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Will multiple gadget convergence be a reality?

Posted: 17 Mar 2009     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:MPEG-4  H.264 Advanced Video Coding  cellular base stations 

MPEG-4—including MPEG-4 Part 10, also known as H.264 Advanced Video Coding—is well on its way to becoming the dominant compression standard. This frees up bandwidth, such as in cable plants and on satellite transponders, that then can be used to deliver additional programming, particularly HD (linear and VoD).

For HD, MPEG-4 is 30-50 per cent more efficient than MPEG-2 and 30-40 per cent more efficient with SD. At the very least, migrating from MPEG-2 to MPEG-4 reduces the need to add capacity, which is capital-intensive.

As a result, audiences in the future will increasingly expect to watch content on their terms: on demand and on devices such as PCs and mobile phones. Broadcasters and other content providers must address those preferences partly on the network side, such as in headends or cellular base stations in the upcoming years.

Twenty-five per cent of U.S. Internet users have watched a full-length TV programme on their PC in the past three months, according to an October 2007 Nielsen Media Research survey. On-line viewing is even higher for some age groups.

For example, 39 per cent of respondents ages 18 to 34 had watched TV on-line. Among those ages 35 to 54, it was 23 per cent. One reason why on-line viewership will continue to skyrocket in the future is that programmers are putting not only more content on-line, but highly desirable content.

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