Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Is this the future of Video?

Video files represents a huge portion of digital signage content today and as screen resolutions increase, so do file sizes.  This has a big impact on everything from hard drive storage to Internet bandwidth.  Codecs have been developed to help keep video file sizes lower but this requires faster CPUs and more powerful video cards.  It's a delicate balance... compress the files too much and playback quality degrades; not enough and you end up with files so large they require too much bandwidth.

Up until now, digital video has been pixel based just like your average JPEG file.  The higher the resolution, the larger the file but this is all about to change.

Researchers at the University of Bath in the UK have recently developed a vector based video codec that can potentially revolutionize digital video.  By using lines and shapes instead of pixels to compress images they have reduced file sizes while retaining a very high level of quality, just like vector images can be scaled up massively without losing any detail (think of Adobe Illustrator EPS or Corel Draw CDR files).

Researchers say this codec could render the pixel based video obsolete within 5 years and this can have big impact on digital signage.  If this codec is as good as claimed, this technology could mean higher screen resolutions and better image quality than today using less powerful (and less expensive) PC hardware.

Digital signage network operators will also benefit from reduced storage needs and lower bandwidth requirements.

Good news indeed!