– 1080p at Sub-200 Kbps
– Could Be the Video-Compression Breakthrough that Brings 4K to All
– Every TV, smartphone, tablet and PC with a 2 Mbps broadband connection may soon be able to watch live 4K streams.
Canada-based Tveon Systems, which calls itself “an emerging global provider of HD and UHD video compression services,” has developed and patented a new compression/decompression technology that it says “drastically decreases bandwidth and storage costs by reducing the file size of HD and UHD videos up to 90% with an average of approximately 75%, and with no loss in clarity or quality.”
In short, it can be used to send 4K streams at below 2 Mbps and, amazingly, 1080p at below 200 Kbps.
Tveon Systems: impressive claims of 2Mbps UHD 4K streaming
The current compression/decompression standard is HEVC, which requires that HEVC chips be in both the sending and receiving devices.
It is not yet clear whether the Tveon technology is software only or requires new hardware. If it does require new hardware, its wide-scale deployment will be substantially delayed.
Tveon said the technology enables “real-time compression for distribution of live broadcast and/or VOD for both HD and UHD content. Videos can be streamed online without buffering or stopping.” That means 4K will be available to homes with a broadband connection as slow as 2 Mbps, which includes many rural areas served by telcos and also cellcos’ broadband service – and 1080p HD to anyone with a 200 Kbps connection, and includes almost all the world’s smartphones.
OTT services have been the only source of 4K content that’s available to every home (that has a broadband connection, of course). Bandwidth is still 4K’s biggest challenge – both to the home and increasingly these days within the home because Wi-Fi has become overloaded. A technology that can compress 4K streams to less than 2 Mbps will substantially increase the number of homes in the world that can receive, distribute and play 4K content. It’ll also help pay TV companies, local broadcasters and cellcos. However, a transition to a new compression technology takes time.
Tveon plans to market its video compression technology to businesses and consumers worldwide.
In August FourNetworks acquired a 30% equity interest in Tveon Systems and its subsidiaries. Scott Hayward was named CEO of Tveon Systems.
Hayward told Videonet the technology “helps us to penetrate low-quality Internet customers. You see a lot of telcos out there today spending millions of dollars every year trying to get a bigger pipe in the house. […] Do you really need to invest that much into a bigger pipe if we can actually make it more efficient to deliver that content? Over 70% of the content that’s delivered on the Internet today is mostly video.”
Tveon is working on getting trials and working with independent sources to verify its claims.
The V-Nova Factor
Tveon’s breakthrough comes in the wake of Britain-based V-Nova’s PERSEUS compression/decompression technology breakthrough (see TOR923). V-Nova says Perseus can deliver the same quality video as HEVC but use only 7-8 Mbps.
Perseus is a software product — no new hardware is required. V-Nova said Perseus does not require special chips in the receiving devices as HEVC does. Instead it uses the processors and memory in the receiving devices to decompress incoming videos. That means that, assuming the receiving device has sufficient processing capability and memory, users will not need new devices. The list of products that don’t meet Perseus’ requirements has not been made public, but there certainly are limits such as older STBs, NTBs, TVs, smartphones and tablets.
V-Nova said the average existing residential broadband speed in the UK is about 22 Mbps, which could support three simultaneous 4K streams with Tveon’s technology, not just one with HEVC. Netflix, which uses HEVC – and requires that it be in any UHD TV set that gets its 4K app – has said publicly that it recommends 25 Mbps per 4K video stream but tests have shown that 12 to 16 Mbps is sufficient as long as the available bandwidth is constant and not reduced by neighboring residences abruptly increasing their usage of a shared broadband network such as the cablecos’ DOCSIS.
V-Nova is working with about 20 companies such as Sky, Intel, Broadcom, the EBU (European Broadcasting Union), HDS (Hitachi Data Systems) and Sky Italia to develop a better compression scheme— better as in streaming 4K content in about half the bandwidth needed when using HEVC and that does not require new hardware.
So, a new technology – 4K – is causing the development of other new technologies – compression…
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