“Perseus”: This is the new 4K ultra HD signal compression technology that could revolutionize streaming 4K entertainment
Stephan Jukic – April 2, 2015
So far, the bandwidth needed for streaming 4K UHD content to homes through the internet has been crunched down to the point where a connection of between 15 and 25Mbps (more practically the higher end of this scale) is normally enough to let you watch Netflix 4K episodes of House of Cards in their native resolution.
However, for many internet connections to potential subscribers, even this isn’t enough. The HEVC (H.265) and VP9 compression technologies that crunch 4K UHD video from sources like Netflix and Amazon Prime Instant Video or YouTube down so that they can be squeezed through these kinds of internet speeds still exclude many users from access to web content.
This is where the latest compression technology to emerge comes into the picture. Developed by compression specialists at the company V-Nova, the new “Perseus” 4K shrinking codec can take existing UHD video and shrink it down by a further 50%, meaning that even a 20Mbps connection could stream as many as three 4K movies at the same time.
What this means in effect is that ultra HD streaming could now become accessible to a far wider percentage of homes in the UK (where the Perseus technology has been developed) or eventually in other markets like the U.S.A.
The people at V-Nova announced the new 4K crunching technology for the growing European UHD content market at a recent conference in which some 20 large telecoms giants attended. These included major European companies like Sky Italia, Sky Germany, Intel and the European Broadcasting Union.
V-Nova used the event to announce that instead of the 20Mbps+ connections needed now to stream a single 4K film transmission, its new technology could accomplish the same feat with connections of just 7 to 8Mbps. This new bandwidth threshold suddenly places a far larger number of homes and offices throughout the world into a category that’s ready to accept UHD programming smoothly over the web.
Furthermore, according to V-Nova, the picture quality gained from Perseus compression is identical to that already in place for current UHD streaming systems.
In addition to all of these benefits, the Perseus technology would allow mobile phone users to stream HD video using the same mobile and WiFi bandwidth that they now require for playing audio files.
According to media experts like Ian Maude, from Enders Analysis, “This is cutting-edge technology that will be welcomed by pay TV companies and TV manufacturers because it will help drive 4K TV and streaming service] sales.
Of course, other limitations on the spread of ultra HD content still exist and these include networks being able to meet demand for streams, devices being able to play UHD pictures and 4K TVs still being relatively scarce and a bit on the costly side. However, given that one of the biggest limitations on the development of more widespread 4K content subscriptions (and the content itself) has been its inaccessibility to many web users, the new V-Nova technology could be a massive booster to the whole industry.
Perseus will also be used to help social media users more easily share normal HD videos on the web while also helping SD (standard definition) videos proliferate through the much more limited connectivity systems of developing countries with expensive and poorly developed cellular data networks.
So far, the first deployments of the new Perseus technology are planned for the U.S, U.K and several European countries. Initial trials should begin between summer and the end of 2015.
Story by 4k.com