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4k Video Compression Technology HEVC Takes an Important Step Forward

One of the biggest hurdles to implementing a revolutionary new technology is, of course, licensing. You cannot make a move in the technology manufacturing space without the proper legal cover of the right licenses. If you do, whatever first move advantage you get is vaporized by the legal firepower that will be trailed at you. You will become a target of all sorts of lawsuits.

It’s understandable why many hardware makers are quite reluctant in adopting new technology that can dramatically impact the end usersf experience. Take the case of the next generation video compression technology. The most cutting edge technology in video is called High Efficiency Video Coding or HEVC otherwise called H.265. This is a codec ? or encode and decode protocol ? that allows video to be stored more economically and transmitted from network to network. In other words, you get really high resolution video that doesn’t eat up as much file space and is also very easy to move around. If you have ever spent several minutes, if not hours, trying to download a huge movie file, you would definitely appreciate HEVC. You get crisp and clear video which you can download in a fairly short period of time. A lot of industry observers are saying that this protocol is actually just an intermediary protocol. The ultimate destination of video is a standard called 4k Ultra HD Video, which should be the end goal of short term video evolution.

The good news is that HEVC has cleared a major hurdle. A lot of manufacturers have agreed to a patent pool. What exactly is it? Usually, video and other technologies don’t just involve one patent. If you’re dealing with a particular protocol or standard, it is actually involved in a web of different patents. What patent pool does is it gathers all the necessary patent licenses together and covers it with one easy agreement. Manufacturers can then use this agreement to sign off on the usage of that particular technology. What makes the HEVC patent pool interesting is that 25 companies have agreed to take out a license for the HEVC. It remains to be seen if this will hold because there are some companies that did not participate in the patent pool with big names including Samsung, Sharp, Toshiba, Mitsubishi and Microsoft, to name a few. It would be sad if this technology is derailed. We need a bridge to further advance video technology and this is a great intermediary step.

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