provide HEVC support on their own devices. Meanwhile, Swiss telco Swisscom plans to use HEVC to boost bitrates of HD content for delivery of multi-screen video services by mid-2014.