4K Is Good to Go Over HomePlug AV2 MIMO Networks

– ETSI Puts Seal of Approval on HEVC-compressed 4K Videos Being Streamed over the AV2 MIMO Version of HomePlug

ETSI, the European Telecommunications Standards Institute, says that the MIMO version of HomePlug, combined with HEVC encoded video, “will facilitate the distribution of UHD video-on-demand and 4K video streaming, linking home network gateways (DSL, cable, satellite and fiber to the home) to 4K UHD receiving devices (smart TV sets, set-top boxes, etc).

ETSI’s Powerline Telecommunications Technical Committee (TC PLT) has published a report that assesses three emerging technologies that impact each other: “the new generation of MIMO (Multiple Input-Multiple Output) powerline telecommunication modems, the recently standardized High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC) video codec, the successor of MPEG-4 and Ultra High Definition Television (UHDTV) transmission.” The report is called “Power Line Telecommunications; Powerline recommendations for very high bitrate services” and is quite tekkie. It’s at: www.etsi.org/deliver/etsi_tr/103200_103299/103234/01.01.01_60/tr_103234v010101p.pdf



HomePlug MIMO: Warm welcome from ETSI’s French Riviera HQ


Its conclusion: “MIMO-PLT [HomePlug] networks are recommended for high speed Internet services such as UHD (Ultra High Definition) SVOD and video streaming services for whole home distribution.”

The essence of ETSI’s report is that 4K videos can be delivered flicker free over home networks that use HomePlug’s AV2 MIMO technology.

There is a separate report called “PowerLine Telecommunications (PLT); MIMO PLT, about the MIMO version of HomePlug powerline technology at: http://www.etsi.org/deliver/etsi_tr/101500_101599/10156201/01.03.01_60/tr_10156201v010301p.pdf

The first report looks at the impact of HEVC-compressed videos on powerline networks and provides technical guidance to powerline equipment vendors to cope with very high bitrate services such as 4K videos being streamed over HomePlug networks to UHD TVs.ESTI says, “As gigabit home networking products based on MIMO-PLT modems enter the market, TC PLT explored additional channels provided by ground wiring, improving the performance of powerline telecommunication links. Measurements made in the electrical network within real homes in six European countries showed great improvements of MIMO-PLT networks on home coverage and robustness compared to existing Single Input-Single Output (SISO) PLT technologies.

Roger Samy, the Chairman of ETSI TC PLT, said, “Transmission of UHD Phase 1 video streams based on HEVC video compression over MIMO-PLT networks enables whole home coverage of current and forthcoming video services.”

We asked HomePlug Alliance president Rob Ranck about the reports. He said, “These reports are effective, independent confirmation of our prior assertions that HomePlug AV2 MIMO and Wi-Fi are a compelling combination for whole-home coverage and streaming multiple 4K UHD videos. And of course, I’m not the least bit surprised (or disappointed 😉 that apparently HomePlug is the only PLC standard that was included in the ETSI testing.”

A couple of things that are interesting about the reports:
– They do not mention G.hn powerline networking even though G.hn is an ITU-T standard.
– They confirm that the goal for HEVC/H.265 was “to reach a video coding standard that provides a bit-rate reduction of 50 % at the same subjective quality,” which is what was accomplished. Videos that are compressed by HEVC consume half the bandwidth of files compressed with the older MPEG-4 compression technology — regardless of the videos’ resolution, whether 1080p or 4K. All videos compressed by HEVC are transmitted in half the bandwidth of those compressed by the older but still predominantly used H.264.

Without being compressed by HEVC, 4K videos are four times as large as 1080p HD videos. Pay TV and OTT services are or about to use HEVC gear to compress 4K videos so they can be transmitted to the home, otherwise 4K is too big for most to handle. Makers of every viewing device from TVs to smartphones are adding HEVC decompression chips to play the HEVC 4K streams.

ETSI has over 750 member organizations from 64 countries across …

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