CES this year had lots of buzz around wearable technology, 3D printing, screens and HEVCstreaming. “Consumers are getting 4K HEVC TVs whether they want them or not” said Troy Drier ofstreamingmedia.com:
I find this an interesting trend because I have written in the past about some of the curious history of the media industry. 30 years ago we were still battling against physics and the big-guns of the professional broadcast industry were battling for supremacy trying to define an analogue HDTV standard that could be economically deployed. It took a further 8 years until we saw a major broadcast and even then, there was more TV content that there were screens to view it. I remember the jokes at the time that “we were broadcasting to the sheep”.
Now it’s 2014 and we see the biggest technology trade show in the world probably showing more 4k screens than there are hours of professional 4k content in the world. The broadcasting and film communities are no longer pushing progress onto the world, they’re struggling to keep up with the consumer technology. You’d think that this would make investment decisions easier – just wait until you see a winner and then back it. Unfortunately, the world isn’t that patient any more. By the time you spot the winning technology – it might be too late. You need to plan for change and plan for multi-format distribution of content from the word go.
I still get asked at regular intervals “what mezzanine should I choose so that I can migrate to HEVC& 4k” by customers. It’s a tricky problem because it’s not a good question. A better question would be “Is there a single mezzanine technology that I can use to service all of my revenue generating distribution channels whilst simultaneously minimising the capital cost of the transcodingequipment, maximising both quality and throughput yet minimising hardware footprint , electricity consumption and cooling requirements and above all supports a distribution system that is fully automated, error-free, fully customizable and simple enough that a baby chimpanzee could use it without training?”
It’s a much better question, but I think that you can see that the question relates to more than just choosing a mezzanine format that allows extension to HEVC & 4k in the future. I might have a go at answering the question in a later blog, but for now, why not chill for a few minutes and enjoy a clip of a baby chimpanzee or maybe download our HEVC white paper and set your sights on helping the world get rid of interlace forever.
‘til next time’
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