Tag Archives: HEVC

Patent holders cut streaming fees for next-gen video tech

MPEG-LA, the company that sells a license to 57 HEVC-related patents on behalf of Apple, Samsung, Fujitsu and other 20 patent holders, said Monday it’ll charge 20 cents per product that can encode or decode video using HEVC. That’s the same price as for today’s prevailing standard, called H.264 or AVC, but this time around, MPEG LA isn’t charging for use of the technology when a video is streamed over the Internet or sold on a Blu-ray disc. […] That patent provision is one big reason Google has pushed its rival VP8, VP9, and soon, VP10 video codecs. The company wants to liberate video on the Internet. That’s why it’s notable HEVC doesn’t require any payments for streaming-video use: it partially neutralizes at least one VP9 advantage. Patent royalties aren’t just a financial problem. For open-source software like Mozilla’s Firefox browser, it’s not legally possible to include. Today Firefox downloads an H.264 codec supplied by Cisco, which pays royalties. It’s an awkward situation, and it doesn’t cover Firefox and HEVC — which is why Mozilla is working on its own royalty-free video codec called Daala, which it hopes will leapfrog both VP9 and HEVC. – Stephen Shankland,CNET
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4K Blu-ray is finally happening as more streaming options pour forth

The biggest content announcement though came from the Blu-ray Disc Association, which finally broke its long running silence about a long mooted 4K disc upgrade. The first Ultra HD Blu-ray players would be available by the end of 2015 […] The discs will be encoded in HEVC and support up to 2160/60p – although the majority of movie releases will inevitably still be 2160/24p. Players will be largely (but apparently not entirely) compliant with the highly advanced ITU-R recommended BT.2020 standard for resolution, color and frame rates. – Steve May,TechRadar
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4K Blu-ray discs arriving in 2015 to fight streaming media

The Blu-ray Disc Association is most of the way done defining a version of its optical disc technology that can handle high-resolution 4K imagery, the group said Friday at the IFA electronics trade show here. It will start licensing the technology in the spring or summer of 2015, and the first 4K Blu-ray players should arrive by the holiday-shopping season of that year, said Victor Matsuda, chairman of the Blu-ray Disc Association global promotions committee. […] The new format works on existing Blu-ray discs with 50GB capacity, said Ron Martin, vice president of Panasonic’s Hollywood lab and a member of the Blu-ray Association’s task for for next-generation Blu-ray development. It stores data in a different way, though, moving from the H.264/AVC (Advanced Video Coding) compression technology to the newer H.265/HEVC (High Efficiency Video Coding) successor. HEVC takes more processing to use when encoding videos but compresses them more compactly — or alternatively viewed, lets more pixels be sent across a given amount of data-transfer capacity. – Stephen Shankland,CNET
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Streaming innovation will drive 4K uptake

While the larger 4K ecosystem slowly gets its footing, a report from The Diffusion Group (TDG) argues that streaming video will be the spark that lights 4K uptake and use. […] First, US consumer broadband speeds have improved, with average residential wireline connection speeds now topping 10 Mbps. A majority of US broadband households are now at or above access speeds that would enable a single 4K stream to be enjoyed on a living room TV, especially given new codecs.

Second, video streaming technologies have continued to improve, a critical trend that optimises available bandwidth such that larger files can be transported more quickly and efficiently. Though still in its early phases, the next-generation codec HEVC (otherwise known as H.265) has been demonstrated to improve codec efficiencies (i.e., bandwidth savings) of between 25 per cent and 50 per cent compared to today’s state-of-the-art codec, AVC. This is a significant improvement, says [Joel Espelien,TDG], as it represents a gain of 50 per cent, which could mean the difference between needing a 15 Mbps and a 10 Mbps stream to deliver 4K content. – Advanced Television
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