Video: Is it Time to Take the HEVC Plunge?
Frost & Sullivan Industry Principal, Digital Media Avni Rambhia discusses the pros and cons for content owners of jettisoning AVC for HVEC now--and the necessity of bringing their AVC encoding infrastructure up to date for those not ready to make the transition now, in the summary remarks from her Streaming Media West presentation on the current state of HEVC encoding.
Read the complete transcript of this video:
Avni Rambhia, Frost & Sullivan: Even as you're looking at new codecs, also look at making sure you're getting the best performance out of your AVC encoders today. If the last time you bought an AVC encoder was four years ago, it's time to replace that AVC encoder first. Most professional encoders now are software based, so you can buy them for AVC and upgrade them to HEVC later without losing your investment in the underlying hardware. There's really no excuse for making sure that you have the absolute most state-of-the-art AVC encoder and transcoder that you can find today.
You are going to have to look at migrating to DASH, either in the context of HTML5, or in the context of apps, or in terms of a combination of the two. Especially with Flash being discontinued, the timeline has been accelerated to a greater degree than I think many of us had anticipated. Again, targeted advertising driven by analytics, that is where the revenue is going to come. That is where the differentiation is going to come. Even as much as the codec and the move to 4K are important, there are many other battles you need to be fighting in the short term.
With that, these are the key takeaways, so HEVC has had a very good year, both in terms of applications and in terms of starting to solve the licensing issues that were creating a lot of the logjam in 2015. There are still issues to be solved, but we at least remain optimistic that by 2018 we should start to see that big surge in update. We were originally predicting that for 2016. That window, of course, we have missed. This is not to say that HEVC is dead, not by a long shot.
You do have an issue with bandwidth crunches. You do have an issue with data caps. Global growth of OTT services, TVE services is an absolute necessity. If you embrace the paradigm that we're moving away from the broadcast sense of TV towards a pervasive unit cost of the world, every byte that you can save is important, every disc that you can save is important. The extent to which you can increase resolution, whether it's frame rate, or color depth, or pixel resolution starts to drive audiences back to where you want them to be.
With the analogy of a self-goal, because my kids are eight and ten, and that happens with annoying frequency every Saturday morning, someone in some game will kick the ball into their own goal. That's kind of what it is with HEVC today. The battle is really to be lost or won on the basis of non-technical issues, primarily, business justifications. Nonetheless, there are plenty of applications where uncertainty or not, HEVC makes a lot of sense today and is going to continue to make sense for its entire intended lifetime.
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