Ericsson debuts first HEVC encoder
August 22, 2012
By Chris Forrester
Technology giant Ericsson has introduced what it claims is the world’s first HEVC encoder unit for live video transmission in particular to mobile devices.
The units tap into the very latest in compression technologies which could save broadcasters and operators up to 50 per cent in delivery bandwidth, while at the same time boosting download speeds. The encoders comply with the HEVC/H.265 compression algorithms which is now finalised and agreed and will be endorsed as an industry ‘standard’ in January 2013.
“As operators strive to keep pace with the multi-screen consumer demand, they are facing increased strain on their networks. There is an immediate need for new video compression solutions that enable high quality pictures over mobile networks, while keeping bandwidth and storage costs as low as possible,” said Dr Giles Wilson, Head of TV Compression Business, Ericsson. “We understand the dynamics of consumer and operator needs, and the launch of the Ericsson SVP 5500 encoder demonstrates our ability to make first to market moves that allow next-generation TV experiences to become mass market reality.”
The SVP 5500 HEVC units will be working at the upcoming IBC technology show in Amsterdam. Dr Wilson, talking exclusively to advanced-television.com, says that he expects handsets, tablets and other mobile devices to quickly emerge to exploit new services.
“This is also the precursor technology to that likely to be used for ‘next-generation’ Ultra-HDTV transmissions. We have been looking at 4K transmission, because we are firm believers in it, and we believe HEVC will have a pivotal role in its deployment. Indeed, moving towards 4K was one of the key aspects of the technical development work carried out by the technical teams and standards bodies. They in particular wanted to achieve extra-high resolutions, so there are some special tools within the specification to help achieve this.”
Dr Wilson says that the final video result in terms of received quality depends on the bit-rate employed by the broadcaster. “I expect that on premium TV services, the broadcasters will not push the compression bit-rate too far, but I also expect that new decoders, when properly designed for H.265, will deliver a very good 4K experience. They should work better than H.264 because more attention has been paid to these aspects. We at Ericsson have had a considerable input on the ‘In-Loop Filtering’ aspects of the technology, for example.”