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V-Nova’s Video “Paradigm Shift” Could Drive Both UHD And Mobile Video Expansion

by David Mercer | 4月 01, 2015

On Monday I attended the launch of V-Nova’s Perseus, a new video encoding technology which could have a significant impact on anyone involved in the video distribution ecosystem. According to its Executive Chairman and Co-Founder, Eric Achtmann, Perseus offers a “paradigm shift” in the efficiency of video encoding relative to current leading technologies such as MPEG4 and HEVC. Specifically, V-Nova claims to be able to deliver UHD at HD, HD at SD, and SD at audio bitrates.

V-Nova has been in stealth mode for the past four years but has been delivering products such as software codecs and network appliances and has built a customer list which includes Sky Italia and Tata Sky. Sky Italia has been using Perseus for a couple of years to improve the efficiency of video contribution within their production and distribution chain. Sky Italia and other video service providers could potentially download Perseus software to existing set-top boxes in order to improve bit rate efficiency and add new channels. Perseus would also allow UHD channels to be delivered but today’s boxes would not be able to output UHD because they lack the necessary HDMI 2.0 connectors.

Broadcom is one of the leaders in the emerging UHD silicon market, and has supported thelaunch of Free’s UHD-ready set-top box in France. While Perseus has not yet been included in Free’s new boxes, we are told that all current Broadcom-based boxes are capable of being updated with the codec software.

Perseus can be used to improve the efficiency of video distribution to future set-top boxes, OTT devices and mobile devices like smartphones and tablets. It could have a major impact both in UHD distribution and in extending the quality and reach of OTT video services on both wireless and fixed line networks. With 50% of US homes owning a 4K TV by 2020, the need to deliver multiple UHD services to the mass market is clearly going to grow quickly over the next few years. Likewise, the demand for video on wireless networks will increase steadily as global wireless coverage improves and smartphone adoption continues to expand.

It seems unlikely that MPEG-based technologies will be displaced any time soon as they have a huge legacy installed base in devices and throughout the ecosystem. But V-Nova has made an impressive start towards offering a viable alternative and many providers and technology vendors will be encouraged to start exploring the potential of Perseus to improve the quality and reach of their video services.

David Mercer

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