Ah! The Value and Beauty of Video Compression

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A recent op-ed in the Wall Street Journal addressed the enormous potential wireless markets have only if we can overcome the lack of spectrum. From Healthcare to Telco, unlocking applications possibilities that were once only considered Science Fiction are now close to a reality.   

Here are some highlights of the WSJ piece:

The wireless industry now generates over $200 billion in annual revenue, but in many respects the industry is just getting started. Over the next 10 years, wireless companies will be transformed from mobile phone carriers into mobile computing companies. Already, one out of five smartphones is the owner’s primary Internet connection. By 2023, desktop computers will be a thing of the past, and smartphones and tablets will be the primary way most Americans access the Internet.

Making this 2023 vision a reality will require a significant increase in wireless spectrum.  The FCC estimated that available wireless frequency (measured in megahertz, or MHz) would need to double by 2020 in order to accommodate demand. In 2010, approximately 500 MHz of radio frequency was available for wireless transmissions. The FCC estimated that by 2020, twice that amount (1,000 MHz) would be needed”.

It’s great to see thought pieces like this in the major media as illustration that we are reaching spectrum’s tipping point. It has become very clear that engineers will have to come up with a better way to use the finite amount of spectrum they already have. Having spent my entire career on both sides of the telecommunications fence, I’m confident that we are finally on the cusp of this spectrum breakthrough and that all roads lead to video compression. 

And what about 4k and its impact? By the year 2033 will we be watching 8k and will adding more spectrum now be enough? As Netflix aims at streaming even larger video by 2014 over wired networks the road of enhanced user experience and further quality video leads once again to the need for better video compression. Without it, Cisco’s Visual Networking index estimate of 90% of internet traffic being video may not hold ground.

If I were to let everyone peak behind the curtain at Euclid, you’d see an organization that is focused on compressing high definition video that contains motion and complexity but is also working on compressing all video types. Additionally, our technology works with current compression standards so as the wireless markets are waiting for more spectrum they can capitalize on their existing allowance providing more video or better quality video in the near future. As for long term our estimates indicate that as the quality increases for a video so does our added benefit. 

Richard Wingard is the CEO of Euclid Discoveries where they are developing a technology platform to optimize the delivery of high definition video to a myriad of connected devices. You can follow him on Twitter @RichardWingard.

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