In Broadcast - November 2013 - 22


I N T E R N A T I O N A L

WWW.INBROADCAST.COM | ISSUE 25 - NOVEMBER 2013

N E W S

InUSA

Licencing Issues Threaten To Delay
Practical HEVC Deployments
There is a cloud hanging over the use of the higher efficiency video codec that is urgently needed to
meet the expected demand of billions of video-enabled consumer devices...

By Michael Grotticelli
Contributing Editor

ext-generation compression
schemes are clearly necessary
for delivering the increasing
amount (and individual file sizes)
of audio and video content to
multiple delivery platforms (e.g.,
TV, computers, tablets and smart
phones).
It's the only practical way to serve
thousands of files simultaneously
to users of a widening variety of
portable device types. At IBC show
in Amsterdam this year, as well
as at other industry events, High
Efficiency Video coding (HEVC, also
known as the H.265 standard or
"MPEG-5") was being marketed as
that ideal solution.
What's also clear is that there will
be many devices in the marketplace
for broadcasters to serve. Ericsson,
which has developed its own
AVP4000 compression chip that
supports HEVC, said that by the year
2020 there would be some 50 billion
video-enabled connected devices.
That's a lot of files to serve,
and it has to be done quickly
and seamlessly to the end user.
Compression is the only practical
way for content distributors to
secure the bandwidth, efficient data
rates and visual quality they need
to build out their next-generation
platforms and make them a success.
So, while the required HEVC
encoding and decoding technology
is now "ready for primetime" as
Sam Blackman, CEO of Elemental
technologies puts it, the licensing
negotiations now underway between
MPEG LA, the standardising body,
and those that would implement
the patented technology into their
products (consumer electronics
c o m p a n i e s a n d b ro a d c a s t
equipment suppliers), is holding
back real-world deployments.
A c c o rd i n g t o B l a c k m a n ,
companies like Apple, Samsung and
others now have the technology to
utilise 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

N

22

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.
"We're all waiting for the word on
when we can begin deployments,"
Blackman said. "I know we have
customers interested in getting
started and reaping the benefits that
HEVC compression brings."
At its IBC exhibit booth, Elemental
showed demonstrations of greatlooking 1080p/30 fps HD pictures
running at 2.8 Mbps. This was
real-time encoding of on-demand
material. At 60 fps, Elemental's VP
of Marketing Keith Wymbs said they
could get great results at about 15
Mbps. He said field tests have
already begun at a major satellite
broadcaster in the U.S.
HEVC is said to reduce the data
rate needed for video coding by
50% when compared to the current
state-of-the-art, H.264 (MPEG-4)
while delivering better image quality.
That extra bandwidth is sorely
needed, as files get bigger and ever
greater in number.

A subjective comparison of MPEG-2
and HEVC

At the IBC Show there were new
hardware-based compression
boards based on it, software
algorithms that take advantage of
it, and newly emerging decoding
technology to enable all of those
video files to be displayed on Ultra
HD TVs, computers, tablets and
smart cell phones.
And it's not just about the highest
resolution; HDTV will also benefit
greatly from carefully compressed
and highly automated technology

HEVC promises substantial bandwidth savings

platforms. Most venders at the show
said that the cloud, that is, remotely
located transcoding farms, will play
a large role in helping to deliver video
to so many devices at the same time.
Licensing aside, there are
now many examples of deciding
technology using the HEVC scheme
in equipment manufacturers' pipeline.
Samsung showed an 85-inch LED
4K TV with a complementary HEVCenabled set top box in its booth
and the compressed pictures
looked stunning.
There were many demos of live
satellite delivered 4KTV shown
by other companies (Panasonic,
Sagecom, SES, Sony and others)
as well, in addition to new rackmountable HEVC products from
Aspera, Ericsson, Fraunhofer
Institute, Harmonic, and Thomson
Video Networks, to name a few.
For mobile video applications,
a Silicon Valley-based company
named Squid Systems has
developed an HEVC software
decoder that works in tandem with
Harmonic hardware and mobile
decoding software from NXP
Software. Like others in the space,
Squid offers HEVC decoders on
CPU and CPU+GPU technology
using openCL for platforms based
on ARM Cortex A-Series processing
cores. It also markets encoders with
Intel's Atom chip inside (for mobile)
and encoders based on multi-core
X86 processors. Demos at the
booth showed visual examples
of 720p30 and 1080p30 video
encoded at very low data rates by
Harmonic's encoders, decoded on
mobile devices using the Squid

HEVC decoder.
Also for video display on
smartphones, HEVC software
from another Silicon Valley-based
company called VisualOn has
been implemented in the new G2
smartphones from LG. As a result,
the company said, consumers will
experience optimised data usage,
higher resolution video streaming,
efficient media storage and
seamless playback.
And there are many more
examples, proving that HEVC
technology, which was officially
standardised in January of this year,
is maturing at a rapid pace.
"To provide an excellent consumer
experience and achieve quick
industry adoption HEVC encoders
and decoders must interoperate
seamlessly from sub-HD to full-HD
resolution on current and future
mobile devices," said Dr Renga
Sundararajan, VP of Products and
Marketing at Squid Systems.
Another major issue that HEVC
brings up is the need for all of these
"over-the-top" platforms to move to
a progressive scan format. H.265
coding standard doesn't support
interlacing. That's because all
new display devices and most
capture devices inherently use
progressive scanning.
Bruce Devlin, Chief Technology
Officer at AmberFin - and coauthor of the MXF specification
- said that while the professional
content creation industry is still
generating more 1080i material
every year than progressive material,
CONTINUED ON PAGE 23


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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of In Broadcast - November 2013

In Broadcast - November 2013
Contents
InNews: Engineering Emmy Awards
InNews: K-Opticom Live 4K Hevc Transmission
InForm: Sislive Product Range Success
InFocus: JVC Delivers Global Content Camcorder
InStudio: Litepanels Sola 12
InGear: Ikegami Unicam-HD Camera
InGear: Soundfield DMI Aces Top Tennis Tournament
In Broadcast - November 2013 - Intro
In Broadcast - November 2013 - In Broadcast - November 2013
In Broadcast - November 2013 - Cover2
In Broadcast - November 2013 - Contents
In Broadcast - November 2013 - InNews: Engineering Emmy Awards
In Broadcast - November 2013 - 5
In Broadcast - November 2013 - InNews: K-Opticom Live 4K Hevc Transmission
In Broadcast - November 2013 - 7
In Broadcast - November 2013 - 8
In Broadcast - November 2013 - 9
In Broadcast - November 2013 - 10
In Broadcast - November 2013 - 11
In Broadcast - November 2013 - 12
In Broadcast - November 2013 - 13
In Broadcast - November 2013 - 14
In Broadcast - November 2013 - 15
In Broadcast - November 2013 - 16
In Broadcast - November 2013 - 17
In Broadcast - November 2013 - 18
In Broadcast - November 2013 - 19
In Broadcast - November 2013 - 20
In Broadcast - November 2013 - 21
In Broadcast - November 2013 - 22
In Broadcast - November 2013 - 23
In Broadcast - November 2013 - 24
In Broadcast - November 2013 - 25
In Broadcast - November 2013 - 26
In Broadcast - November 2013 - 27
In Broadcast - November 2013 - InForm: Sislive Product Range Success
In Broadcast - November 2013 - 29
In Broadcast - November 2013 - 30
In Broadcast - November 2013 - 31
In Broadcast - November 2013 - InFocus: JVC Delivers Global Content Camcorder
In Broadcast - November 2013 - 33
In Broadcast - November 2013 - 34
In Broadcast - November 2013 - 35
In Broadcast - November 2013 - 36
In Broadcast - November 2013 - 37
In Broadcast - November 2013 - 38
In Broadcast - November 2013 - 39
In Broadcast - November 2013 - 40
In Broadcast - November 2013 - 41
In Broadcast - November 2013 - InStudio: Litepanels Sola 12
In Broadcast - November 2013 - 43
In Broadcast - November 2013 - 44
In Broadcast - November 2013 - 45
In Broadcast - November 2013 - 46
In Broadcast - November 2013 - 47
In Broadcast - November 2013 - 48
In Broadcast - November 2013 - 49
In Broadcast - November 2013 - 50
In Broadcast - November 2013 - 51
In Broadcast - November 2013 - 52
In Broadcast - November 2013 - 53
In Broadcast - November 2013 - 54
In Broadcast - November 2013 - 55
In Broadcast - November 2013 - 56
In Broadcast - November 2013 - 57
In Broadcast - November 2013 - InGear: Ikegami Unicam-HD Camera
In Broadcast - November 2013 - 59
In Broadcast - November 2013 - 60
In Broadcast - November 2013 - 61
In Broadcast - November 2013 - 62
In Broadcast - November 2013 - 63
In Broadcast - November 2013 - InGear: Soundfield DMI Aces Top Tennis Tournament
In Broadcast - November 2013 - 65
In Broadcast - November 2013 - 66
In Broadcast - November 2013 - 67
In Broadcast - November 2013 - 68
In Broadcast - November 2013 - 69
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In Broadcast - November 2013 - S1
In Broadcast - November 2013 - S2
In Broadcast - November 2013 - S3
In Broadcast - November 2013 - S4
In Broadcast - November 2013 - S5
In Broadcast - November 2013 - S6
In Broadcast - November 2013 - S7
In Broadcast - November 2013 - S8
In Broadcast - November 2013 - S9
In Broadcast - November 2013 - S10
In Broadcast - November 2013 - S11
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