HEVC encoding and decoding technology is “ready for primetime,” but licensing negotiations are holding up real-world deployments.
While it was clear from walking the exhibit floor in Amsterdam that HEVC encoding and decoding technology is now “ready for primetime” as Sam Blackman, CEO of Elemental technologies put it, the licensing negotiations now underway between MPEG LA, the standardizing body, and those that would implement the patented technology into their products (consumer electronics companies and broadcast equipment suppliers), are holding back real-world deployments.
According to Blackman, companies like Apple, Samsung and others now have the technology to utilize HEVC, but they don’t dare for fear of having to pay billions in licensing fees. Although there has been no official comment on the negotiations, word on the street is that MPEG LA is seeking a $20 million cap on single users, whereas they receive roughly a $7 million cap for the use of H.264 today. The big difference reflects the potential multiple uses that new IP-based video services will require in the future.