Minimizing the HEVC compatibility risk
As with any new compression standard, there will be multiple suppliers of HEVC encoders and decoders that are embedded into systems. Without a comprehensive mechanism to ensure playback compatibility among the various disparate systems, there is a likelihood of consumers experiencing incompatibilities experienced between HEVC encoded content and HEVC software and hardware players.
It is critical that the industry manages the complexities when deploying HEVC and creates the necessary checks and balances to ensure HEVC content “just works” and that consumers enjoy all the benefits without any incompatibility headaches.
A key to ensuring HEVC content interoperability will be the availability of suppliers that can manage the video distribution chain from creation to consumption. These suppliers must use a common set of HEVC video profiles or specific parameters for various HEVC resolutions. Controlled HEVC profiles will help ensure compatibility by giving content producers a standard for encoding files and device manufacturers a specific set of criteria to target test playback. Vendors must then provide sophisticated testing or device certification programs that provide a systematic approach to testing both performance and compatibility to ensure HEVC content will reliably play at full quality on any given device.
HEVC offers multiple opportunities for improved video quality, cost efficiencies and greater consumer satisfaction. If we take the right steps to accelerate adoption, these rewards can be a reality far sooner than most anticipate.