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2013 Online Video Executive Prediction: Elemental Technologies

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Traditionally, infrastructure that delivered premium video content was standardized, prepackaged and recycled every three to five years. Known colloquially as “big iron,” advances in video compression and statistical multiplexing decreased required bit rates enough with equivalent quality to justify a wholesale swap out of infrastructure. This perpetual investment was consistently offset and rationalized by savings in network capacity and video delivery infrastructure costs.

Those days are over now. The consumer shift to broadband-centric, multi-device content delivery is driving disruptive change across a complex landscape and requires the kind of scalability and interoperability that only software-based approaches can yield.

Adaptive streaming technologies are viewed as a more efficient way to achieve a video everywhere strategy. Open networks are being used in addition to closed networks to deliver next-generation video experiences. Content delivery networks and the cloud are augmenting traditional infrastructure for creation and delivery of media assets. New devices appear on the scene every few months to create yet another screen on which to deliver high quality content.

Next generation algorithms promising 50% bit rate reductions without sacrifices to overall quality are poised to enter the market with the adoption of High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC/H.265). New and agile business models can’t be baked into an ASIC or a DSP without a willingness to wait 24 months for silicon that supports the latest standards. Big iron is a dead end road, unless you want to recycle your hardware every time change occurs. The video compression world is moving to software, as only software-based solutions can keep up with the increasingly rapid rate of technical change.

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