The French government-backed research and development project 4EVER will trial delivery of HD content OTT using the recently ratified HEVC codec at the 2013 French Open Tennis championships starting May 17.
This will provide one of the first large scale demonstrations of OTT HD delivery using HEVC, which reduces, by half, the bit rate required to encode video at a given quality level compared with the currently deployed H.264/MPEG4.
In Europe, France has taken a lead over HEVC deployment, rather as it did with H.264 in becoming the world’s biggest IPTV market until overtaken by China last year. France Telecom’s Orange, which is still the world’s number one IPTV operator with almost 6 million subscribers, has announced it will launch an VOD service in 1080p HD using HEVC by June 2013. For IPTV operators, a major attraction of HEVC will be the ability to extend the distance range of their services by being able to sustain the same quality at the lower bit rates prevailing further from the DSLAMs where fiber is terminated.