HEVC adoption grows for live IP-based broadcasting, study says

AT&T LiveU 5G broadcasting
LiveU has been testing its remote broadcasting backpacks on AT&T's 5G network. (AT&T)

A new study from LiveU shows growing adoption for the high-efficiency video codec (HEVC) for live IP-based broadcasting.

The company’s new annual “State of Live” report, which is based on information gathered from its global customer base, reports a 65% growth in HEVC units deployed worldwide and more than 400% growth in HEVC-based sessions. Nearly 50% of the field units used to stream sports are HEVC-based with almost 80% of sports sessions transmitted in HD, the company said.

"Our annual findings show significant year-on-year growth in live IP broadcasting, boosted by HEVC technology. Now with the rolling out of 5G networks, the potential is even larger. In the same way that 4G transformed the broadcast market, 5G is likely to have an even greater impact across multiple sectors, not least sport, and we believe that 2020 is going to be a milestone year with the Summer Games in Tokyo and UEFA EURO 2020,” said LiveU CEO Samuel Wasserman in a statement. “Adding greater efficiency and reliability, 5G offers exciting new opportunities for live event coverage. We've already seen it in our tests around the world covering events such as the NBA Summer League with AT&T and the Berlin Marathon. The combination of 5G and our field-proven HEVC units will result in exceptional video performance, even better than that achieved by traditional transmission methods."

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LiveU’s study also showed growth in IP news and sports broadcasting with a 50% increase in the number of LiveU units used to stream live events and 250% increase to around 20 million in live sessions overall, according to a news release.

One of LiveU’s key products is its portable broadcasting backpacks, which sub in for production vehicles and bond together cellular signals from current 4G and LTE networks, along with satellite and Wi-Fi connectivity. The company recently announced that it has begun testing 5G connectivity with AT&T. LiveU hopes to have 5G backpacks in the field before the end of 2019.

Earlier this year LiveU acquired by private equity firm Francisco Partners and co-investor IGP Capital. The company said it already serves more than 3,000 customers in more than 130 countries but the acquisition will help it grow even faster in international markets.