Funded by the European Commission under the Horizon 2020 programme; FILM265 project has delivered a state-of-the-art video codec implementation and a complete quality analysis for the Video-On-Demand industry.
Berlin, Paris, Copenhagen. June 30, 2016 – The European consortium Film265 has completed an 18-month innovation project on new video codec technologies for online video delivery for the film industry. The EU funded project has resulted in several advances of video coding, helping European VoD providers to have the tools and information required to deploy a new generation of online video services with higher quality, lower bandwidth, and better understanding of the QoE effects of video codecs.
The results of the project provide three major benefits to European businesses and customers in the online video delivery industry:
- First, a new implementation of the HEVC/H.265 video standard has been developed that is able to achieve higher quality and higher compression efficiency than previous and competing video codecs (H.264, H.265 open source implementations, and VP9). The new H.265 codec exhibits higher quality and compression especially for Ultra-High Definition (UHD) Video formats where bandwidth and quality are of paramount importance. Using the new video codec, it would be possible to provide high quality HD, 4K and even 8K video using the internet.
- Second, the new video codec has been integrated into a complete end-to-end platform for VoD applications, specially tailored for the needs of the film industry. Video uploading, transcoding, delivery, and playback have been integrated and validated. Challenges of video H.265 playback on the web still remain, but have been addressed and a promising solution for a plugin-less browser-agnostic solution has been developed.
- Third, the project has conducted an informal subjective test for comparing the quality of H.264 and H.265 codecs for film content using a web-based test platform. Bitrate savings up to 60% have been observed for similar or even higher subjective quality. A complete QoE monitoring module has been developed allowing VoD providers to understand the impact of video codecs on the final user experience.
The consortium consists of a number of European partners from the video coding field and the film industry: Techniche Universität Berlin (Germany), Reelport (France/Germany), Marché du Film – Festival de Cannes (France), and LevelK (Denmark). TU Berlin (AES group) has an extensive experience on efficient implementations of video codecs, Reelport is a VoD provider for film-related projects, the Marché du Film handles Cinando.com, a leading B2B solution for the film industry, and LevelK is an international sales agent and film distributor using VoD technologies via Stream4pro.
The project has created a successful mechanism for technology transfer from the academia to European SMEs. TU Berlin has created a spin-off called Spin Digital Video Technologies GmbH that is commercializing the new video codec implementation, which is being currently being used for next-gen video formats such as 8K. Reelport has upgraded its VoD platform PicturePipe with H.265 support and is ready to offer the new format to interested customers. Cinando and LevelK have integrated H.265 support in their own B2B platforms for the film industry. Although web playback limitations of H.265 are not allowing a full commercial roll-out, the obtained quality and bandwidth achievements are encouraging a transition to the new format.
The FILM265 project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 645500.
Technical Project Coordinator
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Film265 is a consortium consisting of a number of European partners from the video coding field and the film industry who delivers a comprehensive approach to support European small and medium VoD services with the most innovative video codec technology. It aims at providing them with the technological edge needed to compete in the international market of film distribution on the Internet.
Techniche Universität Berlin, and its spin-off Spin Digital have extensive experience on video codec implementation. Reelport is a VoD provider for film-related projects that develops the PicturePipe video delivery solution. Le Marché du Film – Festival de Cannes handles Cinando, a leading B2B solution for the film industry. LevelK is an International Sales and Distribution company using VoD technologies via Stream4pro.