High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC) in a Changing World—What Can MSOs Expect? (2013)

By Mukta Kar, CableLabs; Yasser Syed, Comcast Cable; Munsi Haque, Consultant

The cable operator world has been undergoing a sea-change over the last couple of years. Content is increasingly being viewed in a non-linear fashion. Service providers are not just delivering to the leased set-top box (STB), but to PCs, gaming machines, tablets, cell phones and other customer owned and managed (COAM) devices. The migration of Picture quality is not just from standard definition (SD) to high definition (HD), but also to 3D, 4K (also called UltraHD), and several resolutions in-between. STB Video Processors are changing from dedicated hardware processors to general-purpose multicore processors running video processing applications.

Amidst these changes, MPEG High Efficiency Video Codec (HEVC, also called H.265), the new video coding standard released by ISO/IEC & ITU-T has just been released in its version 1 format in January 2013. It brings an additional 2:1 compression efficiency over it predecessor Advanced Video Codec (AVC) and incorporates several improvements suitable for video deployments in this new environment. This paper will examine the new improvements of HEVC, including compression performance, and what areas it may be employed to enhance in this new and changing service operator environment. Lastly this paper will conclude with integration/migration strategies to introduce HEVC technologies into Cable services, including TV Everywhere services.

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