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|by Keith Wymbs
Issue 84 - December 2013
which was standardized
earlier this year, brings broadcasters
and other content distributors
multiple opportunities, including:
- Decreased bandwidth enabling
the addition of more channels and
increased quality while lowering
- Improved consumer quality of
- The ability to stretch storage capacity
for large content libraries.
- A significant reduction in operating
expenses associated with multiscreen
content delivery networks.
HEVC/H.265 also is expected to
usher in new revenue opportunities.
Chief among these are new overthe-
top (OTT) delivery and 4K
Ultra HD services. For example,
broadcasters and content owners
using H.264 encoding today for
OTT will want to leverage bandwidth
savings enabled by HEVC to
distribute more content via their
CDN and to increase overall quality
while lowering bitrates and thus
A powerful example of the potential
for HEVC/H.265 is 4K Ultra HD.
The bandwidth required for H.264
compressed 4K content (20+ Mbps) is prohibitive. Designed to deliver
an average bit rate reduction of up
to 50% compared to H.264, HEVC
shrinks bitrates required for 4K to
potentially less than 10 Mbps and
delivers a smooth and immersive
4K and Ultra High Definition will
be very important, especially for
live sports in the coming years, and
HEVC compression will be critical
to making 4K cost effective, reach
multiscreen devices and not use
too much distribution bandwidth,
observes Tom Morrod, research
director for consumer electronics
and video technology at IHS. With
the upcoming World Cup and
Winter Olympics, the industry needs
successful real-time demonstrations
of 4K video delivery and HEVC.
HEVC/H.265 implementation allows
for delivery of 4K content at greatly
As with any major, disruptive
technology, there are obstacles
associated with widespread
HEVC/H.265 adoption. First and
foremost among these is the lack of
HEVC playback availability.
Real-time HEVC encoding is a
key missing element within video
processing vendors solutions
with the exception of Elemental.
Currently, there is a lot of discussion
about HEVC encoding, but only
Elemental is delivery a fully functional
implementation across our entire file,
live and Cloud product lines.
And then theres the cost
consideration. Easing the transition
to HEVC within legacy MPEG-2 and
H.264 infrastructures, softwareupgradeable
Elemental can incorporate these
new compression approaches much
more quickly than existing fixed
hardware encoding platforms.
A GIANT LEAP FORWARD
A huge step toward more pervasive
4K was taken in late October
2013 when leading Japanese
telco K-Opticom (K-OPT) used
HEVC video processing software
from Elemental to successfully
deliver the worlds first real-time
4K transmission using the new
Elemental streamed the entire
eight-plus-hour Osaka Marathon
for K-Opticom (K-OPT), with
stunning, clear and very detailed
output to a Sony 4K Bravia TV.
Elementals award-winning H.265
solution makes it possible to
smoothly transmit 4K images across
wideband networks provided by
operators like K-Opticom at greatly
|K-Opticom was proud to help
make history with the worlds first
real-time 4K HEVC transmission.
The stream looked stunning with
clear, reliable and very detailed
output on Sony 4K televisions,
said Mr. Takao Fujino, President of
K-Opticom. Together, the advanced
K-OPT optical fiber network and
Elementals video processing proved
real-time 4K HEVC transmission is
now a reality.
Challenges fell primarily into two
categories: those related to the
broader 4K/HEVC ecosystem and
those associated with availability of
4K/HEVC-ready technology solutions.
K-OPT together with Elemental
overcame these challenges to create
a cohesive workfl ow with reliable
delivery and high-quality output.
Elemental, which is the only video
processing vendor offering real-time
4K/HEVC encoding, bridged a major
gap in the ecosystem with its ability to
reliably deliver 4K content in real-time
at high quality. The company also
identifi ed a suitable 4K/HEVC-ready
PC-based decoder to support the
Prior to the real-time 4K/HEVC
transmission of the Osaka 2013
Marathon, live 4K encoding in the
new HEVC standard had been
regarded as a very tough challenge
given its complexity. With its powerful
software-based architecture and
unique approach to leveraging highperformance
proved that real-time 4K/HEVC is now
a technical reality.
| Keith Wymbs
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