With the increased capacity needed to deliver 4K Ultra HD, compression becomes paramount to save space and still deliver the high-end experiences consumers expect. Leveraging technology expertise and close partnerships with leading chipset vendors, Technicolor was the first to demonstrate a live end-to-end HD HEVC video workflow with a set-top box during the French Open 2013. This was done using HEVC compression technology, which allowed the Ultra HD 4K service.

HEVC was developed with the goal of providing twice the compression efficiency of the previous video coding standard, H.264 / AVC. Although compression efficiency results vary depending on the type of content and encoder settings, at typical consumer video distribution bit rates, HEVC is able to compress video twice as efficiently as AVC. End-users can take advantage of improved compression efficiency in one of two ways (or a combination of both):

  • At an identical level of visual quality, HEVC enables video to be compressed to a file that is about half the size (or half the bit rate) of AVC, or
  • When compressed to the same file size or bit rate as AVC, HEVC delivers significantly better visual quality.

Most of the power of video compression standards comes from a technique known as motion compensated prediction. HEVC allows predicted blocks to be coded in different block sizes than the residual error. It can encode motion vectors with much greater precision, for a better predicted block with less residual error. HEVC includes Adaptive Motion Vector Prediction, a new method to improve inter-prediction; an improved de-blocking filter; and Sample Adaptive Offset, an additional filter that reduces artifacts at block edges.

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