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Telestream: Executive Palmistry 2014

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The quest for digital media file formats that offer more efficient use of bandwidth and better picture quality is constant. The newest entrant is HEVC (or H.265), which promises dramatic improvements in both bit rate and picture quality. HEVC also offers the potential to address the two most common technical frustrations expressed by consumers about watching video over the Internet: the issues of download stream continuity and video quality.

There are already over one billion smart phones and tablets capable of playing HEVC video simply by upgrading their software-based video codecs. However, for more entrenched technologies, such as set-top cable and satellite boxes, new hardware may be required. The same is true for any Ultra-HD services that may emerge.

For those reasons, the earliest adopters of HEVC are likely to be OTT companies and wireless providers. Not only are their HEVC-capable devices already in users’ hands, but these devices turn over much more rapidly than TVs and other home-based video platforms.

There seems to be little doubt that HEVC will be widely adopted in the industry. Manufacturers can choose to license a 3rd party codec, develop their own solution, or use the open source community. The latter approach was taken by Telestream to successfully develop the x264 codec. Leveraging this success, Telestream co-founded the HEVC Consortium to help develop the fastest, highest quality, open source HEVC software encoder based on the x265 codec. We look forward to helping with the migration to HEVC.

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