We’ve already discussed the impact that mobile devices are having on the enterprise, specifically with regard to video. From smartphones to tablets, business video is beginning to be available anywhere, any time, even on airplanes!
That said, mobile video can put a strain on bandwidth. The speed of streaming video from the cloud over a 3G or 4G connection can depend on the signal strength and the number of users trying to play the video.
Content distributors must know how the video content is distributed over these networks in order to maximize the efficiency. Using data-heavy transmission methods on slower networks will result in frustration and will eventually shorten the time spent by viewers in watching the video. To tackle this problem, H.264 standard evolved as an attractive solution.
H.264 standard, also known as an MPEG-4 Part 10, has the capability to handle high-definition video at a much lower bit rate than previous video codec standards. As a result, overwhelming majority of mobile videos–including YouTube, Vimeo, Google and Apple’s iTunes rentals—started using H.264 standard for streaming.
The H.264 standard isn’t the only player in this space, however, the MPEG-4 is extensively used for low resolution and low performing devices. For example, YouTube uses MPEG-4 for low end feature phones that cannot download the higher bit rate.
The H.265 standard is considered by some to be the successor for H.264. Also known as High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC), H.265 aims to improve video quality while doubling the data compression ratio of its predecessor.
While this new technology would be more efficient, it will be interesting to see if it can catch on with mobile content providers quickly. Changing codecs is not something that can be achieved over night as there are a lot of legacy devices in use. Video content providers would have to convert all their existing videos to new standards while ensuring that they are compatible with latest versions of various mobile operating systems. Due to this reason, switching to a new codec like the H.265 may be considered a hardware change rather than a software change. Not to mention that H.264 itself is evolving, and today it can handle higher quality, and more complex videos.
Migrating to H.265 or some other advanced standard would definitely help ease some costs by decreasing the amount of data consumed by video applications. Having said that, developers and video content providers will need to update older videos to prevent fragmentation in the market. There is no so called ‘catch-all’ kind of solution but the best thing to do is to make advance preparations based on the type of video you publish or produce.
(Image Source: IndianExpress)