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Mobile Devices and Network Service Providers Explore Versatile Video Coding to Enhance Video User Experience -- Aytac Biber, MC-IF and Qualcomm

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Aytac Biber, MC-IF and Qualcomm Technologies, Inc
BEAVERTON, Ore. - TelAve -- The impact of surging video traffic on network resources and devices has prompted robust discussion on the emerging role of video codec technologies.

As more and more video content is consumed on mobile devices, there is growing recognition that infrastructure capacity must be enhanced to accommodate the growing demand for network resources, says Aytac Biber, Media Coding Industry Forum MC-IF Board Member and Director of Product Management, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc.

"Based on current technology and consumer trends, we are seeing projections that put the infrastructure segment of the industry in the direction toward a more mature phase -- a commoditization if you will -- where cost reduction becomes crucial," says Biber in a podcast interview for journalists.

The industry, he observes, is witnessing an increase in the cost per gigabyte delivered, prompting mobile operators and content service providers to reduce their operational expenses and find new ways to monetize their services and experiences.

"Since video is the predominant category of traffic flowing over mobile networks today, many leaders are taking a hard look at all of the benefits presented by Versatile Video Coding (VVC) because it offers a fundamental 40-50% compression gain over current generation codecs, making video files smaller and easier to store and distribute," he says.

He adds that it is a crucial value proposition because the cost reduction seen in previous generations of networks, such as from 2G to 3G and 3G to 4G, hit a plateau with the transition to 5G.

"Consequently, network operators need to be smarter about managing and optimizing their networks to handle the increasing data traffic. Compressing video content more effectively means that network operators can significantly reduce the amount of data transmitted over their networks, thereby optimizing network resources," Biber says.

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What VVC Offers the Mobile Market

Compared to previous video coding standards -- like High-Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC) -- VVC offers more than impressive compression gains. The encoding technology also allows for selective coding of specific areas of interest in a video. This will be increasingly important as consumers demand more immersive experiences delivered through networks on their mobile devices.

"Let's take the case of 360-degree videos as an example. VVC can focus on the field of view that a user is currently looking at while putting less emphasis on the rest of the 360 canvas, reducing the bandwidth required to transmit the video.This makes it more efficient for mobile networks and enables the device to process immersive experiences more effectively," explains Biber.

As screen-sharing applications become more popular on mobile devices, VVC can play an essential enabling role because it has been specifically designed to support this category of functionality.

VVC also enables the ability to change the resolution of a video during decoding without the need for larger IDR frames, which helps smooth network traffic.

"This is a crucial requirement given the capacity variability that users are exposed to as they move across areas covered by mobile networks. VVC generally enables smoother video streaming experiences on mobile devices by reducing bandwidth requirements and improving compression efficiency. As a result, users will be able to enjoy high-quality video content without experiencing buffering or lag, even in bandwidth-constrained environments," he says.

Finally, VVC has been designed to be implemented on a wide range of mobile devices – from high-end flagship smartphones to lower-end devices.

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"As a result, it democratizes access to advanced video services and allows users with different device capabilities to enjoy the benefits of VVC-encoded content," Biber says.

Mobile Sector Mobilizing Around VVC

Significant work with VVC is already moving forward across the mobile ecosystem, with major players in the industry leveraging VVC playback using software-accelerated decoders that run on CPUs and GPUs. Even these initiatives are resulting in 30% performance gains.

"While it is not appropriate for me to speak on behalf of other companies, over the following months and years, I expect several mobile device manufacturers and network service providers to announce intentions to integrate VVC into their operations," he says.

The community is working to optimize hardware, network, and software components to support VVC, developing specialized circuits for video compression and decompression, collaborating with partners to optimize software decoders and exploring hybrid architectures that combine different processing units for improved performance.

"VVC is already being used in certain regions, and content companies are interested in its compression capabilities. VVC is poised to be an important differentiator in the short run. Over the long run, I believe VVC will emerge as a required technology in the mobile video sector," concludes Biber.

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[EDITORIAL NOTE: To read the full Q&A and listen to the podcast interview with Aytac Biber Click Here.]

Source: MC-IF
Filed Under: Technology, Mobile

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