In Broadcast - August 2014 - 65


WWW.INBROADCAST.COM | ISSUE 34 - AUGUST 2014

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

N E W S

InFILE
Demystifying AS-11 UK DPP Delivery Cont.
comments before exporting the
file. Most importantly, with the two
parts of the chain, production and
post, agreeing on it together they'll
both know that last minute issues
won't come back to haunt them.

After TX
Although delivering digital files to
the broadcaster is one obvious
new challenge, there's another
crucial issue that production
companies face after delivery -
what to do with the files after
they've aired? Many productions
that have created and delivered
file-based assets have them
sitting on a portable drive in the
offi ce and have created a tape

copy as a backup. Neither of
these approaches is sustainable
in the long term - portable drives
are simply not reliable enough to
safeguard such a valuable asset,
and tape libraries will become
increasingly impractical as tape
decks gradually fall out of use.
The answer is to set up a
digital library with rigorous asset
management and backup so the
assets can be securely stored. This
requires storing the actual files on
spinning disks or on LTO tape, so
they remain safe and accessible
long into the future. With the
price of digital storage rapidly
decreasing, safely storing digital
assets is now a moderately low

HEVC: Why It Matters
Ultra HD/4K will have an impact across the
broadcast chain and no conversation about Ultra
HD/4K is complete without a mention of HEVC...

A

ny discussion about ultra high
resolutions eventually turns to
the question of compression, and
this is where HEVC comes in.
Professional HD cameras
generate a huge amount of
raw data, requiring some form
of compression before it can
be ingested into a production
workflow, and then transmitted.
Dealing with the far larger volume
of data that comes with UHD/4K,
compounds the problem.
High Efficiency Video Coding
(HEVC), a video codec jointly
developed by ISO/MPEG and ITU-T
Video Coding Expert Group, is the
natural successor to the H264MPEG4Advanced Video Coding
(AVC) codec, also known as H.264.
The goal of HEVC is to divide the
required bitrate by two compared
to H264-MPEG4 for the same
level of quality.
HEVC can be considered
as a significant enhancement
over MPEG4 with its ability to
take advantage of the huge
improvements in CPU power in
the intervening years and be able
to both deliver UHD over broadcast
networks and to extend the footprint
of HD delivery over other networks
such as mobile.
HEVC promises a bandwidth
reduction of around 35% - while
delivering similar quality to AVC -
in live encoding applications. In
the context of video-on-demand
(VoD) applications, this increases to
around 50%: no quality compromise
and half the bitrate.

Real-Time Encoding
Following the final release of HEVC

specifications, published in 2013 by
both ISO/MPEG and ITUT-VCEG,
software-based HD HEVC codecs
are now available for both realtime(live) and non-real-time(file)
encoding. Hardware-based HEVC
codecs compatible with HD began
to make an appearance at NAB
2014 and we expect to see the
fi rst release of HEVC hardware
codecs compatible with UHD by
the end of 2014.
One of the key advantages of the
technology is to allow broadcasters
to use existing HD TV network
infrastructure to distribute 4K,

cost. Production companies can
rent space in established digital
libraries such as the one we have
set up, and gain all the advantages
of safety and accessibility for a
minimal fee. Indeed, our service
offer includes storage as well as
preparing programmes for AS-11
UK DPP delivery. This enables
content owners to view assets
online, call up material for further
broadcast sales or clip sales,
or simply view copies - vastly
simplifying and streamlining the
whole process.

Time Is Ticking
Much has been debated over
the last 12 months around the

By Bernard Riera
Director of New Technologies
and Innovation, Globecast
bearing in mind that uncompressed
4K signal needs a bitrate four times
higher than an uncompressed HD
signal. At this stage we are seeing
that a 4K TV signal will need a
bitrate of between 20 and 30 Mbps
for contribution (B2B) and between
10 and 15 Mbps for distribution
(B2C), which is comparable to the
bitrate used with a codec H264 for
an HD signal.
HEVC adoption in the contribution
business presents the least scope
for disruption. The cost implications
will be marginal as there won't be a
major impact on the consumption
of space segment vs HD MPEG4
contribution. The main impact will
be on the renewal of video encoders
and decoders to support HEVC.

Deployment Impact

A key advantage of HEVC is allowing
broadcasters to use existing network
infrastructure to distribute UHD-4K

ability of production companies
to prepare for the move to fi lebased deliver y. From all the
information that's flowed around
the industry a few things have
stood out for me. Firstly, for the
QC process to work smoothly,
production and post-production
houses need to collaborate closely
to get the task done. Secondly,
smaller production companies
and post facilities need to realise
that they're not alone. There are
several specialists out there who
can take the hassle out of fi lebased delivery, and help navigate
and demystify the AS-11 UK
DPP waters.

On the distribution side, the
economic impact will be
significantly different as moving
from MPEG4 to HEVC implies
renewing set-top boxes.
Decoding HEVC will need much
more CPU than decoding MPEG4,
with the immediate consequence
of positioning high-end set-top
boxes as the only one to be able
to decode HEVC.
In addition, to this we need to
keep in mind HEVC licence fees, a
policy that could have a negative
impact on HEVC deployment
compared to Google VP9 policy
(no fees). For all of these reasons
we believe that there won't be
massive deployment of UHD TV
live channels before 2016/2017;
UHD will be fuelled over the next
two years by SVoD services.
While the ability to deliver high

resolution content using lower
bitrates provides a clear benefit,
OTT and streaming services,
which primarily use the H.264
compression codec, will likely
be slower to adopt HEVC. The
issue with using a new codec
in this context is that the player
needs to be able to decode it. The
capability to decode H.264 is on
nearly every device so that isn't
an issue. H.264 provides pretty
good quality and it works across
multiple environments.
It's widely accepted that HEVC
will allow better compression rates
and therefore better quality at
lower bandwidth, or to achieve HD
over lower bandwidth networks
(or 4K in the future), but not yet.
HEVC is where the market is
heading and Globecast is already
capable of streaming content in
HEVC but there's not the scale
there currently.

HEVC Push
T here are cur rently several
industry efforts to push forwards
with the development of HEVC.
4Ever (www.4ever-project.com)
is a French collaborative project
launched in March 2012 with the
participation of industry partners
(Orange Labs, Technicolor, ATEME,
Highlands Technologies, Teamcast,
Globecast), broadcasters (France
Television) and universities (IETR,
Telecom Paris Tech).
The focus is on exploring new
technologies for higher-quality
video experience via Ultra
HD, HEVC and DASH, for both
broadcast and OTT applications.

65


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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of In Broadcast - August 2014

In Broadcast - August 2014 - Intro
In Broadcast - August 2014 - Cover1
In Broadcast - August 2014 - Cover2
In Broadcast - August 2014 - 3
In Broadcast - August 2014 - 4
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In Broadcast - August 2014 - S1
In Broadcast - August 2014 - S2
In Broadcast - August 2014 - S3
In Broadcast - August 2014 - S4
In Broadcast - August 2014 - S5
In Broadcast - August 2014 - S6
In Broadcast - August 2014 - S7
In Broadcast - August 2014 - S8
In Broadcast - August 2014 - S9
In Broadcast - August 2014 - S10
In Broadcast - August 2014 - S11
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