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ITU Blesses Bandwidth-Saving Video Codec

Jeff Baumgartner
LR Cable News Analysis
Jeff Baumgartner

Here's a glance at what's pushing the buttons of broadband and cable…

  • A study group within the International Telecommunication Union, Standardization Sector (ITU-T) has blessed High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC)/H.265, a video codec that aims to be about 50 percent more efficient than H.264/MPEG-4 and, therefore, relieve some of the strain on both mobile and wired broadband networks. ITU-T's Study Group 16 has given first-stage approval (consent) of HEVC, which is expected to play a key role in mobile video as well as the budding UltraHD/4K format. Most of the initial use of HEVC coding is expected to occur in smartphones. Shipments of 4K LCD-TVs will reach 2.1 million in 2017, up from a mere 4,000 in 2012, according to IHS iSuppli. (See Study Sees Small Demand for 4K TVs and Photos: Comcast/NBCU Ultra HD Demo.)
  • Staying with 4K, Japan will start broadcasting in the new, eye-popping format in July 2014, about two years earlier than originally planned, Broadband TV News reports, citing the Asahi Times. Broadcasting in UltraHD in Japan will start during the finals of the World Cup in Brazil next July, a move that TV manufacturers hope will lift sales of sets that can support 4K video.
  • Miranda Technologies Inc. has acquired Softel Ltd., a U.K.-based company that provides gear and software to handle video captioning, subtitling and interactive applications for programmers, broadcasters and cable operators. Among plans related to the deal, Miranda said it will integrate Softel's captioning technology into its iTX video playout system for linear TV and on-demand video. Miranda, acquired by Belden Inc. in July 2012, expects to complete the integration of Softel by this summer.
  • The Comcast Media Center (CMC) in Denver has secured a deal to manage and deliver video-on-demand (VoD) programming for Vme Media Inc.'s Spanish-language network. The CMC's VoD footprint now covers 56 million homes in the U.S. and Canada and delivers more than 12,000 hours of on-demand content per month. — Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable

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    User Rank: Light Sabre
    1/29/2013 | 4:38:49 AM
    re: ITU Blesses Bandwidth-Saving Video Codec

    Who is the "They" of your second sentence? -áI don't think Hulu, Roku, or Netflix give a lot of thought to what the ITU has to say.

    User Rank: Light Beer
    1/28/2013 | 4:58:41 PM
    re: ITU Blesses Bandwidth-Saving Video Codec
    ITU is essentially a patent cartel on this issue, just like the 3GPP. -áThey should consider using patent troll free codens like VP8 and VP9, as well as Opus for audio. -á
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