Mediatek's HEVC decoder may boost Ultra HD adoption
Mediatek has released what it boasts as the world's first SoC for decoding HEVC video. According to the company, the solution may give existing HD digital TV customers reason to shift to the latest technology.
HEVC is a successor to the widely used H.264/AVC high-definition codec. The H.246 video compression format was developed 10 years ago. It became the standard format for compression and distribution of video content for HD TVs, as well as for online streaming services such as Vimeo and YouTube, and in particular for Blu-Ray discs.
As demand for ever higher video resolution has increased, however, the H.264 codec has showed its limitations. For example, 4K Ultra HD video content features four times as many pixels as standard Full HD. With the H.264 codec, this requires a correspondingly higher bitrate to maintain perceived image quality. Not with the HEVC codec.
The HEVC standard was jointly developed by groups at ISO/IEC and ITU-T, and published just last year, and it reduces the required bitrate for high quality video coding by about 50 percent. As the ITU-UT recommendation says, HEVC substantially increases "coding efficacy." This should combat possible lag problems with the move from Full to HD TV, which is good news for all viewers, especially for gamers.
Mediatek, globally the major digital TV chip player, is strategically well-placed to help drive what seems likely to be a breakout year for Ultra HD TV.
Netflix is planning to launch an Ultra HD service this year, while satellite broadcasters from Europe (Eutalsat) to South Korea (KBS and LG Uplus) have launched Ultra HD channels. Albertis Telecom is set to transmit the first Ultra HD signals over digital terrestrial television from the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona next month.
Joe Chen, general manager of Mediatek's home entertainment business unit, said, "We are uniquely placed to deliver innovative and engaging technology to our customers. Our 4K2K DTV SoC is yet another example and with growing demand for Ultra HD TV worldwide, it will, drive the uptake of this exciting new format, making it accessible to a wider audience."
- Kim Davis
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