CAMPBELL, Calif. — Recent advances in video codecs have fallen short of historic gains but experts from Google and Microsoft remain hopeful advances will pick up steam in the future. The good news is pioneering work in areas such as augmented reality is opening new doors and one effort may produce a royalty-free codec in less than a year.
Improvements in video codecs reduce the amount of bandwidth needed to serve video over the Internet. The gains determine the quality of the experience for constrained devices such as smartphones on cellular networks and are key to supporting the business models of cloud-based video services such as Hulu, Netflix and YouTube.
Over the last 20 years, video codecs doubled gains in compression about every decade in a trade-off for ten-fold increases in encoder complexity. Gains in more recent work peak at about 30% with practical results below 25% compared to existing codecs, said experts at an event here sponsored by the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE).
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