When HD television was commercialized, there were those who couldn’t imagine the need for it, and those who rapidly took to the task of measuring pixel quality and comparing HD streams across different programmers and providers. In delivering TV to the latter group, it has always been a challenge to balance quality concerns with bandwidth limitations—it’s the age old question of Quantity vs. Quality. In truth, consumers deserve both, and the more competitive the market gets, the more providers need new, innovative encoders that can help them give consumers a wide selection of great experiences.
Today, Motorola is demonstrating HD video encoding technology that improves compression efficiency enough that operators can suddenly consider adding more channels to existing QAMs and satellite transponders even as they deliver better video quality. We’ve done this by adding new patented technology to our SE-6000 encoders so that bits are allocated to the parts of a video picture that are most important. It’s part of our perceptual video processing (PVP) technology. We can selectively attenuate details in an image that are both hard to perceive and hard to compress. This helps us reduce the number of bits needed to render an image, while also improving image quality.
Prioritizing certain parts of an image over others is called Adaptive Detail Preservation (ADP). ADP can improve bandwidth up to 50 percent for difficult images with high-energy background motion, and it creates an average bandwidth savings of around 20 percent.
Equally important, the use of ADP – and PVP as a whole – can improve the video playback experience for viewers. In addition to enhancing certain aspects of an image, the technology helps improve channel sharing by ensuring that individual streams in a QAM don’t interfere with each other and degrade performance.
Combined with MPEG-4 compression, our latest HD video encoding technologies baked into the SE-6000 can bring the load of a single HD stream to five megabits per second or less for some types of content. As narrowcast video demand grows, this increased efficiency makes it possible to continue adding to content libraries, improving service value.