ATEME, a Paris-based global provider of broadband/broadcast compression solutions, has kicked off a research program – dubbed 4EVER – aimed at reducing the bandwidth required for the delivery of Ultra High Definition Television by using High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC).

ATEME’s encoding solutions are used for broadcast contribution links, digital TV distribution networks, multi-screen live streaming, and OTT and VOD applications.

HEVC is the latest compression standard developed jointly by ISO/MPEG and ITU-T/VCEG (Video Coding Experts Group). Currently in draft form, it could be submitted for final standardization approval in January 2013 as MPEG-H Part 2.

“The primary goal of the 4EVER program is to pave the way for the delivery of an enhanced high-definition television experience to viewers regardless of the viewing context (in the home, on the go, in public places and cinemas) in a practical and inexpensive way,” the company says. “Initially, a large part of the research effort will be invested in the evaluation of the television experience enhancement that can be offered from not just higher resolutions, but also higher frame rates, increased color depth, surround sound and more.”

Besides ATEME, 4EVER program members include Orange Labs, france télévisions, GlobeCast, TeamCast, Technicolor and Doremi as well as the Télécom ParisTech and INSA-IETR University labs. “Whether it is high definition on mobile and ADSL networks, or Ultra HD over fiber or terrestrial to the home, the 4EVER consortium considers the entire production and delivery chain, and aims for visible quality gains for all viewers,” the group notes.  

The consortium expects to demonstrate a first complete Ultra HD production and transmission chain within a year, and several field trials are planned for sports events, music concerts and other live shows.

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