Rovi bets consumers will push Hollywood’s HEVC adoption

By on 09/12/2013 7:03 AM @robertandrews

AMSTERDAM — The next-generation video compression codec to succeed the popular H.264 standard promises up to 50 percent smaller video sizes for cheaper online transmission – if the industry can ignite both consumer demand and producer inertia.

To jump-start adoption of the so-called “High-Effiency Video Compression” (HEVC) – or H.265 – codec, video tech firm Rovi is pushing out software in to the hands of consumers, regardless of the industry’s rate of take-up. The tenth version of its Div X video software suite includes HEVC creation and playback support.

“Consumers creating content in HEVC will really propel the standard,” says Rovi senior manager for product marketing Solange Jacobs Randolph in this video interview. “Once device manufacturers see all of this content, they will know that it’s time to start supporting HEVC in their devices natively.”

This is a fascinating strategy in addressing a supply-and-demand problem, or, as Randolph calls it, a “chicken-and-egg dilemma” – why should studios take advantage of HEVC’s smaller video sizes when no consumers can play them, and why should consumers care when there is no HEVC video content anyway?

One answer appears to be getting consumers to produce their own HEVC content, ahead even of Hollywood.

Can amateur or prosumer video makers drive the big outfits to adopt the standard that promises to save content owners and distributors money on delivery costs? Certainly, their content may show a quality gap compared with big-budget fare. But, in today’s landscape, when everyone is a content creator, the material produced by Div X-toting consumers may yet help create a showcase library of content in the format.

And the Div X chain may have the scale to popularise HEVC. “More than one billion Div X deices have shipped to market form the world’s leading consumer electronics manufacturers, and we plan to do it again,” Randolph says.

“We are introducing the Div X HEVC certification programme – and are already starting to work with the ICs, the OEMs who are coming to us because they have an interest in supporting HEVC.”

Rovi is presenting its latest developments in HEVC today in Amsterdam at the opening of of the IBC show.

Disclosure:  This video and post was created as a part of sponsorship arrangement with Rovi.

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