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Major new H.264 codec unveiled by ATEME

French firm ATEME has launched a major new version of its H.264 video codec, redesigned from the ground up to deliver the best video quality and encoding performance at any specified speed, and optimise video processing to support multi-screen output.

The new EAVC4 codec provides users with the capability to either encode faster at the current video quality (VQ) level, or significantly increase VQ while maintaining the current encoding speed, thanks to a new video encoding architecture which leverages a number of technology enhancements.

These enabling factors include: multi-processor and multi-core 64-bit architecture; multi-threading from slice level up through macro block level; algorithmic optimisation at multiple levels; massive usage of hand-optimised assembly code to leverage Intel processors capabilities; and software architecture optimisation.

As a result, the new codec delivers the following improvements: up to 20% bandwidth gains for progressive and interlaced content; reduced bandwidth for use cases with high and emerging market demand, including iPad high-resolution format (1080p); and an expanded range of available use cases, including 4K and 8K, 4:2:2 and 4:4:4 chroma, up to 14-bit coding precision, and AVC-I intra only coding.

ATEME used a patented approach called ‘Multi-Screen by Design’ to rationalise the creation of multiple stream formats from a single content source. By relying on intelligent parallelisation to perform common processes only one time for all bit-rates and screen formats, EAVC4 delivers speed improvements and optimises video fidelity for multiple outputs from a single content stream.

The very first adoption of EAVC4 will be done by ATEME’s existing clients of its TITAN family of video transcoders: starting this summer they will start upgrading the software in their transcoding farms with the new codec to either reduce the bandwidth used to deliver their programs, or increase the number of channels or the number of VOD assets that they can process simultaneously.

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