Rovi: HEVC will land sooner than you think

AMSTERDAM – HEVC/H.265, the new video codec that's in the process of rolling out across the digital video ecosystem, is critical to the growth of over-the-top and mobile video, said Eric Grab, vice president of technology for Rovi Corp.

"If you aren't using HEVC (to deliver video), you'll be at a competitive disadvantage," he said during an interview here at the International Broadcast Convention.

The H.265 codec, which is estimated to cut the size of video files by between 28 percent and 48 percent, is most critical to the delivery of HD content to mobile devices and of UltraHD to all devices.

Some industry pundits believe it could be at least another year before HEVC becomes common. But Grab said the potential cost savings in delivery for publishers and content owners, and the bandwidth savings anticipated to be realized by mobile operators, will accelerate that pace.

"Mobile will see HEVC very soon," he said. "The cost savings are going to be substantial for operators." And, Grab said, users are going to be very pleased with the quality of experience they'll see as higher quality of video is pushed at them with less buffering, faster startup times, improved dynamic range and color.

Grab said Rovi is focusing on driving HEVC to market quickly. Indeed, the company here announced it has made significant progress on delivering an end-to-end solution for the HEVC compression standard.

In fact, Rovi already offers MainConcept, a solution for streamlining the integration of HEVC, or H.265, into video applications and services in multiple environments that it initially released at NAB.

More recent iterations of the product add real-time 4K decoding and support for HM 11 anchor streams.

Rovi said it believes the improvements it has made to the MainConcept SDK will help to accelerate third-party development for the codec.

The company has integrated its core encoder and decoder in a wide range of DivX and Rovi solutions, with the MainConcept SDK v1.1 integration in DivX 10, making it the first DivX HEVC-enabled consumer software. Rovi also is integrating it into Rovi TotalCode, a professional content production solution.