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IBC: Ericsson to Demo New HEVC Encoder

In a move that will have important implications for wireless carriers faced with burgeoning mobile video traffic, Ericsson will be demonstrating what it is calling the world's first High Efficiency Video Coding or HEVC/H.265 encoder for the delivery of live and linear TV over mobile networks to mobile devices during IBC.

The new SVP 5500 encoder is expected to be shipped to customers by the end of the year.

The new HEVC compression system, which was issued as a Draft International Standard in July 2012, offers bandwidth savings of up to 50%. Such bandwidth savings will be crucial for carriers in upcoming years as data traffic continues to explode, driven to a large degree by increased usage of mobile video., in an interview.

"As operators strive to keep pace with the multi-screen consumer demand, they are facing increased strain on their networks," noted, Dr. Giles Wilson, head of TV compression business, at Ericsson in a statement. "There is an immediate need for new video compression solutions that enable high quality pictures over mobile networks, while keeping bandwidth and storage costs as low as possible."

The encoder "provides up to 50% savings in delivery bandwidth, while improving picture quality," compared to existing H.264 solutions, he elaborated in an interview.

That will be important to cellular carriers but also multichannel operators and programmers who are delivering more content over mobile devices as part of their multiplatform or TV Everywhere efforts, he added.

Ericsson is predicting that mobile data traffic will increase 10 fold between 2011, with video driving much of the growth.

Research also suggests growing demand for live video and that consumption is increasingly occurring outside the home, which is putting further strain on mobile networks. Ericsson ConsumerLab research shows that as much as 50 per cent of the TV or video consumption on smartphones is today done out of the home, up 5 per cent since 2011. A July 2012 report from Juniper Research suggests that the number of streamed mobile TV users on smartphones will increase to 240 million by 2014.

Those trends convinced Ericsson to target its first HEVC encoder to delivery of live TV to mobile devices over mobile networks, but Wilson noted that they will be creating products for IPTV and the distribution of 4K and other very high resolution video content.

"We have track record of firsts going back with encoding and compression going back to Ericsson launching the first MPEG-2 platform," and their work with MPEG-4, he said. "The new HEVC encoder really continues that."