Why broadcasters need to be aware of the advent of HEVC


Kanaan Jemili TV-Bay Magazine
Read ezine online
by Kanaan Jemili
Issue 82 - October 2013
High-Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC), or H.265, has been the talk of the industry since gaining international standards approval earlier this year. HEVC is a new video compression standard and the successor to H.264/MPEG-4 AVC (Advanced Video Coding). Developed by the ISO/IEC Moving Picture Experts Group and ITU-T Video Coding Experts Group, HEVC is designed for encoding (converting) and decoding (playing) video streams that can be stored and delivered more efficiently and economically. In January 2013, HEVC was cleared for commercialisation by the ITU and ISO/IEC MPEG.

With major CE manufacturers such as LG and Samsung introducing ultra-HD and 4K support, the industry is rapidly moving towards this new compression technology that can maintain visual quality while shrinking video into nearly half the file size. With the potential of 40% better video compression than previous H.264 compression, plus resolutions as high as 8K this new standard is a game changer in the video space.

With a range of video formats TV, video on demand (VOD), Internet and P2P- predicted to be approximately 86% of global consumer internet traffic by 2016, there is an increasing need to reduce the bandwidth requirement for delivering high-quality video. While HEVC will initially be a mobile and Over-The-Top (OTT) play, it will undoubtedly become the foundation for high-quality video and stands to fundamentally change the way consumers watch television. It will enable content owners to store more video for the same cost, broadcasters to stream video more efficiently across networks, and consumers to enjoy a much better entertainment experience as video is more easily streamed directly to their devices. But is the timeframe for mainstream adoption a long-term venture or a short-term market opportunity?
The advent of HEVC

Video delivery has already seen several significant jumps in compression technology. Firstly from MPEG-2 to MPEG-4 ASP, then MPEG-4 ASP to Advanced Video Coding (AVC), and most recently from AVC to HEVC. These advancements have historically taken the industry years to adopt. The broadcast industry for example is still largely reliant on MPEG-2 and is yet to make the switch to MPEG-4 AVC, despite the obvious compression gains.

So what makes HEVC different? The reality is that video is more important than ever before. Digital video is driving the future of communications and the Internet. A recent study conducted by Rovi found that almost 60% of tablet users and 62% of mobile phone users across the U.K. view video on those devices at least 2 to 3 times per week. With many consumers experiencing slow load times and buffering issues, its easy to see why HEVC would be a welcomed solution.

The rise of 4K

A huge momentum builder for HEVC adoption is 4K (3840x2160) video. 4K offers mind-blowing clarity and represents a major step up from 1080p (1920x1080 pixels) at four times the number of pixels. The problem, of course, is that 4K files are massive. But with a compression standard like HEVC, 4K suddenly becomes feasible. In fact, 4K could become the killer application for HEVC, like HD was for AVC.

With more broadcasters and CE manufacturers experimenting with 4K transmissions Sony recently announced plans to trial 4K during Wimbledon demand for 4K screens is on the rise.
Taking the leap

Infrastructure players like broadcasters could use HEVC as the catalyst for development. Its conceivable that broadcasters currently working with MPEG-2, could see the leap in quality that HEVC can offer as the perfect reason to upgrade.

Furthermore, with the likes of Netflix and Hulu applying pressure, large broadcasters need to start adopting new compression techniques to be able to offer more products and services and remain competitive.

Unlike previous compression advances however, this time the entire ecosystem is firmly in place to drive the rapid adoption of HEVC. Today compression technology is tightly linked to digital rights management and adaptive streaming. Moreover, hardware and software vendors are solidly integrated into the ecosystem, enabling them to take advantage of new standards like HEVC faster than ever.

With the explosion in online video and connected devices, consumers will be on the receiving end of a tidal wave of high-quality, low-bandwidth entertainment. And its going to happen a lot sooner than you think.


Tags: iss082 | HEVC | High-Efficiency Video Coding | H.265 | international standards approval | broadcasting | Kanaan Jemili
Contributing Author Kanaan Jemili

Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
Article Copyright tv-bay limited. All trademarks recognised.
Reproduction of the content strictly prohibited without written consent.

Related Interviews
  • VITEC MGW Diamond HEVC Encoder at IBC 2018

    VITEC MGW Diamond HEVC Encoder at IBC 2018

  • HEVC Compression for EnGo from Dejero at NAB 2018

    HEVC Compression for EnGo from Dejero at NAB 2018

  • The new MGW Diamond HEVC Encoder from VITEC at NAB 2018

    The new MGW Diamond HEVC Encoder from VITEC at NAB 2018

  • 4k and HEVC with Garland at BVE 2018

    4k and HEVC with Garland at BVE 2018

  • HEVC 4k Encoding from Aviwest at NAB 2017

    HEVC 4k Encoding from Aviwest at NAB 2017

  • Vitec portable HEVC encoders at NAB 2016

    Vitec portable HEVC encoders at NAB 2016

  • Elemental Technologies HEVC solutions at NAB 2014

    Elemental Technologies HEVC solutions at NAB 2014

  • Haivision live encoding HEVC at IBC 2013

    Haivision live encoding HEVC at IBC 2013

  • VITEC at IBC 2015

    VITEC at IBC 2015

  • The new Playout Server from VITEC at NAB 2018

    The new Playout Server from VITEC at NAB 2018

  • House of Worship Multisite Streaming from VITEC at NAB 2017

    House of Worship Multisite Streaming from VITEC at NAB 2017

  • Garland at BVE 2017

    Garland at BVE 2017

  • VITEC EZ TV at IBC 2016

    VITEC EZ TV at IBC 2016

  • AVIWEST at IBC 2015

    AVIWEST at IBC 2015

  • BBright at IBC 2015

    BBright at IBC 2015

  • Tektronix at IBC 2014

    Tektronix at IBC 2014

  • Thomson Video Networks at IBC 2014

    Thomson Video Networks at IBC 2014

  • BBright at IBC 2014

    BBright at IBC 2014

  • Ateme at IBC 2014

    Ateme at IBC 2014

  • Telestream Wirecast and Switch at IBC 2014

    Telestream Wirecast and Switch at IBC 2014

  • Telestream Vantage support for DPP at IBC 2014

    Telestream Vantage support for DPP at IBC 2014

  • Visual Unity at NAB 2014

    Visual Unity at NAB 2014

  • Elemental Technologies Software-Defined Video at NAB 2014

    Elemental Technologies Software-Defined Video at NAB 2014

  • Elemental Technologies Multiscreen Solutions at NAB 2014

    Elemental Technologies Multiscreen Solutions at NAB 2014

  • Haivision at NAB 2014

    Haivision at NAB 2014

  • Haivision on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    Haivision on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • ATEME at IBC 2013

    ATEME at IBC 2013

  • Dejero at IBC 2016

    Dejero at IBC 2016

  • Brainstorm Multimedia at IBC 2015

    Brainstorm Multimedia at IBC 2015

  • TSL Products at BVE 2013

    TSL Products at BVE 2013


Related Shows
  • The lorries talk IP, big data and outside broadcasting

    The lorries talk IP, big data and outside broadcasting


Articles
Your two week editing future
Alex Macleod

So here we are - January again! Usually a good time to reflect on the year just gone by, and a good time to look forward to the coming months as the new year begins.

When I was reflecting on my 2018, and when thinking about what to write for my first article for Kit Plus - I kept coming back to one theme - organisation.

Tags: iss135 | editing | mediacity training | premiere pro | dit | Alex Macleod
Contributing Author Alex Macleod Click to read or download PDF
The making of The Heist
Tom Hutchings Shine TV has never been one to shy away from a challenge, be that in terms of using new technologies, filming ideas or overall formats: we pride ourselves on being ambitious and risk-takers.
Tags: iss135 | liveu | heist | streaming | cellular | mobile | connectivity | Tom Hutchings
Contributing Author Tom Hutchings Click to read or download PDF
21st Century Technology for 20th Century Content
James Hall A big challenge facing owners of legacy content is rationalising and archiving their tape and film-based media in cost effective and efficient ways, whilst also adding value. Normally the result of this is to find a low cost means of digitising the content – usually leaving them with a bunch of assets on HDD. But then what? How can content owners have their cake and eat it?
Tags: iss135 | legacy | digitising | digitizing | archive | James Hall
Contributing Author James Hall Click to read or download PDF
Grading BBC Sounds
Simone Grattarola

The BBC has launched its new personalised music, radio and podcast app with a campaign that follows one listener’s journey from meeting Kylie Minogue in a lift to Idris Elba on a bus. 

BBC Sounds offers a single home for the BBC’s thousands of hours of audio content, including live and on-demand shows and special music mixes curated by artists.

BBC Creative, the broadcaster’s in-house creative division, took the brief to agency Riff Raff Films and Megaforce directing duo of Charles Brisgand and Raphaël Rodriguez who in turn brought on board regular collaborators Time Based Arts.

Tags: iss135 | bbc | grading | bbc sounds | davinici | resolve | blackmagic | editing | Simone Grattarola
Contributing Author Simone Grattarola Click to read or download PDF
Switching to Internet Based Distribution
Chris Clark

"An IP status check for the broadcast industry", "Resistance is futile", "IP points the way forward for the broadcast industry"...

Yes, we've read the headlines too. But rather than force you into submission, scare you, or leave you feeling like you have no other choice, we want to give you the information that helps you to make a sensible decision about Internet-based distribution.

So what’s stopping you from making the switch right now?

Tags: iss135 | ip | internet | distribution | cerberus | Chris Clark
Contributing Author Chris Clark Click to read or download PDF