As Video Standards Emerge, 4K Is the Next Big Challenge: Video
Troy Dreier: Hi, this is Troy Dreier, coming to you from Steaming Media East 2016. We are talking with thought leaders in our industry. Look at this. I've got P.P.S. Narayan, the vice president. Am I getting this right?
P.P.S. Narayan: Yes.
Troy Dreier: Of Video-
P.P.S. Narayan: Engineering.
Troy Dreier: Engineering at Yahoo. It's a mouthful. Welcome. Thank you for joining me.
P.P.S. Narayan: Thank you.
Troy Dreier: You are here to talk to a panel about video optimization and bandwidth load, which is something that effects everybody.
P.P.S. Narayan: Absolutely.
Troy Dreier: I hear so much about formats, it makes my head spin. Is it getting better?
P.P.S. Narayan: I think it's definitely getting better. There is a lot of different formats that have happened in the past, but with Apple coming out with HLS and with Google and the standards body coming out with MPEG-DASH, I think the protocols for actually transporting video to users has become easier and easier with those two standards coming together. On the encoding side, almost everybody in the industry is using H.264 encoders. The next generation of the evolution of encoding is happening with H.265 which is supporting 4K and AVC, which is a mechanism of trying to reduce the bandwidth usage for very high quality video. As we all know, I think video delivery has become a challenge because more and more consumption of video is happening. Even if you go in your household, there are three or four simultaneous consumptions of video that is happening.
I am watching something on my iPad. My wife is watching something on TV, maybe she is streaming on our TV. The kids are watching some kids' shows on Netflix. As this consumption is increasing, there is more and more load that is being put on the network. Which means that we have to get smarter about delivering high-quality video to households and to users. Now that users and more and more mobile, that also adds to the challenge.
Troy Dreier: With so many people buying 4K TVs now, this must be coming more and more urgent to squeeze down that big video.
P.P.S. Narayan: A lot of people are buying 4K TVs, and they are yearning for 4K content. The problem today is that 4K content is not being produced that widespread. A lot of people are still at 1080p. To deliver this 4K content, your bandwidth pipe has to increase two to three fold. That means that if you are watching 1080p at six megabits per second, 4K becomes something like 18 to 20 megabits per second. That means that you need fatter pipes. Consumers are more and more interested in getting higher and higher quality at the same price, which means that it puts a lot pressure on the ISPs and the CDNs and a lot of the service providers to actually improve their network while keeping the cost constant and for technologists to make the technology better.
Troy Dreier: I don't have that kind of bandwidth in my home for one good HD connection. Are we going to be able to squeeze that HD down with future-
P.P.S. Narayan: Yeah. That's what the panel is about is how do we become smarter about squeezing that HD down. For example, people are talking about what they traditionally call talking heads. The video is about talking heads, then you can do a certain type of encoding and make it lower bit rate with the same quality. Then, for example, let's say we are watching football, and football is very high, fast action, a lot motion, a lot of green stuff, different pieces that kind of continuously move, that encoding becoming much more complicated and requires more bandwidth. Getting smart about the type of content is what exactly the panel was about.
Troy Dreier: Thank you so much for joining me, P.P.S. Everyone, this is Troy Dreier coming to you from Streaming Media East.
P.P.S. Narayan: Thank you, Troy.
Enough with the codec confusion. The online video space won't really thrive until industry standards are put in place and enforced by the government.
Will there ever be one ring to rule them all? it's time for the online video industry to take a page from TV and create interoperable standards.
Online is different from broadcast and doesn't need formal standards. HEVC isn't considered by many online video streamers, as the future belongs to VP9 and AV1.
4K video adoption is growing faster than HD adoption did, Sony finds. Viewers should plan on upgrading their internet connections to enjoy that content.
Even people with broadband connections and 4K TVs may not be getting 4K video, as the average live stream today is 720p says NeuLion. But bigger pipes are worth the investment.
Live video is still a priority on Yahoo, as the site will stream 180 games for free. All 30 MLB teams will be shown in April's matchups.
Does a higher resolution guarantee the best image quality, or does better contrast and brightness? And can today's limited bandwidth handle all that data?