Elemental Announces Pervasive HEVC/H.265 Codec Support
Elemental Technologies, a supplier of video solutions for multiscreen content delivery, announced support for the next-generation HEVC (high-efficiency video coding) H.265 codec. With a flexible software-based architecture, video processing solutions from Elemental offer support for the new codec via a seamless software upgrade. The bandwidth efficiency associated with the adoption of HEVC promises to greatly expand delivery of high-quality, high-resolution video over bandwidth-constrained networks.
International Telecommunications Union (ITU) members gave the new standard first-stage consent late last week. HEVC/H.265 is the product of collaboration between the ITU Video Coding Experts Group (VCEG) and the ISO/IEC Moving Picture Experts Group (MPEG). H.265-capable consumer devices are proliferating, with estimates from the Multimedia Research Group that one billion such software-enabled units shipped in 2012. The Cisco Visual Networking Index forecasts that Internet-based video consumption will grow twelvefold each year through 2016, at which point 1.2 million minutes of video content will cross the network every second. As massive amounts of video data distributed over the Internet consumes more network capacity, HEVC/H.265 offers bandwidth efficiency gains between 30 to 50 percent as compared to the MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 standard.
HEVC/H.265 enables pay TV operators, broadcasters, mobile providers and other content distributors to deliver higher-quality content at reduced bit rates over constrained networks while decreasing the capex spending associated with multiscreen video distribution infrastructure. With HEVC, service providers can also reduce backhaul and core network transit costs associated with multi-platform video distribution.
To achieve this level of efficiency, the HEVC/H.265 codec requires up to 10X more processing power for encoding compared to H.264 and relies on software capable of more complex decisions and tradeoffs across a wider array of decision points. Elemental has deep experience developing video codecs from open specifications to full implementation using general-purpose programmable architectures (GPUs and CPUs). Easing the transition to H.265 within legacy MPEG-2 and H.264 infrastructures, software-upgradeable solutions from Elemental can incorporate new compression approaches much more quickly than existing fixed hardware encoding and decoding platforms, such as ASICs and DSPs (digital signal processors).
“The computational intensity of HEVC lends itself perfectly to the processing performance advantage available with graphics processing units,” said Keith Wymbs, VP marketing at Elemental. “Video processing software from Elemental delivers H.265 content at very low video bit rates to a wide variety of viewing devices, creating ubiquity that will richly reward content providers, broadcasters and consumers.”
Elemental H.265 encoding exhibits bandwidth reductions of up to 50% compared to H.264. Elemental software is format agnostic and enables interoperability with applications and standards vital to multiscreen infrastructures, such as the integration of H.265 into MPEG-DASH workflows featuring H.265-decoding-capable DASH players. H.265 support will be commercially available in Q2’13 on Elemental flagship platforms, including Elemental Live and Elemental Server, which deliver high-quality, high-efficiency video processing required for streaming live and on-demand video to any device. H.265 reference streams are available from Elemental.
Elemental will demonstrate concurrent H.264, MPEG-2, and H.265 encoding on a single Elemental Live system at NAB in April. Elemental will also present a webinar on the topic of HEVC for multiscreen video on February 7.