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Video: What is Slowing HEVC Adoption?

Primary obstacles to widespread HEVC adoption including licensing issues and royalty costs, high device and content caps, and limited browser and player device support, according to Frost & Sullivan Industry Principal, Digital Media Avni Rambhia in her presentation on the state of HEVC adoption at Streaming Media West 2016.

Read the complete transcript of this video:

Avni Rambhia: The royalty issues, particularly with HEVC Advanced, are starting to get mitigated. We do now have caps on the royalties. They are high caps and the minimums are not very low, but still, there's progress being made ... Ad-supported content. Content 12 minutes or less is now exempt from content royalties; again, big step forward. Not to say that everything's been solved. We still have certain, shall we say, brain-dead provisions in the royalty schedules. As we continue to see momentum, we continue to see progress on that front. That's really important.

There has been a movement to try to push for royalty-free HEVC. I think in all practicality, that's not going to happen. This is a commercial codec that are R&D investments. This is not an open-source, free-to-use, type of codec. There are others, if that's the kind of option you're looking for. As in so far as it needs to be a commercially sensible licensing regime, that's absolutely something we can push for. The other big flip side issue right now is the absolute lack of support, or the predominant lack of support for HEVC in browsers.

Edge includes HEVC, but none of the other browsers do an HTML5. As of now, it is not supported. This isn't so much a technological issue as it is, again, a business risk issue. If the licensing issues were to be sorted out, or if we could find a deal similar to what Cisco managed for WebRTC, this is another hurdle that can very easily be overcome because the underlying chip sets and operating systems are all HEVC capable; they're just not HEVC enabled. There are very few categories of playback devices ... This is really the takeaway here, that have switched on their HEVC capabilities in its full and native form.

Again, that's not to say that they're not capable, they're just not enabled. When one person decides to flip the switch and move forward, we expect that there will be a very rapid domino effect in its wake. Nonetheless, this is for OTT. If you look at broadcast, in the broader sense of pay TV; one too many broadcasts, satellite transmissions, satellite back call, HEVC, is very much being deployed. We have encoders, transcoders, professional decoders, boxes, middleware. All of that is falling into place very very quickly. This is a story of progress. It's just a story of somewhat slow progress.

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